The Saskatchewan Roughriders want to protect franchise quarterback Cody Fajardo just like they would their mothers.
Prior to the bye week, the Riders had one of their “worst” performances of the season up front, according to head coach Craig Dickenson, in a 22-19 loss to the Calgary Stampeders at Mosaic Stadium.
“Our quarterback is like our mama. We don’t want anybody to mess with our mother and we don’t want to let nobody mess with our quarterback,” offensive line coach Stephen Sorrells said.
Fajardo was under pressure, hit a lot and sacked two times by Mike Rose as Saskie’s offence was held to one touchdown. Through nine games in 2021, the Riders have allowed 21 sacks, fifth-most league-wide, and Fajardo’s escapability has helped that number from being higher.
“The more comfortable that we can make him feel, the better we’re going to play. No matter what anybody else does, if we play well upfront, we have a chance to win the football game. The bottom line is this: we will get it fixed,” Sorrells said.
“An offensive lineman has to be perfect. There were 53 snaps in the game, we have to be perfect for 53 snaps. A defensive lineman can make one sack a game and be in the Hall of Fame and not do anything for 52 plays. If you chase perfection you can catch excellence.”
Veteran centre Dan Clark admitted the Stamps whupped him in Week 10, but he has not heard the criticism of the o-line despite living in rabid Riderville. The 2019 CFL all-star makes the calls for the unit that has been put under the microscope after the team has gone 2-4 in their last six games following a 3-0 start to the season.
“Focused on one thing: that’s to win a Grey Cup and help this team hoist a Grey Cup in 2021 in Hamilton. There’s no outside noise that needs to be able to get in, there’s no outside noise that needs to build us up that we’re bigger than we are,” Clark said.
The green and white offensive line has a chance to redeem themselves Saturday night in Week 12 at McMahon Stadium in Cowtown.