Riders take practice on the road, and hope to shake off bye-week quickly
Saskatchewan Roughriders have a road trip to Edmonton to contend with this week
There are two things the 2017 Saskatchewan Roughriders do not do well: they don't travel well, and they don't respond well to a holiday.
Factor in the point that they play in Edmonton this week and that team is coming off its first loss, the Riders could be sailing into a perfect storm.
"I hope today's no indication because we didn't practise very fast today," said head coach Chris Jones.
Monday was their first get-together since a 41-8 victory over the B.C. Lions on Aug. 13.
"Hopefully we will come back day 2 and be more ready to go."
The Roughriders took their practice on the road on Monday, to Leibel Field, and not by choice as the set-up for the Guns N' Roses concert has kicked them out of their own stadium for the next two weeks.
"Normally when you do anything different, when you get them out of their routine, they tend to not play quite as fast so I'm hoping that's what it is," he said.
The last time the Riders came out of a bye week, they were coming off a big win over Hamilton only to come out flat two weeks later in Calgary.
This time they are following up a huge victory over the Lions, hoping that momentum will carry over to Alberta this Friday.
"We're trying to make sure we put emphasis on getting ready," said quarterback Kevin Glenn.
"We have to make sure that we address it. This is what happened last time so we don't forget about it, so we go into this game with a different kind of mindset."
Which will be the same attitude Edmonton will have this Friday.
"Edmonton lost their first game the other night so they're not going to be in a good frame of mind to play us, so I hope we're ready to respond," said Jones.
The Roughriders have yet to win on the road this season.
They have not won a game west of Saskatchewan since 2014.
Vernon Adams: No. 3 it is
What pull Vernon Adams must have.
The recently acquired quarterback only had one request when he arrived in Regina from Montreal last week.
He wanted the number three, a number he has worn on his jersey for most of his football life but because that number was already taken in Saskatchewan — by receiver Ricky Collins — Adams didn't feel it was his place to pursue the matter any further.
A few days later, problem solved.
Ricky Collins was traded to Hamilton and Adams was able to wear his beloved number for his first practice as a Saskatchewan Roughrider.
"I don't know how that worked out," he said after Monday's practice.
"I'm glad I got number three; that's cool."
Adams doesn't seem to be wasting any time in his acclimation to Saskatchewan. He's found a place to live, he got the number he wanted, and is already being handed roles on the team.
They expect him to be the quarterback in short yardage situations, and perhaps holding duties as well, when they face Edmonton this Friday.
"Sure, yeah I like it, get the first down or get the touchdown, keep the chains moving and keep the offence on the field."
In short-yardage, when usually only one yard or less is required to be gained, a quarterback will keep the ball himself and surge forward behind his offensive line.
It's not a pain-free experience.
Kevin Glenn has been the Riders' third-down or short yardage quarterback this season, as far as he is concerned, if Adams wants it, he can have it.
"I think the only quarterback who likes short-yardage is Mike Reilly."