Roughriders offense hoping for better season

Team worked on special teams in days only practice
Reported by Joel Gasson
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The Roughriders only took the field once on Wednesday.

Even then it was a fairly easy practice for some players as the team worked on special teams.

That includes the offensive line, but if everything goes according to plan. They won't be spending much time off the field this season.

Before camp started, offensive coordinator Bob Dyce said that a good offensive line is like a good foundation. To try and fill the cracks of the old foundation added Brendon Labatte.

"We put a lot of pressure on ourselves," said LaBatte. "We got some expectations this year that we want to try and meet."

LaBatte wouldn't really elaborate on those goals, saying they want their play on the field to do the talking.

Ben Heenan and Dominic Picard were also added to the offensive this year, but Chris Best decided to return, even after a disappointing year last year.

"It didn't make me think of leaving, it made me think of trying to get better," said Best.

It's well known that the relationship between offensive line and quarterback is one of the tightest in sports, but Best knows they have to keep it strong.

"A quarterback is going to lose his mind if he keeps getting hit and the oline keeps screwing up," said Best. "If we protect Darian (Durant), we'll have his respect for sure."

Darian Durant said that he certainly trusts the offensive line line coming into the year, but he knows a strong offensive line can help more than himself.

"If you open up holes in the running game, then you become unpredictable, and that's when you're at your best," said Durant. "I think with the additions up front we can have a balance attack."

Best added that his relationship with Durant is strong, even if they are college rivals.

"Despite him going to UNC, and me going to Duke," joked Best. "We're good buds now, it's all water under the bridge at this point."

Notes: Durant was on the field for practice but didn't take any snaps in any of the series of team drills.  Head coach Corey Chamblin wouldn't say if that means Durant will sit next weeks pre-season game but it appears that way.

Wide receiver Sinorice Moss did return to practice, but fellow receivers Dallas Baker (upper body), Patrick Brown (hamstring), and Dwyane Jarrett (foot) did not. Running back DeShawn Wynn (foot) and offensive lineman Nerraw McCormack (back) also did not participate.

The team has pushed back Thursday's practices to 9:15am and 4:30pm.