Fiery Coach Miller defends Roughriders effort against B.C.

His job to find out what went wrong
Reported by Jamie Nye
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The Saskatchewan Roughriders returned to practice Tuesday for the first time since their 42-5 loss to the B.C. Lions.

Following the game, quarterback Darian Durant said the team wasn't ready for the Lions.

The notion was the team came out flat on Saturday, which led to the Lions jumping out to a 30-0 lead in the first half.

Coach Ken Miller shot back when asked why the team was 'flat' on Saturday.

"I'm not going to tell you they're flat. You watch our game video. You see guys fricken playing with great effort for the duration of the game. We weren't playing well collectively. I don't know the reason for that but you even watch the very final plays of that game.

"Offensively and defensively we're playing with tremendous effort. We're not playing like a team that is flat. For some reason we were unsynchronized and not playing well together. That's the thing I have to get figured out because they played with tremendous effort."

Long road to haul

Miller needs to find those answers immediately because the team can't afford many more losses if they want to make the playoffs.

The team has four trips to Alberta in their final six games and remain three games back of a playoff spot.

Miller also challenged the notion the team may look too far ahead and find the odds of the team making the playoffs too daunting.

"We're looking at it as this game. Other games don't matter to us. You have to focus on the game you're playing. If we go 1-0 this week, we're in good shape next week."

Then Miller took a shot at the so called experts.

"It's been suggested that I should look at the big picture. I'd like for somebody to explain to me what exactly the big picture is. Somebody who can explain to me how this thing is going to turn out at the end so we know exactly who we need to beat, on what days. Until then, we're going to play it one game at a time, one play at a time."

Staying confident

The Roughriders are buying into Miller's message.

"Some coaches believe in preaching to the team to look at the standings," said Durant, "Us, we try to take it one game at a time and not worry where we are at the beginning but worry about where we are at the end. If we just take care of our part and win games, everything should fall into place."

Miller used a power point presentation in his address to the team on Tuesday.

He harped on focus, staying positive, blocking out any doubt and raising the team's commitment level.

The Roughriders one-game schedule this week is a trip to Calgary on Saturday.

News and Notes

The Roughriders added six import players to the practice roster as CFL teams are allowed the expand their practice rosters for the next month.

The players added are: WR LJ Castile, DEs Roberto Davis and Eddie Rowe, DBs Tyron Brakenridge and Justin Wilson, and LB Chris Francis.

Andy Fantuz (ankle), Luca Congi (ill), Dario Romero all missed Tuesday's practice. Miller believes Fantuz will practice on Wednesday.

Edited by News Talk Radio's Jamie Nye