The Rider Nation primarily concerns itself with offence. But the fan base this year should be encouraged by changes to the defence.
Last season, the Riders were last in sacks, last in forced turnovers and opposing teams threw more touchdown passes against the Green and White than any other team in the league.
There were a couple of reasons for this. Chris Jones’ overhaul in 2016 meant the defensive unit had little chemistry. Add to that the struggles on offence meant the defence was on the field a lot.
In 2017, returning players are familiar with Jones’ defence and each other. The Riders are also deeper with experience.
Last October, the Green and White brought in veteran linebacker Henoc Muamba. Up front, the team added former Stampeder and Lion Zach Minter. The team also landed safety Mike Edem who is a very versatile defensive back.
These moves won’t guarantee a winning season – as defence was only part of the reason for a poor record in 2016 – but this will help ensure the defensive stats aren’t as poor as they were a year ago.