Even though school has only gotten back to class recently, the Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive line has faced plenty of tests in recent weeks, whether it has been a rotating lineup, other team’s running attack or opposing offensive lines.
A recent challenge for the Riders d-line has been a couple of exits.
The loss of Anthony Lanier appears to be a short term one. The defensive tackle has been not at practice this week due to a head injury, Lanier has missed the last two games for Saskatchewan.
Garrett Marino was released on Tuesday, following being in and out of the Roughrider roster this season,
Riders defensive tackle, Miles Brown felt Marino’s situation was unfortunate.
“Garrett isn’t just a player on this team. he’s a friend and a brother, he’s going to be missed, we really loved him on this d-line.”
The former Wofford Terrier has seen extensive time in the rotation of the Riders defensive line since Week 5. While it hasn’t always shown up on the stat sheet, Brown has made an key contribution to the green and white defence. He pointed to a couple of key traits for his success in his initial CFL season campaign.
“Discipline and execution. Being committed to this process, being committed to what it is to being a pro football player, to being a Roughrider, and showing up everyday. ”
Moving the ball on the ground against the Riders has been a difficult task recently. Saskatchewan has been able to hold opponents under 100 yards rushing over the last three games. Brown says the defensive line take a lot of pride in not only stopping the run, but being a top unit across the league.
“We take pride in how hard we work, we take pride in our technique, we take pride when we step on to the field, and we believe we are the best group in the league, so we have to act like it, I expect teams to be under 100 yards, that’s what we should expect.”
It will be a Labour Day rematch on Saturday as the Riders meet the Blue Bombers for the second straight week. Looking back to Sunday’s game, Brown believes that the game came down to the amount of errors that his team committed.
“Simple mistakes that can win or lose ball games, that team that makes the least amount of mistakes, we just made too many mistakes, and when you are doing that, you aren’t putting yourself in the best situation to win.”
Last week the 25 year old felt the Riders d-line met up to standard of playing against the Winnipeg offensive line, and believes they are capable of performing the task on a consistent basis.
“I think it’s important for us going into this week to understanding our assignments, understanding what we have in front of us, what we need to do, to win, I think we did a great job this last week displaying how good we are in comparison to their o-line and we will continue to do that.”‘
The Labour Day rematch can be heard on 620 CKRM with an opening kickoff at 3:00.