Roughriders’ quarterbacks disappoint in 1st preseason game

By Arielle Zerr
June 12, 2016 - 2:20am

There were a lot of flags and not a lot of power at Mosaic Stadium on Saturday night.

In a game where Chris Jones hoped to get a good evaluation of the two players vying to back up Darian Durant at quarterback, neither rookie B.J. Coleman or Brett Smith earned the job.

There was little magic on the Roughrider offence, who mustered just one touchdown in a 28-16 loss.

“They played a poor football game,” Chris Jones said simply when asked about their play. “It’s their first time that they’re in this offence and I fully expect for them to come back with their nose to the grindstone and they’ll play better next week.”

On the plus side, Jones was happy to see there weren’t many procedure calls or time count violations, however there were four turnovers, including three interceptions and a fumble, and several holding penalties. Something Jones said didn’t help either quarterback.

“It doesn’t matter if Darian Durant or John Elway is playing quarterback, you start out first and 20, you’re probably not going have a lot of successful drives,” he said post-game. “Neither one of them lit it up tonight, but at the same time when it’s first and 20 it’s tough.”

For Coleman, it was his first CFL game and it was an eye opener, but he also said there will be lots for him to take back to the drawing board.

“The best thing about it is I got to get out there and kind of experience that,” Coleman said, adding B.C. threw some defensive schemes at him he wasn’t used to seeing in practice.

“It’s good to get an experienced secondary like B.C. and to kind of see how they do things and how they read your drops and your eyes and your feet,” he said.

Despite his struggles, Coleman was able to find veteran receiver Rob Bagg for a 55 yard reception – arguably the highlight of the night.

It wasn’t all roses for Smith either – though his highlight of the night included putting six points on the board with a toss to Clarence Denmark. It wasn’t a perfect throw, but Denmark made it happen.

“He’s fast as heck and he was outrunning my arm,” Smith said with a smile when asked about the play after the game. “I’m going to say there was a slight breeze, so I was nervous about throwing that deep … and he did a great job coming back and making a play on it.”

The game was delayed more than an hour after a power outage around Mosaic at half time, leaving some fans wondering if the game would continue and some fans just leaving the stadium.

But with player cuts coming Sunday morning, Chris Jones said he was happy they were able to get the second half of the game in. Jones said once the cuts are made he hopes for a more focused locker room.

“Once you start trimming your roster down, things start zoning in a bit,” he said.

And for the players who make it past the cuts, it’s back to the grind in Saskatoon. Jones said they’ll be back to two a day practices ahead next Saturday’s game in Edmonton.


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Riders cut nine after pre-season loss

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