“Bringing Laudy back to the party”
Offensive Lineman Andrew Lauderdale was excited on Thursday ahead of returning to the Riders lineup on Friday when the green and white host the Ottawa Redblacks.
Lauderdale will replace Terran Vaughn at left tackle for Saskatchewan. Riders Head Coach Craig Dickenson said on Thursday they’re hoping to have Vaughn back sooner than later.
“We felt like his shoulder wasn’t progressing like what we wanted to, he was sore, we’re giving him the week hopefully to get stronger, we expect to see him back in a week or two.”
While Lauderdale is hopeful that Vaughn is back on the field in the near future, he is preparing to possibly remain in the starting lineup longer than expected.
A common theme for the Riders in the 2022 season has been the next man up mentality. The 28 year old is the latest Rider to echo the statement, noting there is a strong amount of depth on the Riders roster.
In the 2022 season, the New Hampshire product played in 11 games with the Riders. The added experience has been very beneficial for the offensive tackle.
“I’m not as nervous as I was last year, last year I was not expecting that, this time I kind of saw it.”
Relegated to a backup role after being a starter in 2021, Lauderdale says the demotion was disappointing but added his focus has shifted to present day.
“I’m here for this spot, this position, just waiting for my time and the time is this week.”
Riders quarterback, Cody Fajardo has full confidence in his tackles, even with the switch for this week’s game.
“He has a lot of game experience, it’s not like we’re putting in a rookie, I have all the faith and trust in Lauderdale, hopefully Vaughn can be back quickly, but that’s why we have a guy like Lauderdale, who’s an experienced offensive lineman so we can plug and play him.”
Looking ahead to starting for the first time this season, the left tackle believes he has improved his communication skills with his fellow offensive lineman as well he plans on being more focused when he’s on the field.
Stepping into the role of left tackle, Lauderdale believes he has improved his pass blocking technique as he gets ready to protect Fajardo’s blind side on Friday.
Dickenson feels the offensive tackle made has made significant areas in his game. “He’s gotten stronger, one of the things he needed to work on was his anchor, his strength, and he has worked on it, he has gotten bigger and stronger.”
Saskatchewan will welcome the Ottawa Redblacks to Mosaic Stadium on Friday night, you can catch the game on 620 CKRM beginning with the Countdown to Kickoff at 4:30.