After a second pre-season win on Saturday in Edmonton, the Riders now have two weeks before their first game of the CFL season

Article content

The final week of training camp for the Saskatchewan Roughriders looks quite different this year.

Following Saturday’s pre-season game in Edmonton, the Roughriders have returned to Regina’s Mosaic Stadium for the final week of camp after the CFL club held the first two weeks of workouts at Griffiths Stadium in Saskatoon.

Article content

Having already played both of their pre-season games last week — wins against Winnipeg and Edmonton — the Green and White aren’t preparing for an opponent this week but instead Saturday’s roster cutdown day where some tome tough decisions will have to be made when it comes to who the team will keep, who will be offered a practice roster spot and who will be released.

Advertisement 2

Article content

“There’s still a lot of close battles,” said Riders’ head coach Corey Mace. “And it might come down to special teams if someone has more value.

“It might come down to a few (missed assignments) that they have this week that might be the ultimate factor for them so games or not, the evaluation is still tightly watched.”

While game action traditionally carries more weight when it comes to evaluating players, Mace said there’s still plenty he wants to see this week including how players react to five days of workouts without preparing for an opponent.

“The main thing is just knowing that we don’t have a game,” said Mace. “Usually people have got something to look forward to to get them amped up.

“We’re done (games) so how are you going to approach each day of practice because this is still training camp and it still counts.

“You’ve got to be just as detailed in the playbooks. All the same things we preach, you should come out here and treat each practice like it’s a game.

“We’ll be dialled because nothing is changing for us as far as coaches and evaluation.”

Following Saturday’s 28-27 pre-season win in Edmonton, Mace was happy with how his team was able to find a way to win a game that saw the Elks turn the ball over five times to Saskatchewan.

Article content

Advertisement 3

Article content

However, the first-year head coach also saw plenty of things his team needs to clean up.

“From a special teams standpoint and a defensive standpoint, it’s really good to see,” Mace said of the turnovers. “We do have a knack for the ball and we’ve kind of had that since camp has started so that’s encouraging to see.

“It’s easy to look at the good stuff. (But) as coaches, we always try to fix the bad stuff so that’s always going to be the main focus.”

While the team can use some of the week to get a head start on the CFL season — which begins on June 8 when the Riders make a return trip to Edmonton — there are still positional battles to be ironed out this week including at American receiver.

With Shawn Bane Jr. and Jerreth Sterns presumably having secured starting spots, there’s potentially one more available and it appears to be between rookies KeeSean Johnson, Geronimo Allison and Dohnte Meyers, who have all shown flashed during the pre-season. Fellow Americans Jake Parker, Kalija Lipscomb and Joe Robustelli could also in the mix for a practice roster spot.

“That was a position spot we knew there was going to be some tough battles there,” said Mace. “The first week, some guys stepped up (and) the second week, different guys stepped up.

Advertisement 4

Article content

“So, you want consistency from guys but by the same token, you see that there’s some really good players at that position so that’s a good problem for us.”

Now they have a week to figure it out.

Recommended from Editorial

The Regina Leader-Post has created an Afternoon Headlines newsletter that can be delivered daily to your inbox so you are up to date with the most vital news of the day. Click here to subscribe.

With some online platforms blocking access to the journalism upon which you depend, our website is your destination for up-to-the-minute news, so make sure to bookmark and sign up for our newsletters so we can keep you informed. Click here to subscribe.

Article content

Source link