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'It was ugly': Riders' defence looks to step it up after back-to-back losses

The Saskatchewan Roughriders hope to get back in the win column this week after back-to-back losses to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Edmonton Elks.

The team has been outscored 87-33 in those two games and has struggled to stop their opponents on the ground. The Riders gave up 263 rushing yards to the Bombers and 265 to the Elks.

“It was ugly. We just weren’t physical on the outside edges, got to call a spade a spade,” defensive coordinator, Jason Shivers said.

“I think we invite people to run the ball. We just have to do better with what fits, again on the perimeter, stopping the ball, boxing it, and setting new boundaries,” he added.

It was the team’s first practice on Monday since their 36-27 loss to Edmonton on Friday.

“If you watched the drills we did get back to some training camp stuff and we’re going to continue to do that,” head coach Craig Dickenson said following practice on Monday. “That’s one thing we told the team, we’re going to simplify, we’re going to limit what we call, we’ll call what we know, and we’re going to play hard.”

When asked about addressing the issues on the ground against their opponents and how that factored into practice on Monday, Dickenson did not pinpoint just that area.

“Not necessarily working to stop the run but working on things that help you like tackling. We did some tackling today, we did some gap fits, we did a lot of emphasis on run fits during practice and tomorrow we will do a little bit more when we put the pads on,” Dickenson said.

“No doubt, stopping the run, playing the ball, trying to force turnovers, and things like that. We just have to come out and play physical,” linebacker, Derrick Moncrief said.

The defence could also look a little different after Anthony Lanier, Miles Brown, Justin Herdman-Reed, and Nic Dheilly were all absent from practice Monday.

“We have some young pups about to step up and it’s good. They’ve been waiting their turn and they should be hungry. That should add some extra juice to the defence overall because they haven’t had a lot of miles this year,” Shivers said.

“We’re hoping we can get those d-lineman back. But you know we lost those four dudes in that game. So there could be some new faces out there. We just have to see what happens in their rehab and see how their treatment goes,” Dickenson said.

Running back Jamal Morrow also did not practice on Monday but Dickenson says he hopes to return by the end of the week. Top Stories

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