Maas and Riders offence looking to get back into rhythm

Jason Maas has faced plenty of speedbumps in his career as both as a quarterback in the CFL along with being a Head Coach and offensive coordinator in the league, and now he’s hoping the current struggles of the Saskatchewan offence will soon become a thing of the past.

Maas starred in the CFL as a Quarterback from 2000-2011, picking up three Grey Cup Championships throughout his career. The Riders offensive coordinator says he uses his past experiences to aid his current quarterback, Cody Fajardo.

“Having been a quarterback, having been in his shoes, you know what it’s like when it’s going well and you know what it’s like when it’s not going well, the relationship that we’ve built over two years, just keep it strong.” Maas added “You’re just going through scenarios, going through things, trying to think about the processes rather than the outcomes of everything we’re going through right now and what he’s going through right now.”

The former Edmonton Head Coach says every great quarterback has been through a rough patch that required some time on the sidelines.

“Quarterbacks get way too much credit and way too much blame, every good one has hit a rough patch at some point where they’ve been benched.” Maas noted he’s been in a similar situation on multiple occasions as a QB.

Maas added an admirable trait of Fajardo is his ability to end a game.

“Whether he starts out well or not, I know this about Cody he usually finishes pretty strong, and I think that’s something you can’t control.”

In the 2022 campaign, the Riders offence has struggled. The green and white are ranked 8th in the league averaging 307.8 yards per game, the league leaders are the BC Lions who are averaging 460 yards per game. The Lions have managed to find the endzone on 30% of their offensive drives this season, as opposed to the Riders who have touchdowns on 15% of their offensive possessions.

Looking back at what has gone wrong for the Riders offence and Fajardo this year, Maas says there have been a couple of key contributing factors.

“Continuity on the offence with the guys he’s playing with, running things he’s more comfortable with in certain situations and just for him to get a good feel for it, having the games start out better and get into some kind of rhythm, and that’s one of the things we haven’t been offensively this year.”

Riders running back, Frankie Hickson says the key for the offence to achieve rhythm is going back to the basics.

“Just taking care of our man and taking care of our assignment to the best of our ability with every effort that we had, we’ve been playing good with effort and we’ve been physical, we just got to hone it all together.”

Not having the same players in the lineup on a weekly basis has hindered the offense according to Maas.

“We seem to be missing key guys each and every week and whether they get hurt in games or hurt during the week, or they are not quite ready, on offensive side of the football usually it’s 12 guys gelling, after 10-11 games you expect some kind of gel and I feel like we haven’t had a lot of that.”

The offensive coordinator says part of the game planning, is to find the strengths of his players and trying use them to exploit the weaknesses of the opposing defences.

News & Notes from Wednesday’s Practice.

Roughriders Head Coach said on practice on Wednesday, receiver Justin McInnis will be out this week. He added the team is not as sure about the status of Kyran Moore for this week noting the receiver hit a speed bump this week.

On the defensive side of the ball, Anthony Lanier will be out this week, with veteran Charleston Hughes returning to the Riders lineup.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders will meet the BC Lions on Friday night in the final contest of the season between the two teams.

620 CKRM will provide all of the gameday coverage with Countdown to Kickoff beginning at 5:30, opening kickoff is 8:30.


More from 620 CKRM