Roughriders return to pratice with some new names
A return to practice for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, after a week off.
The bye week probably came at the right time for the team, having blown big leads in the fourth quarter in back to back games. The week off seemed to do some good for the team mentally too, as they appeared to be in pretty good spirits, and have put the last couple of games behind them.
"I worked the whole week, so it wasn't really a week off," joked head coach Corey Chamblin. "A good number of guys stayed around to work, I was proud to see that."
Chamblin wasn't alone with some of the players, the entire coaching staff was working all week too, maybe none harder than the defensive staff, after seeing those leads slip away.
"What adjustments we have to make," said defensive coordinator Richie Hall. "Why weren't we playing at the level we need to play at."
One thing the team is looking to work on is stopping the crossing pattern, as both Calgary and Hamilton used it to march down the field numerous times to complete the comeback wins.
"You stop those by maybe playing a little more zone," said Hall. "When you do those kinds of things, were bringing 5 man pressure, so you don't have a bonus linebacker."
What might help the defense on Friday evening will be potential return of defensive backs Eddie Russ and Woodny Turenne, as both were out there on Monday morning. They weren't the only returning players either, receivers Sinorice Moss was back after missing the last few weeks, Dallas Baker also was involved in individual drills. Offensive lineman Chris Best was also taking more snaps along the line.
There was another returning Rider, but it wasn't from injury. Defensive lineman Jay Alford is back after being cut at the end of training camp, Chamblin says that's just a situation to help the depth. There's also a new kicker in town, with Sandro DeAngelis joining the green and white.
"Thrilled with the opportunity," said DeAngelis. "Some of my best memories as a pro have come in this stadium."
The Niagara Falls, Ontario native joins the Riders after previously playing for Calgary, Hamilton and Montreal. Chamblin says the move isn't a shot at Chris Milo. It will likely lead to a split of the kicking duties at some point, as Chamblin has said in the past, and confirmed again Monday that he wasn't comfortable with Milo doing all three forms of kicking.