Skip to main content

'Tired' defense contributing factor to Riders' latest loss according to Wes Cates

A defense that was playing “tired” was one of the main factors that allowed the Edmonton Elks to pull one over the Riders according to Wes Cates.

The Riders’ led for the majority of the Sept. 15 matchup but allowing the Elks to gain momentum unfortunately led to a disappointing 36-27 loss – worsening the green and whites’ record to 6-7 on the season.

Time for another edition of X’s and O’s and another Rider loss to unfortunately break down with Wes Cates. But still happy to see you Wes.

“Great to see you too Brit. This was a tough one. Especially with a venial opponent and not to pull out the win and kind of sit yourselves in a nice playoff spot outlook. But yeah, let’s talk about.”

The Riders did talk all week about how important it was for them to come out fast. And they did just that, it was 10-0 in the first quarter. They led almost the entire game and just lost it. So what was the turning point for the team?

“I think they really just let a couple plays get outside of them. The defense was a little uncharacteristically porous this weekend. It really showed with the run totals they stacked up. Kevin Brown ended up with 175 yards rushing. You get Tre Ford with another 70 on top of that. They really never contained Tre Ford, he made some plays in the air and with his feet. It really just kept the defense out there too long and just let Edmonton work their way back into the game.”

You took the words right out of my mouth. I was going to talk about the defense not being able to stop the run as well as they would have liked – the legs of Tre Ford and like you mentioned Brown as well. Is this something that can be addressed and fixed on defense fast enough that it won’t be an issue going forward?

“I think so. I think the defense is just playing a bit tired I think they’ve had some rough weeks in the past and now the offense is kind of picking up. I think maybe they’re trying to relax a little bit but they’ve got to step up and keep playing that tough defense that they’re known to play. So I think its just adjusting to the team as a whole. Sometimes when the offense starts to move a little better you see let downs from the defense. But I think the defense will kind of pick things up and interior wise, maybe just play some of those stout guys like Micah Johnson and Lanier just make them play a little more and longer get more reps to make sure they can shore up that front.”

I do want to talk specifically about one play on offense that safety that happened with Dolegala, many are very frustrated when looking back on that play. Dolegala did take the heat for it after the game, he took responsibility on that play. What do you have to say about it though, in that situation?

“Yeah I thought it was tough because if I’m not mistaken it was Tevin Jones kind of ran a short route set right over the ball so he kind of had an outlet. I think he was just trying to do too much and in that situation you kind of have to know where you are and get the ball out of your hands and under no circumstances should he have been trying to stay in the pocket. If anything he should have recognized the running lane early and maybe took that. So just a young quarterback not being in those situations enough and kind of just making the error. It really just bites you in the butt it just was something where you can’t have it. You give up points and you give the ball back in a situation where you need to go get points. So I think he knows what he did wrong. I don’t think he’ll do anything like that again but yeah that was a tough decision and the wrong decision in that instance.”

Like you mentioned, the Riders now lost to a west divisional opponent. They fall to 6-7 on the year. The Elks are now 4-10, the Stamps are 4-9. What are your thoughts on how the west is shaping up right now?

“Luckily the Stamps and Elks started out so poorly that the Riders still have a buffer. But the league is getting better. The teams at the bottom are playing better ball you can see it on the east end and in the west obviously. Guys are figuring it out, teams are getting some starting positions shored up. Tre Ford kind of hit the league by storm so I think it’s a situation where the Riders are in a dog fight. If they thought it was going to be an easy walk into the playoffs and they just had to worry about how we beat B.C. and Winnipeg, that’s not going to be the case. They got to go out here, get some wins, make sure they’re playing their best ball as the playoffs approach. Then eventually, hopefully they can get some wins once they shore up a playoff spot.”

Absolutely, they will head to Ottawa next week an important matchup indeed there. And we will break down that one next week Wes, thanks for this.

“Sounds good, thank you Brit.” Top Stories

Stay Connected