Jones doesn’t see ‘anything positive’ from Riders home pre-season loss to Stamps

Craig Slater, Canadian Press

Bo Levi Mitchell is ready for the CFL’s regular season to kick off.

His Friday night counterparts, on the other hand, have some work to do before the season begins in a week’s time.

Mitchell connected with Kamar Jorden on a 40-yard touchdown strike and helped the Calgary Stampeders roll over the Saskatchewan Roughriders 39-12 Friday night in the final exhibition game for both teams.

“This is a good confidence builder for us, we put up points,” Mitchell said. “Honestly, everyone made plays tonight. It was impressive to see. Our O-line gave us time and allowed us to go over the top a little bit and our receivers made some big plays.”

Jorden squeezed behind the coverage for his major score. Rookie receiver Nick Truesdell hauled in a pair of touchdowns for the Stampeders, who were 1-1 in exhibition play. Tailback Terry Williams added an 86-yard touchdown on a punt return and Calgary led 23-3 at halftime.

“I’m just doing what I can to make this team,” Williams said after he totalled 145 return yards on special teams.

Williams played five games last season and recorded 187 yards and one touchdown and 312 yards on kickoff returns. He also had five catches for 88 yards.

In his only start of 2017, Williams was named the CFL’s player of the week in Week 15 after he rushed for 156 yards and three touchdowns against the Montreal Alouettes.

“He’s so explosive,” Mitchell said of the second-year running back. “When he touches the ball he’s like a rocket. He just takes off with a quick burst. He’s a little different than the guys we’ve had in years past and I think he’s going to add something to this offence.”

The Riders were less optimistic after Friday’s showing, and understandably so. Saskatchewan’s quarterback duo of Zach Collaros and Brandon Bridge struggled to get on track. Collaros started the game and finished 6-for-16 for 41 yards before he left with an apparent injury.

The former Tiger-Cats star left the game in the third quarter after he was nailed on a pass attempt by a pair of Stampeders rushers.

Bridge also was ineffective. He completed 2-of-5 pass attempts for 21 yards.

The Riders scored just one touchdown – a 33-yard pass from third-string quarterback David Watford to Caleb Holley – in two exhibition games. The Riders lost both those games.

“I don’t see anything positive come out of tonight,” said Riders head coach Chris Jones, whose team was penalized 10 times for 139 yards.

Jones said he knows who his starting quarterback will be on Friday when the Riders open the regular season at home against the defending Grey Cup champion Toronto Argonauts. Though Jones won’t reveal who will be under centre until Monday.

“Collaros looks a little bit rusty,” Jones said. “The ball didn’t come out of his hands the way I would liked, and he missed two deep throws.”

“I have the luxury of having a guy who helped us win 10 football games last year (Bridge), so if a guy is struggling then Brandon Bridge will play, or it’ll be the opposite.

“Collaros has started a lot of games and has been a good football player for a long time. He has won too many football games to be rusty forever.”

Watford passed for 172 yards and completed 9-of-17 pass attempts. Jordan Williams-Lambert was his favourite target, catching three passes for 57 yards.

Nick Arbuckle, who relieved Mitchell in the second quarter, threw for 89 yards to lead all Calgary quarterback. He, Ricky Stanzi and Larry Brihm all threw touchdown passes. Boston Rowe had Calgary’s fourth touchdown, a 28-yard reception in the fourth quarter.

Calgary will host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday to open the regular season.


22 Comments on Jones doesn’t see ‘anything positive’ from Riders home pre-season loss to Stamps

  1. The QB competition is going to go into the early part of the season, and maybe longer. As bad as the OL looked today I’m very happy we have two.

    • RFD – What I got out of this soup sandwich:

      kick returners did well.

      Moncrief only played 2 Q but was very good.

      Tre Mason ran well but saw nowhere near enough touches.

      Other than the above – Gainer was the best in Green and White last night 🙂

      • I wonder if Jones was a little too cute with the roster? Hughes and Jefferson didn’t play in the preseason, I believe, and that’s obviously going to affect the pass rush is going make opposing QBs and offences in general look better. Injuries on the OL really restricted our offence this game, and this was the only game when Collaros and Bridge played. Based on these games we don’t really know what we have.

  2. Sun always shines at McMahon // June 9, 2018 at 9:57 am //

    Here’s what’s happening today.
    The Calgary Stampeders are going to cut several men who don’t deserve to be cut and the Saskatchewan roughriders will hang name plates for several men who don’t deserve to have nameplates hung.
    What plans and scouting network the riders have is still a mystery.
    I’d have to guess Wadford gets the start.

    • Keep digging up names Red….what’s this 14 in the last 3 days ?

      • Sun always shines at McMahon // June 9, 2018 at 10:23 am //

        How do you feel today? Optimistic about the 2018 rider season?
        Who’s your starting QB?
        It should be Wadford. But we know it has to Zack considering he’s already chewed 1/20 of your Salary cap for the next 18 games.

  3. Jones’ replacement is sure going to have a mess to clean up.

  4. mr62cats // June 9, 2018 at 11:53 am //

    I feel bad for Collaros. I was a big supporter of his play when he was in Hamilton…and healthy. The leg injury and then the concussions may have done some permanent harm to the way he plays now. Hope he can regain what he had before. Not sure Jones’ coaching and offence is up to par either. Tough time for Rider fans.

    • Holy sh*t – it was a horrific pre season game, not the apocalypse.

      Now the only thing that could possibly be worse than last nights debacle, is if Rod Black is on the game this morning.

      • Sun always shines at McMahon // June 9, 2018 at 12:26 pm //

        As bad as Rod black is, I’d say last night was far worse still for riderfans

        • Again….how many times do I have to flush to get rid of you.

          63 handles later, booted off daily for the last week, and you just keep floating around the bowl.

          • Provemewrong // June 9, 2018 at 1:11 pm //

            Yup, are you really this uneducated. Mr Red LIVES for people like you to comment on his posts. STOP replying to him and he will go away.

          • The fact that he’s so obsessed with the Riders, that’s he continually comes back after being booted says otherwise.

            I’ll keep flushing

  5. Zac did not look very good…
    As an exTiCat I hope he improves but only time will tell.
    Something has not been right with him since coming back from injury…after 12 straight losses for the Cats.

    • mr62cats // June 9, 2018 at 8:09 pm //

      Steven Riley: To be correct …the TEAM lost 12 games last season. Austin called the plays for the first 8 games we lost.June Jones took over as HC and Masoli became the QB. And O-line was bloody awful for both QB’s!

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