The only good thing to come out of Sunday's 41-17 Rider loss in Calgary is that the preseason is now OVER. The Riders finished the exhibition schedule a disappointing 0-2 and if we learned anything, it's that the club has plenty to work on before they open the season on Canada Day against Montreal at Mosaic Stadium.
On Sunday the Stampeders scored a touchdown on their opening drive and held the lead throughout the game. The Riders were penalized for holding on the first play of the match and it set the tone for the day. All-tolled the Riders took 12 penalties to Calgary's four.
Veteran running back Wes Cates and rookie receiver Cary Koch scored Saskatchewan's touchdowns on a gloriously sunny afternoon while Luca Congi booted a 47-yard field goal to account for the team's scoring.
"I told the team that there were probably some bright spots in the game but we'll have to look at the video to find them," commented head coach Ken Miler after the game. "It's not the type of football we normally play. We let them score first, and we took self-inflicted wounds with bad offside penalties and things like that."
"I told the team we're through the preseason and now they need to find that 'on-switch' in their bodies and turn it on because now it's for real."
SOME fans are going off the deep-end because of the team's pair of June losses (as evidenced by the postgame show callers) but once the regular season starts no one will remember.
"I say to the fans don't worry," advised linebacker Mike McCullough who registered the team's lone sack. "We were 0-2 last year. We try to win every time we go out, but a lot of these guys are playing for the first time. We'll fix things and get ready for Montreal."
Here's a look at some interesting numbers on the Rider roster as we head into cut-down week. The team's final roster will be announced late in the week:
Oldest: OG Gene Makowsky (37)
Youngest: WR Dwayne Eley (23)
Tallest: OT Joel Bell (6'7")
Smallest: SB Weston Dressler/RB Dominique Dorsey (5'7")
Heaviest: OT Jordan Rempel (320 lbs)
Lightest: Dorsey (173 lbs)