When CFL Coach of the Year Kent Austin left the Saskatchewan Roughriders it was shocking news to the fans and players. However, that wasn't all that happened in the off-season.
They lost Corey Holmes, Val St. Germain, Kerry Joseph and Fred Perry. People thought the Riders weren't going to repeat as Canadian Football League Champions. Here are five reasons why the Riders are having an undefeated season so far.
- Ken Miller: The Riders former offensive coordinator and former Argos coach became the head coach of the Riders on Feb. 6. It was a very wise decision by GM Eric Tillman. Ken called many plays for the Riders as they led the CFL in touchdowns in 2007. He is also very wise, a good communicator, and a great team builder. That is exactly what the Riders needed for the 2008 season.
- Secondary: The Riders' last line of defence is proving to be the best in the league, led by veteran Eddie Davis. James Johnson, a defensive back, was the MVP of the Grey Cup with three interceptions and a TD. He is continuing the trend, as he is proving to be the Riders' best DB.
- Quarterback Depth: When Marcus Crandell got injured in the early part of the season, everyone thought QB would be a weak spot in the offence. That was a bad idea, because Darian Durant is now fighting for the No. 1 spot with a 67.5 passing percentage and 744 passing yards. He has definitely been a surprise for the Riders thus far.
- Late-Game Heroics: In the last two games against the Montreal Alouettes and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the Riders came back within the three minute warning from being down in both games. Against Hamilton. Durant completed a pass through the middle to Weston Dressler, who stepped in for injured receiver D.J. Flick. He ran to the 1- yard line and got the ball stripped out at the one yard line. The Riders later punched it in for six to win the game. Against Montreal, Dominguez got the comeback started with a controversial catch in the end zone. From there, the Riders completely dominated the game.
- The Fans! At home games the crowd is loud, green, and Mosaic Stadium is sold out. I'm sure if the organization put in about 5,000 more seats, it would still be sold out! The fans are full of Rider Pride and are the most passionate fans in the CFL. They are found all over Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Toronto!