Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Canadian linebacker Micah Teitz offered high praise for Calgary Stampeders’ running back Ka’Deem Carey.
“He’s definitely a good running back,” said Teitz via videoconference. “I think he’s the best one we’ve played this year. Their offence revolves around him and if we can get him under a certain amount of yards running and under a certain number of yards receiving, we’ll have success as a defence.”
Carey played a huge role in Calgary’s consecutive wins over Saskatchewan, rushing 31 times for 187 yards and making seven receptions for 80 yards. The second-year running back has been a major contributor for the Stamps as the team has crawled out of the West Division basement to improve to 5-5.
“They’re finally hitting their rhythm,” said Teitz. “Their first games, they could even tell you that they weren’t too happy with the way they played. We’ve always had high respect for Calgary and especially any team in the West. We know that they’re talented and they can play well. We just gotta play a complete game on defence and I think we’ll be good.”
Teitz calling Carey the best running back the Riders have played this year was somewhat surprising given that Andrew Harris dressed for the annual Labour Day back-to-back between Winnipeg and Saskatchewan. The three-time rushing champion recorded 36 carries for 175 yards and three receptions for 34 yards over the two games, helping lead the Blue Bombers to a pair of wins.
Teitz also thinks Carey may yet find another level as he has suited up for just 18 career games.
“He’s fast, he’s got decent size to him. I think he’s just starting to hit his stride as well. I don’t think he’s a superhero or nothing like that, I just think we gotta bring our arms and our legs into tackles and get back to basic wrap-up football like we’ve been doing our whole lives,” said the third-year linebacker.
Saskatchewan’s defence is allowing 4.5 yards-per-carry and 74.2 rushing yards per game, both of which are league-bests. Calgary was able to convert a number of second downs in Week 10 by incorporating Carey in the passing game, which Teitz chalked up to poor tackling.
“We definitely need to tackle better. Sometimes when we get into these situations where we can get them off the field, I think we really have to make a play,” he said.
“Sometimes it’s that checkdown on second-and-long that we just all have to rally up to. If the first person misses there’s gotta be more people running to the ball to get them down. That’s gotta be everyone’s number one priority when the ball declares.”
Saskatchewan has lost four of their last six games following a promising 3-0 start to the season. The club has already lost the season series to Calgary but can still move two points ahead of the Stamps with a game in hand provided they are able to come away with a win on Saturday.
“It’s a big one for sure. We definitely don’t want to drop three to the same team — that’s a bit ridiculous in pro sports. We’re going to be giving it our everything this game and definitely playing it like it’s the most important game all year,” said Teitz.
The Riders and Stamps kickoff on Saturday at McMahon Stadium at 9:45 p.m. ET. Star receivers Duke Williams and Shaq Evans are expected to be in the lineup for Saskatchewan, though it’s possible defensive end A.C. Leonard will be out due to a knee injury.