August 1, 2014

Nye: Which Riders team will show up in Week 6?

The Riders four weeks have been a great example of the good, the bad and the ugly.

What do they have for us this week is being pondered after another obliteration of an Eastern foe at Mosaic Stadium.

For the team, it’s not whether or not they have turned the corner after those two ugly losses heading into the bye week.

“We have to!” proclaimed safety Tyron Brackenridge after his monster performance against Toronto.

Brackenridge was adamant there is no ‘have to’ or ‘try’, there is only do.

The third year Rider is fine with being the spark plug for a Riders defence that had a whole lot of spark against Toronto.

“We just huddled up and said ‘when we come back from this bye week, it’s going to be a new season and we have to get it together. We have to step up. We have to make these plays that come to us. We can’t miss tackles. We have to rally to the ball and we have to create takeaways.’”

Well you can check all of those off on the report card as the Riders defence was smothering from start to finish.

But each week, there is another test and for this Riders team, consistency has been plaguing all sides of the ball this season.

Brackenridge says that comes by keeping the same tempo at practice.

“Everything that we do leading up to the week happens in the game, pretty much, so we have to practice with that high tempo, get to the ball, create some takeaways in practice and everything carries over.”

Another defender who is finding another gear is John Chick; Defensive Player of the Week, Defensive Player of the Month and a force game in and game out.

Chick had zero sacks through the first four games for the Riders in 2013. He has a sack in every game and the league leader in sacks with six.

While the light bulb has gone on for the Riders defence, the Riders are still waiting to see the spark from the offence that had them scoring with ease consistently last season.

The addition of Chris Getzlaf will be a huge boost to the offence that has been missing some big play weapons.

“He’s had a lot of success and he’s a guy that I know his body language and exactly where he’s going to be so different things like that help me out tremendously,” explains quarterback Darian Durant.

Durant’s numbers are down to start the season and if the Riders are going to keep pace with the Eskimos, Stampeders and Bombers in the tough CFL West, they need the passing game to get going.

The Riders rushing attack, which is best in the league, is helping buoy the offence and receiver Brett Swain believes will aid them finding their groove in the pass game.

“In order for anything to work, you have to be able to run the football and having Will (Ford) perform the way he did last week is great. We’re just looking forward to stacking success right now.”

And it’s amazing how things can snowball in either the positive or the negative.

Before the bye week, things were going downhill.

Coach Corey Chamblin proclaimed it was a new season going into the Toronto game and it looked like a whole different team.

So in this new season, all we’ve seen is the good.

The Riders are hoping they have left the bad and ugly in their forgettable pre-bye games. For that to happen there needs to be consistency, which is a lot easier to talk about than find.

But as Brackenridge noted, it’s not about will or want, it’s about just going out and doing it on the field.