Head coach Ken Miller speaks with the media on Tuesday after practice. (photo coutesty of riderville.com)
The Saskatchewan Roughriders were back on Taylor Field Tuesday morning picking up the pieces from their 42-5 loss to the BC Lions over the weekend.
It was the Green & White’s first practice since suffering their worst loss of a long 2011 CFL season.
The game against BC was their biggest of the season as a win would have moved the Roughriders out of the West Division cellar and in the final playoff spot. Now, many in Rider Nation are wondering how the now 4-8 squad could come out “flat” in a game of that magnitude.
Head coach Ken Miller came to the defence of his team after practice, “I'm not going to tell you they're flat,” said a stern Miller. “You watch our game video and you see guys playing with frickin' great effort for the duration of the game.
“We weren't playing well collectively and I don't know the reason for that. But you even watch in the final plays of that game offensively and defensively, we're playing with tremendous effort. We're not playing like a team that's flat. For some reason we were just unsynchronized and not playing well together and that's the thing I have to get figured out. But they played with tremendous effort.”
The loss to the Lions made the road that much harder for the Riders to the playoffs, but Miller said his team will continue to take it one game at a time, “Other games don't matter to us, you have to focus on the game you're playing and if you do well in the games you're playing, if we go 1-0 this week we're in good shape next week. If we lose, we're not in nearly as good shape, so you have to focus on where you are at, what you're doing and on this particular game.”
Miller added, “It's been suggested that I should look at the big picture and I'd like for somebody to explain to me exactly what the big picture is. Somebody who can explain to me how this thing is going to turn out at the end so we know exactly who we have to beat and on what days.”
The Riders are going to need to turn things around quickly as they head into Calgary on Saturday and play four of their last six games against the Stampeders and Edmonton Eskimos.
They sit four points back of BC now for third spot in the West.
RIDER NOTES: Saskatchewan had six new players on the field for practice as they expanded their practice roster on Tuesday.
Miller was happy with what he saw from the day’s workout, “They practiced very well. I told them at the end of practice, that it was very workmanlike and the new players stepped in and contributed where they could. It was a very good practice.”
Someone who wasn’t on the field was slotback Andy Fantuz as he continues to recover from a high ankle sprain suffered against Toronto. Miller said he expects him to practice on Wednesday.
Dallas Baker and Jerrell Freeman both left practice early on Tuesday, but Miller says should be back on field on Wednesday as well.