Wednesday 23 June 2010

8 Teams, 8 Days: Saskatchewan Roughriders

Last Season: 10-7-1, 1st in the West (Lost Grey Cup 28-27 to Montreal)


Explosive. That's the only word that I can use to describe the Roughrider offense. They have perhaps the best young starting Quarterback in Darian Durant. The only Running Back not to eclipse 1,000 yards rushing last season was Wes Cates. Cates dealt with injuries in 2009, and if healthy, he would have been well over 1,000 yards. What can be said about the Wide Receivers in Saskatchewan that hasn't already been said? The collection of talent (Fantuz, Dressler, Getzlaf, Bagg and the recently added Prechae Rodriguez) is about as talented a Receiving group as has ever been assembled. The Offensive Line is just as solid, anchored by veteran Gene Makowsky. This is as dangerous as an offense gets in the CFL.

Player to Watch: Weston Dressler


The defensive side of the ball is where the Riders must deal with big losses. John Chick, Stevie Baggs and Eddie Davis are all gone. These will not be easy players to replace. Chick was last season's Most Outstanding Defensive Player; Baggs was a force, and would have likely won MODP had he not played on the same team as Chick. Davis, while having lost a step, was a stalwart in the Secondary for the Riders, and his veteran presence will be missed. The Riders added some experience when they signed Linebacker Barin Simpson. The Riders also added former Queen's standout Shomari Williams when they made him the first pick in the 2010 CFL Draft. While he won't start right away for the Riders, expect him to make an impact before season's end.

Player to Watch: Shomari Williams


"The 13th Man" will forever live in infamy in Riderville. Losing the Grey Cup because of a counting error will forever haunt the players from that team. It's a gut-wrenching way to lose, especially when it's for the championship. There might be some lingering effects from that heart-breaking loss, but I expect Ken Miller's squad to still be among the best in the CFL. While the defensive losses suffered in the off-season will be hard at first, I fully expect the Riders to establish themselves as the class of the West. I think Saskatchewan is still the most talented team playing in the West Division, and I fully expect them to be the odds-on favourite to represent the West in the Grey Cup in November.

PREVIOUS: British Columbia Lions


  1. They're the team to beat in the West. Part of me wants to see them do well, but the other part wouldn't mind seeing some of the "best fans in Canada" eat a little humble pie.

  2. Same here. I think a little revenge for '89 would be nice.