Stunned silence. Those are the two words that could be used to describe the Saskatchewan Roughriders dressing room in the wake of a 17-10 loss to the Calgary Stampeders---the team’s 5th straight since opening up the season with three straight wins.
On a windy day at Mosaic Stadium, the Stampeders pounced on the Riders early as Kevin Glenn threw touchdown passes to Joe West and Romby Bryant in the first quarter to take control with a 14-0 lead. Calgary then used a steady diet of running back Jon Cornish, who ran for 159 yards on the afternoon, to keep that control for the entire game.
Riders Head Coach Corey Chamblin let his defensive unit hear it after that second touchdown. It's something he said he had to do even though he doesn’t subscribe to that theory.
“I shouldn’t have to chew a team out. If I have to chew you out to get you going then it means you aren’t self-motivated.” Chamblin said. “They have to get going. They know what our purpose is and that’s to win football games. There are some guys that maybe have to rethink about what they are doing for a living. This is professional football and you have to be the toughest guy on the block on each and every play. I’m not saying there was a lack of toughness, but getting ready to play a game and prepare yourself. I’m not just putting it on the players. The coaches are included in this because its my team and we have to make sure that each and every guy is ready to go and that the focus is there. I want mentally tough guys. I want guys to have the same mentality that I have and that is no matter how bad it is we can win and that we can’t go down in the tank because we are down by seven points.”
Quarterback Darian Durant called his receivers together after the game to have a short meeting. While he would not discuss what was said, Durant insists this team is better than what they are showing—a lot better.
“One of the things I said was, ‘We were in the Grey Cup with I feel like less talent than we have now.” Durant said. “That’s not taking anything away from anybody, but I feel like we’re too good to be scoring 10 points and not taking full advantage of our opportunities. We have a better defence. The defence is holding teams to under 20 points and we just have to take advantage of that. We have an older Weston Dressler and an older Chris Getzlaf. We have Taj Smith, who is hard to guard. Our Canadian content was better, of course … and even up front, we’re better. I’m not just speaking about the receivers. I’m talking about as a whole team.’’
One member of those Grey Cup teams was defensive tackle Keith Shologan. He is just as frustrated as every other player that dons the uniform. He feels that this team simply wasn’t ready to play football coming out of the gate.
“We made some good adjustments in the 2nd half and in the 2nd quarter.” Shologan said. “We didn’t start as fast as they did and they got a lot of their yards today on those first two drives. I don’t know why we came out the way we did. Its just frustrating.”
The man who feels the brunt of that frustration is Chamblin. After a successful start to his head coaching career, he has definitely hit a major pothole on the highway. He admits to being disheartened over the way the team’s direction has headed over the last month, but he remains optimistic that if all get on board, things will turn around.
“For me right now, when you talk about frustration, the biggest thing is because I want to win. I want this team to win.” Chamblin said. “I want it for those guys because they put in work, and you want a desired result to come back. The biggest thing is it’s a football team. I can’t control each and every man and how he thinks, but I have to continue to shape the thoughts of these guys and shape what we need from the coaches down until we get those wins.’’
The team will re-group and try again to get back in the win column on Labour Day as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers make their annual first weekend in September visit to Mosaic Stadium. While the Riders are reeling having lost five in a row, the defending Eastern Conference champs are a league worst 2-6 and will be playing their first game under new Head Coach Tim Burke. He replaced former Saskatchewan offensive co-ordinator Paul Lapolice who was fired on Saturday afternoon.
Kory Sheets’ 4th quarter touchdown ended a drought that saw the Riders go 139 minutes and 30 seconds without a trip into the endzone
Darian Durant is now 31-31-1 as the Riders starting quarterback
The Stampeders have now won 7 in a row against the Riders including the last four games at Mosaic Stadium
|June 29, 2013||Saskatchewan||Edmonton||@ 1:30 PM|