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  • 25 Jul
    Last Thursday night, we saw the rejuvenation of the previously dormant Ottawa Rough Riders transitioned into the Ottawa Redblacks and, in the most simple of terms, it felt good . [b]Jonah Williams Womens Jersey[/b] . I put little value in trying to make accurate evaluations by watching exhibition games, so this first regular season game spoke to the truth and reality of how good this football organization could be and how the future may unfold. My biggest observation is they looked confident and organized. To go on the road and put up 21 points says that, but even as the game progressed the Redblacks did not look or act like an expansion team . The first quarter was awesome, but the next three quarters were not so awesome and thats to be expected. For Ottawa to really compete for 18 games, the young guys , about 20 on the present roster, have to play with maturity and as much polish as the old guys do. And the old guys have to remain young, athletically and enthusiastically, throughout the season. I saw that in bursts in different points of the game. Nolan MacMillan, #66 out of the University of Iowa and the Redblacks first-ever draft pick played like he had veteran experience in his first CFL game . As a right tackle, you never know what you have until the pads go on and Ottawa has a right tackle to depend on for years to follow - a young guy playing like an older one. Henry Burris still has it. He moves well when he has to, displays confident energy and can make all the throws at 39, especially the deep wide side ou,t which is always open. For an old guy, and he is, Henry looked like a young guy last Thursday night. For the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, their 36-28 over Ottawa on Thursday was a more impressive victory than their Week 1 win over Toronto, 45-21 . In that game, up 24-0, the pressure is much less then against Ottawa being down 14-0 at one point and 21-7 at another . Drew Willy basically won the game by putting a five-play drive together with five minutes to play in the fourth and by connecting with Aaron Kelly to extend the lead. I am mildly surprised how calm and together Mike OShea looks on the sidelines. Maybe I shouldnt be given preparation reputation, but he looks like his ability to separate emotion from analytical thought is a natural quality. Punt returner Desmond Washington is a talent that I didnt notice until he scored a return TD. Now, I see it. In BC, the most important person in the entire organization is the offensive line coach Dan Dorazio. Somehow, he has to get the best out of a group of five players up front that has two first-year starters on the left side and a second-year starter at centre. Dorazio has been coaching for over 40 years and 12 straight with BC . He is not only one of the best in CFL football, but one of the best in North America . His value to the organization is at an all-time high as BC is not going to win unless Kevin Glen gets quality time in the pocket. Youth in the secondary is a concern, as is youth in quarterback protection . For me, it is the Lions biggest challenge to master over the next 16 games. With Montreal, it is offensive coordinator Ryan Dinwiddie. Somehow, the Alouettes have to develop an explosive downfield passing game and he has to get that from Troy Smith . The seven-to-12-yard passes I saw over and over are not going to take Montreal to the Grey Cup come November 30th. They need "chunk" plays of 20 yards or more. I am a big fan of Smith, a guy who is bright, articulate and a winner and who played much better this week, but you sure notice the absence of Anthony Calvillo and his downfield throwing ability. The present combination of new offensive coordinator and new quarterback have to find that skill and develop it ASAP. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have one of the oddest quarterback dilemmas I have seen, maybe ever . All three - Zach Collaros, Dan LeFevour and Jeremiah Masoli - did some spectacular things in the 24-28 loss at Edmonton, but also the complete opposite at any given point during their personal playing time. This is a tough evaluation on who really is the best quarterback and, depending on Collaross back health, who is the best among the three. Each has a different set of strengths and weaknesses and each can be special one play and anything but special the next. The Ticats are good, but not great and optimism is there that, as September turns to October, as a team they can be great. If I were an Edmonton Eskimos season-ticket holder, I should be sensibly satisfied with the first two weeks. Two wins, yes, but the players are responding to the head coach and playing hard . I was was really impressed with Marcus Howard on one side and Odell Willis on the other as edge pass rushers . Any team that has to play catch-up fourth-quarter football will have urgency issues as one from one side and the other from the other side will create an urgency overload with any quarterback trying to pass play after play. Edmonton looks really good after two games. Finally, trying to figure out the Argonauts 48-15 win over the Roughriders is like trying to figure out the human brain . All your conclusions are speculation based on observation . How the Argos can look so bad one week and so good the next, I really dont know. And maybe even more so, how Saskatchewan can look completely dominant one week and borderline apathetic the next