The Riders will get another chance to snap their season-opening losing skid Friday night against the B.C. Lions at Mosaic Stadium.
The home team has opened the season with three straight losses, including a loss to the Lions one week ago in Vancouver.
The team isn’t letting the slow start get them down. This week, they’ve remained as positive as ever.
“Just trying to stay positive. There’s going to be plays out here in practice where guys mess up and things don’t really go like they’re supposed to. We try to harp on keeping guys up instead of trying to get down on guys,” said running back Jerome Messam.
During this difficult period for the Riders, there’s been the “class clowns” of the locker room that have been doing a good job keeping the mood up for the team.
They have to stay positive. If the team doesn’t, the season might as well already be over.
From his vantage point, head coach Corey Chamblin sees a team that’s getting stronger.
“I see a core of guys coming together,” he said.
“I’m starting to see strength form. That’s the one thing I told you guys a couple of weeks ago, that I wanted to see a strong attitude about this team. I’m starting to see a strength form in those guys.”
Defensive plays needed
The team may have to keep their attitude positive but they definitely need to start making some plays on the field.
Plays have been there offensively as the Riders have the number one ranked offense in the league when it comes to yards and points. A few plays need to be cleaned up but, overall, the offence has lived up to its end of the bargain.
The defence have just one turnover through three games. That play was an interception from linebacker Jake Doughty against the Argonauts.
“We’re going to need a (turnover) this week,” said defensive back Terrell Maze.
“Obviously, every game going into (it), you want to impact the game in that way. A turn over would be a big way to do it.”
The Riders have been oh so close to turnovers throughout the season so far. Last week, for example, Lions quarterback Travis Lulay fumbled the ball but when defensive end John Chick tried to jump on it the ball bounce away. The Lions ended up recovering.
Missing out on a turnover like that is a microcosm of the Riders season so far. Closing out plays, and ultimately games, has been an issue. One they will have to fix to get into the win column.
Once again this week, the Riders are adjusting to life without a key player.
Defensive back Weldon Brown is out for the year with a torn pectoral muscle. Defensive back Geoff Tisdale has been added in his place and will line up at cornerback. Though it wouldn’t be too surprising to see him work more against Lions receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux like Brown did last week.
Also added to the 46-man roster this week for the Riders are safety Dan West, linebacker Kevin Regimbald, offensive lineman Matt Vonk and receiver Seydou Junior Haidara.
Coming off the roster is running back Steven Miller, defensive lineman Levi Steinhauer, linebacker Nehemie Kankolongo and receiver Alex Carroll.
Kick-off is at 8 p.m. on TSN.
The Green Zone Game Day begins at 4 p.m. on News Talk Radio with Game Day with Wray followed by the Green Zone Pre-Game show at 6.
During the game, stay tuned for the Fan Zone with Scotty and the King.
After the game, it’s your turn to tell us what you thought of the game by calling the Green Zone Post-Game Show at 1-877-300-7275.