Roughrider receivers getting their block on

Receivers opening up big plays for others on offense
Reported by Joel Gasson
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It's a part of the game that can often go unnoticed by even the biggest of fans.

Blocking is a huge part of the job a receiver has to do on any given play, but it's rarely talked about. The offensive line gets a lot of attention, and rightfully so for their blocking, so do the running backs, but sometimes a big block thrown by a receiver can make a huge difference in any given play.

"That's where we can get the big touchdown runs," said Weston Dressler. "Instead of the big 10, 15, 20 yard gains."

Of course there's nothing wrong with those "shorter" gains, but over the course of a game, and a season, blocks by receivers can free more a bunch of yards for the offense and make things happen.

It's something that Riders receivers have been doing very well, and it remains something the team wants their receivers to work on blocking down field. They even ran a drill with the defensive backs on Wednesday to get better at it.

When you get down to the meat and potatoes of receivers putting up blocks, it comes down to two parts, technique and heart.

"It's all about moving your feet and getting up on your defender," said receivers coach Jason Tucker. "You got to have desire and the want to go do it."

If helping out your teammates isn't enough motivation for a Rider receiver not to block, being shamed in front of our peers certainly is.

"If you get caught, and it's your guy that stops the big run, it should eat at you a little bit," said Tucker.

Because football is the ultimate team game, where everyone has a role to play and if you don't play your role, you won't be successful, sometimes throwing a big blow is just as satisfying to a receiver as taking one to the house.

"One of those little things you might not get recognized for," said Dressler. "But promise you, when someone scores because of your block, they usually know it."

It's not always so easy for one of the skilled players on the field to run down there and get a block, case in point in the B.C. Lions win over Edmonton, quarterback Travis Lulay did his best to block an Eskimos defender, but all he really could do was drop in front of the big man and slow him down, but it was enough. The move also fired up Lulay and the sideline, liking making a bigger difference in the game than just that one play.

For someone like Dressler, it can extra difficult because of his size, so it can mean just getting enough to slow a guy down.

"As long as I get my feet in the right spot, and put myself in the right position I can help out a little bit," he said. "Some guys it's a little easier, you can just go out there and push guys around."

Tucker echoed many of those same thoughts.

If the Riders receivers continue to do a solid job blocking for the rest of the offense, it's only going to mean bigger and better things to come.