week is also like the human brain - a mystery . I am an immense believer that the most important preparation is that the player must perform the morning of the game and make the conscious effort to get yourself emotionally ready to play. This will increase your personal focus and determination to individually play not good football, but exceptional football . The Argos did it and had it, the Riders didnt and did not . What an amazing difference from one week to the next. Good for Calgary, as there will be not complacency in their Saturday game at Toronto. Tough for BC, as there is no way the Riders will not respond on the same night in the second game. This all makes for interesting football as Week 3 begins. [b]Renell Wren Bengals Jersey[/b] . That still leaves a big hole.You dont replace the leadership, defensive co-ordinator Billy Davis said. You just dont. Leadership is something that is earned over time. [b]Joe Mixon Youth Jersey[/b] . - All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers looked spry enough in pregame warmups Sunday for Green Bays divisional playoff game against Dallas. WASHINGTON -- Clayton Kershaw admitted he was nervous about making his first start in six weeks. Apparently its nothing new. He just hides it well. Kershaw pitched seven shutout innings in his first outing since opening day, and Hanley Ramirez and Drew Butera homered to help the Los Angeles Dodgers defeat the Washington Nationals 8-3 Tuesday night. "Im always nervous, every time I start," Kershaw said. "You want to do well. Same type of nerves tonight, but after the first inning I was able to settle in OK." Kershaw (2-0) was stubborn in his return after missing 32 games, allowing nine hits, but striking out nine without a walk, and pitching out of several jams while the game was still close. The two-time NL Cy Young winner had been on the disabled list for the first time in his career, sidelined by a strained back muscle after winning March 22 in the major league opener in Australia. "He shows you right away what youve been missing," said manager Don Mattingly, whose Dodgers began the day third place in the N.L. West. "Just a guy that brings that to the table every five days. Its a little reminder of who he is and what he means to you." The Dodgers collected 14 hits despite keeping outfielder Yasiel Puig out for the second straight game since he crashed into an outfield wall in the ninth inning Sunday at Miami. Coming off a pair of minor league rehabilitation starts, Kershaw threw 89 pitches. "I missed pitching in the big leagues," he said. "Its a special thing we get to do and I try not to take it for granted, so six weeks felt like a long time." Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth singled to start the fourth against Kershaw, but Adam LaRoche popped out and Kershaw struck out Scott Hairston and Ian Desmond. In the sixth, Rendon led off with a single, but Kershaw picked him off. Werth and LaRoche followed with singles before Kershaw again fanned Hairston and Desmond. "He was nasty," Washingtons Jose Lobaton said. "He was right in the zone. He was throwing strikes, aggressive, big curveball." Werth had four hits and Blake Treinen (0-1), making his first major league start, allowed three unearned runs in five-pplus innings. [b]Boomer Esiason Bengals Jersey[/b]. The 25-year-old Treinen was called up from Triple-A Syracuse to make the start and matched Kershaw for five innings. He allowed seven hits and no walks, while striking out two. He was part of his own undoing, however, when the Dodgers loaded the bases in the sixth inning on three balls that didnt leave the infield. Kershaws hustle started the rally. Treinen misplayed his leadoff grounder and Kershaw hustled down the line and just beat the throw. "With Kersh you get a guy thats going to just be kind of all in every day, in every aspect, from running to hitting to fielding, the whole package," Mattingly said Dee Gordons grounder to first base was bobbled by LaRoche, though the play was ruled a hit. Carl Crawford followed with a dribbler up the first base line for a single and, with the bases loaded, Ramirez singled to right, scoring Kershaw and ending Treinens night. After reliever Craig Stammen fanned Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier grounded into a fielders choice that scored Gordon, then Juan Uribes broken-bat single made it 3-0. The Dodgers added a run in the seventh, and four in the eighth when Ramirez homered leading off and Butera capped the inning with a three-run shot for an 8-0 lead. Chris Perez relieved for the Dodgers to begin the eighth and gave up three runs. NOTES: Puig said before the game he was ready to return. Mattingly said Puig might be used as a pinch hitter or defensive replacement. ... Los Angeles 1B Adrian Gonzalez (0 for his last 15) was given the night off. ... Nationals OF Nate McLouth had a bandaged right hand following his diving catch in foul territory during Monday nights game. The cut didnt require stitches and McLouth said he was available to play. ... Washington C Wilson Ramos (hand) took regular batting practice Tuesday and pronounced himself "ready to go." He could rejoin the team as early as Wednesday. ... Nationals manager Matt Williams said the latest X-rays on 3B Ryan Zimmerman (right thumb) "were great, and hes on path to begin his rehab as soon as possible." ... Former Nationals pitcher Dan Haren (4-0, 2.39) opposes Stephen Strasburg (2-2, 3.60) in Wednesdays series finale. ' ' '