Riders offensive, defensive line pushing each other to be better
So far this year the Roughriders are winning the battle in the trenches.
Both the offensive and defensive lines appear to be much improved from last season. Something that should lead to success for the Riders, as everything a team does offensively and defensively starts along that line of scrimmage.
So what is leading to the new found success? The easy answer is an influx of new talent. A number of players were let go, with players like Odell Willis, Brendon LaBatte and Dominic Picard brought in to replace them. Not only does that improve their individual positions, but helps out the other side of the ball too.
"That's a real good thing," said head coach Corey Chamblin. "Who wouldn't want Dominic Picard on their team, who wouldn't the Odell Willis' all those guys."
The theory is pretty simple, if you're an offensive lineman practicing against defensive linemen like Keith Shologan and Willis every day, it will only make you better in a game. Same goes for a defensive lineman against Picard or LaBatte.
"You're always learning from guys like that," said offensive lineman Ben Heenan. "They're quick, they're powerful, they're what you look for, for defensive linemen in the league."
That being said, defensive end Brent Hawkins says if they didn't make each other better, someone else would push them.
"We don't have a chance to let up on each other, coach Chamblin, he'll stop the play and make us run," said Hawkins.
Despite that, Hawkins does say that those guys do make everyone better players, but not just by their actions on the field.
"They're not just good guys, who are all-stars and came on our team and don't say anything," said Hawkins. "These guys are very vocal, and try to lead the team."
Practice was delayed by about an hour Wednesday because of a thunderstorm that rolled through the area.
Chamblin said that as of Wednesday Tristan Jackson would be the teams kick returning against B.C.
As for the injured Brendon LaBatte, it appears it will be up to him whether he plays or not.
Chamblin was also very vocal during the work out, he says he's preparing them for the Lions, who he says like to talk a lot during the games.