Friday, August 19, 2011

Big changes in Riderville

The Saskatchewan Roughriders -- off to a dismal 1-7 start, including a 24-18 loss last night in Toronto -- have fired head coach Ken Marshall and offensive coordinator Doug Berry.

Ken Miller, who retired after last season, will return as the team's head coach.

Just hours before the changes, the Vancouver Sun reported that with the team heading into its bye week, the time had arrived for something to be done.
The Riders are off until Sept. 4 when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers visit Mosaic Stadium. The Roughriders are to return to practice Aug. 28 and it could be a different team then. The changes could include players or members of the coaching staff. Such possibilities emerge when a team loses seven of its opening eight games.
"I don't get into that,'' said Riders quarterback Darian Durant, who completed 31 of 44 passes for 384 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception. "We're wishing for the stars and hoping that we get some of our targets back. If not, we have to keep playing.''
There were signs Thursday of some upcoming changes when linebacker Sean Lucas was a healthy scratch. Lucas had been a starter since 2007, but he has struggled this season.
The Province adds that Miller returning from his VP chair largely is a result that he pushed for Marshall's hiring. 
Miller, more than anyone, championed the hiring of Greg Marshall as head coach. At this point, it is far from certain that Miller made an astute selection.
When the Roughriders routinely incur early, insurmountable deficits against lower-echelon foes such as the Argos and B.C. Lions, the team's level of preparation needs to be seriously assessed. When a team habitually staggers out of the gate, it is a coaching issue.
Miller - a coach-of-theyear finalist in each of the past three seasons - must now determine whether Marshall should be the coach for the year.
Berry's dismissal also should have come as no surprise. Saskatchewan has scored only 165 points over its first games; that's the fewest of any team in the CFL. 

No comments: