Post Game Thoughts as Cuts Loom

The Saskatchewan Roughriders did everything they needed to do, despite the loss. They saw some good (and bad) but you got the feeling they're on the right track.

The offense moved the ball. Both Darian Durant and Drew Willy threw for high percentages and finished off a drive each with touchdowns.

The offensive line was a lot better and all that changed was Brendon LaBatte at left guard. Imagine when Chris Best comes back because it's clear Ben Heenan is just not quite ready to be a starter in the CFL.

Kory Sheets was impressive on the ground and caught one pass. However, I'll call him out on a complete whiff of a block, while picking up the blitz. He had blindside responsibility and nearly had Durant levelled. Pass protection is a big part at the RB position and if can't get it done, he'll have a problem.

Did Brandon West cost himself a job with his fumble? I hope not. He's the youngest of the running backs and has shown he has a tonne of potential.

As far as receivers go, Dressler and Getzlaf look near mid-season form. Rob Bagg is solidified as well, but it will be interesting to see where Efrem Hill, Taj Smith, Justin Harper and Sinorice Moss end up as cuts are made. Trust me, the import decisions are tight this year because of the two import tackles on the offensive line. (IMO - I'd go with Hill, Harper and Moss all making the 46.) Moss may have jumped up the depth chart based on returns alone.

On the defensive side, the line looks much improved over last year. Brent Hawkins looks energized and Keith Shologan and Tearrius George are great in the middle. Odell Willis got the quarterback to cause a turnover. Zack Evans (aka Mini-Sholo) can get comfortable in the Rider locker room. He fits right in and helps the ratio out as well.

Behind them however, I'm still concerned. Mike McCullough looked like the better MLB when he was in. Abraham Kromah was around the ball but you'd be lying if you said they've definitely found the guys to replace Jerrell Freeman and Sean Lucas. Corey Chamblin keeps dropping hints about looking around the league after cuts are made and this may be a position they look for some help.

What's happening up front appears to be improving the secondary. They were left out to dry for much of last season with next to no pass rush, so we'll see how the roster breaks down but I believe a veteran or two will end up looking for work in the next 24 hours.

Chris Milo was automatic against the Stamps, including the 52-yarder. Riders shouldn't have to be concerned with the kicking game this season.

As for the stadium. I'm hearing a lot of complaints from the people in the North Endzone seats. Seats were snapping off and I guess some seats have terrible sight lines.

Bottom line regarding cuts. There are a lot of players the team will have to say goodbye to that they don't want to but just have no room for. It's the reality of football but you'd rather have too much talent than too little.