Wins have been few and far between for the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium, but Saskatchewan Roughriders Head Coach Corey Chamblin didn’t want to talk about history when talking about his team opening up the 2013 CFL season in Edmonton.
“Last time we were there, we won.” Chamblin said as he shrugged his shoulders. “Last time we were there we won and that’s what I told the guys. Its tough period to win on the road no matter where you go, but we just have to have the mentality that we have to win on the road no matter where it is.”
It is only week 1, but it is a road game against a Western Division opponent. It is a chance to make a statement, but defensive tackle Keith Shologan won’t go as far as calling it a statement game.
“It’s a big game because it is a road game against a Western Division opponent, but its Week 1 and we are going to see what type of team we have. The team we have now isn’t the team we will have at the end of the season because we are going to develop so much on both offense and defense. This week will be the first stepping stone which is going to be foundation of what we do this year.”
The two teams met to start the exhibition season with the Riders winning 31-24, but Shologan says you can’t even look at that game and use it as a precursor as to what might happen Saturday afternoon.
“We had lots of success that night, but it looked like an exhibition game on both sides of the ball. “ Shologan said. “We know it will be a lot different than what we saw then and we know they are thinking the same thing.
Darian Durant is of the same mindset. Even though he was beat up by a Calgary team that sacked him five times last week, he hasn’t lost any confidence in the offensive line for the fact that last week was an exhibition contest.
“I’m comfortable with our o-line,” Durant countered. “Calgary came out and did things last week we didn’t game plan for because it was pre-season. We didn’t worry about what they were doing, we were just trying to execute our game plan. My confidence in the o-line hasn’t wavered any.
One of those starting five on the o-line that Durant has confidence in is 2nd year lineman Ben Heenan. Last year’s number one pick was forced into a starting role in Game 1 last season when Chris Best went down to injury and as this season begins, Heenan once again finds himself a starter as he takes over for Patrick Neufeld at right tackle. It’s a challenge that Heenan is more than ready to accept.
“Its different than guard and I have to get used to adjusting my angles,” Heenan admitted. “ I’m getting a lot of help out there from guys like X (Xavier Fulton), Chris Best and Patrick so I’m looking forward to this game and seeing what happens.
Game time Saturday afternoon is 1:30. Once again, all Rider games will be shown on TSN with radio coverage coming on 620 CKRM starting with pre-game coverage at 11 followed by the play-by-play with Rod Pedersen and Carm Carteri.
Looking back over the last 5 years, the Riders have gone 4-1 in season openers which is better than any other team. In the last 12 years, the Riders are 9-3.
Darian Durant has a career record of 36-34-1
Weston Dressler is 12 catches away from being the 3rd all time pass catcher in Riders history. His 372 catches put him behind Dan Farthing. While Dressler is a certainty to become 3rd, he has a long way to go to get 2nd as that is held by Don Narcisse at 830.