Back to work.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders enjoyed a bye week after their 37-13 win over B.C. in the Hall of Fame Game August 12 at Mosaic Stadium. The break lasted exactly eight days before the club reconvened on the practice field on Saturday, and their attention turned to the next eleven games of the regular season, plus playoffs.
"It was a pretty light practice," revealed Rider coach Ken Miller, referring to the workout in which his players wore only helmets and sweats but no pads. "It was good to have the players back in the locker room and doing preparation and getting ready to play. I was just glad they all made it home safely."
Probably half the team used the break to get out of town and visit their families which are scattered across North America. However quarterback Darian Durant resisted the temptation of a trip back to South Carolina, opting instead to stay in the film room at the Riders' practice facility, breaking down endless video.
"I didn't watch the touchdown passes I threw or rushing touchdowns I scored," Durant responded to a reporter's question. "I watched the film of the bone-headed plays I made, and what I could have done better. Fortunately there weren't too many of those."
The Riders find themselves at 5-2 after the opening seven games, good enough for second-place in the CFL West behind the 6-1 Calgary Stampeders. Saskatchewan feels they're in a good spot as they have both games against Grey Cup-champion Montreal behind them, and their two remaining games against Calgary are at Mosaic Stadium where the Riders are unbeaten.
Next up for Canada's Team is a visit to Edmonton on Saturday to take on Richie Hall's 1-6 Eskimos. Are they the worst team in the CFL so far this year? It would be hard to argue that given the team's pitiful record and uninspired effort through the opening seven games.
However Hall has vowed Saturday's game represents a manufactured 'Week 1' for his Green & Gold and what's happened before has been erased from their memory. Richie replaced two coaches in the bye week and the ball has been firmly placed in his hands by the Eskimo higher-ups.
The move to fire G.M. Danny Macocia almost a month ago proved the Eskimo board of directors felt Macocia was the one to blame and now it's Richie's responsibility to turnaround the once-proud franchise.
So who comes out on top this weekend? Tune in to find out.