Riders secondary led by dynamic but opposite duo

Differences actually helping Anderson and Maze
Reported by Joel Gasson
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No area of the field has seen as much change this season as the defensive backfield for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

It seems just about every week some kind of change is being made, either because of poor performance, injury or a combination of both. This week it looks like changes are being made again; linebacker Weldon Brown is set to return so Carlos Thomas and Tyron Brackenridge will slide back to their usual spots of defensive back and safety after both filling in for Brown. That move also pushes Prince Miller out of the secondary again after coming on last week for the injured Rod Williams.

Even though all kinds of different players have made their way onto the roster this season two players have basically been there all year except for a few games - Dwight Anderson and Terrell Maze.

Anderson and Maze have spent a lot of time on the same side of the field together as well, but not surprisingly one gets a whole lot more attention than the other as Maze may quietly be not only the Riders best shutdown defender, but he's likely one of the better ones in the league.

"(Maze's) got good speed, good feed, high end coordination" said Anderson. "His football IQ is real high."

Maze is just someone the defence can't afford to not have on the field according to Anderson. Anderson definitely admits that Maze is pretty quiet out there, especially compared to himself, but he doesn't need to be loud as Maze lets his play do the talking.

"Every week that we come in he grades out pretty high, always in the 90's," said Anderson. "That's what you look for; you want to keep your grade in the 90's."

Meanwhile, Maze describes Anderson as a hard working veteran who brings a lot of passion to the game.

Even though they may be exact opposites in terms of personality, Maze thinks that's actually what makes them so effective.

"We feed off each other," he said. "I probably help him calm him down during the game, he helps pick me up."

While it's not the case every week but often Maze and Anderson have been used on the same side of field. Maze feels that working together so much this years has made them even better.

"You got to talk before the snap, during the snap," He said. "It's big that we know what each other is thinking and doing."

Opposites attracting and working well together definitely isn't lost on defensive backs coach Barron Miles as he adds that every secondary is built with a variety of personalities who come together to make it work.

When it comes to Maze the easiest way for Miles to describe him is that he makes his job easy.

"Those guys, you don't want to them mess up," he said. "Let him continue to do what he do, just maintain what he's doing perfect.'

While Maze perhaps doesn't grab headlines or post-game interviews, Miles figures that players across the league knows who he is and that's really what you play for.

As for Anderson, Miles said you have to take the good with the bad but when push comes to shove you know you can count on Anderson to make the big play, as we've seen a few time this year when he's made game ending interceptions, interceptions in the end zone, and just last week when he tackled the Eskimos Nate Coehoorn at the one-yard-line.

"In the course of a game things like that get overlooked," said Miles. "You go back and look back as a coach, what's that play? That was one of those plays."

News and Notes

- Head Coach Corey Chamblin announced on Wednesday that LB Weldon Brown will return to the line-up against the B.C. Lions.

- The Riders are suddenly running thin on Canadian depth as FB Spencer Moore, LB Tristan Black and LB Cory Huclack haven't been practicing. DL Levi Steinhauer, FB Daryl Stephenson and LB Kevin Regimbald appear poised to fill in. Most of the rest of the Riders Canadian depth is already banged up or already on the injured list at this point.

- With Steinhauer returning it appears he'll long snap with Huclack out.