How hard is it to get a yard anyway?
That’s the question many people are asking after the Roughriders failed to get one, costing them the game in Edmonton on Friday night.
The overwhelming answer is not as easy as it might appear.
“(There’s) a lot to it,” quarterback Darian Durant said after practice on Tuesday. “First and foremost, when you’re dealing with a front four like Edmonton has, it’s not easy to move those boys … and then secondly it just takes repetition. When you’re in the heat of the moment, reps are a lot different than they are in practice.”
Durant said there was a mixture of things that made it difficult for him and the offence including execution, and him not being used to playing with offensive line centre Dan Clark.
With the extra scrutiny on those short yardage situations, Brendon LaBatte said he knows all eyes are on him and his offensive line mates.
“Our biggest thing is just making sure that should we get in that situation again this week against B.C., we know how to handle it and make sure we get that yard,” LaBatte said.
But LaBatte also said there are a lot of moving parts in these plays.
Moving parts like Edmonton’s J.C. Sherritt, who took the high road over the top to help end the Roughriders chances to get the first down. Defensive lineman Justin Capicciotti gave Sherritt kudos for that move.
“He’s a smart football player,” Capicciotti said. “Maybe he saw something or read something. He’s a good football player to see something like that.”
Capicciotti said it’s tough to get a yard in the CFL and it’s tough to prevent the offence from gaining one, too.
“We (the defence) have to give up a yard already, so we have to close that yard as fast as possible to get on their side of the line,” he explained.
The key to that, Capicciotti said, is getting low on the pile, which is part of why Sherritt’s move was impressive to him.
However, if Sherritt saw something that gave away the offence’s movement, or there was some sort of mistake made, LaBatte said the Riders o-line has found the problem and are correcting it.
While neither Durant or LaBatte revealed what the problem might be, Durant did said he doesn’t think it will be too hard to fix.
Head coach Chris Jones said he hopes Durant is right.
“We’re going to be faced with those situations again and our philosophy hasn’t changed,” Jones said.
- Quarterback Bryant Moniz was dropped by the Roughriders Monday. The Riders picked up Jake Waters in a trade with Hamilton on Saturday. The Riders gave up a negotiation list player.
- Chris Jones said Tuesday that Jonathan Williams’ injury might be season ending, and if it isn’t he will miss a good portion of the season.
- On Sunday the Riders traded for defensive lineman Cedric McKinley, also receiving a negotiation list player. The team gave up a negotiation list player and a conditional pick to Edmonton.