Mon 15/06/2015 - 09:55 EDT

2015 CFL Team Previews: With Durant Healthy, The Roughriders Eye Grey Cup Run

2015 CFL Team Previews: With Durant Healthy, The Roughriders Eye Grey Cup Run

The Roughriders got off to a great start last season with eight wins in their first 10 games. However, they fell apart shortly after when quarterback Darian Durant went down as they ended up with just two wins in their final eight. With him healthy, there is a lot of hope in Saskatchewan for the […]

The Roughriders got off to a great start last season with eight wins in their first 10 games. However, they fell apart shortly after when quarterback Darian Durant went down as they ended up with just two wins in their final eight. With him healthy, there is a lot of hope in Saskatchewan for the upcoming season. 

Saskatchewan Roughriders Futures

Odds To Win Grey Cup: +560

Regular Season Win Total O/U: 10 wins 

Most Significant Offseason Changes

The biggest changes for the Roughriders this season on the sidelines with new offensive coordinator Jacques Chapdelaine and defensive coordinator Greg Quick. Chapdelaine will be counted on to improve a team that had the worst passing yards per game average in the league last season and Quick has to improve upon a horrible red zone defense. On the defensive side of the ball, linebacker Shea Emry was added through a trade to bolster the heart of the unit. On offense, the team is hoping that first-round pick wide receiver Nic Demski can give the team a legit outside threat. 

They’ll Be Successful If…

The new players can buy into the new coordinator’s systems, the defense in the red zone improves, and Durant stays healthy. The biggest key may be Durant staying on the field, as the Roughriders won eight of their first 10 games, but after Durant went down for the season they lost six of their last eight games. He has shown he can put up the numbers, but has to be healthy. He has a new weapon in Demski and running back Anthony Allen ranked second in the league last season in rushing yards, so he has some weapons at his disposal. 

The new coordinators come in to improve both sides of the ball, but can they do so in their first season? That is a big question for Saskatchewan this season. Quick has a tough task to improve upon a defense that gave up way too many touchdowns in the red zone last season. 

They’ll Be Unsuccessful If…

Durant goes down again and the defense does not improve under Quick. The Roughriders do have a capable backup quarterback in Kevin Glenn, but Durant is the heart and soul of the team and if he is on the sidelines, the Roughriders will struggle. Glenn is more of a game manager at this point in his career. The passing game with Durant has to improve and may do so this season and if that happens look for Allen to have another big season on the ground, as teams cannot solely focus on stopping him. 

Saskatchewan has to figure out a way to keep opponents to field goals in the red zone and not give up touchdowns. Quick was brought in just for that reason and there is talent on the defensive side of the ball and if he can help improve upon that the Roughriders will not give up the fourth most points in the West Division like they did last season. 

2015 Draft Tracker 

1. Demski, Nic WR Manitoba

3. Connop, Rory DL Western

4. Rea, Matt FB Michigan State

5. Adjei, Kwame DB Mount Allison

6. Langlais, Tyler DL Calgary

6. Abankwah, Melvin RB Saint Mary’s

7. Tennant, Brandon DL Laval

Outlook

The Roughriders will not fall apart like they did at the end of last season and Glenn is there to help steady the team in case Durant goes down. However, the West is still a tough division and the Roughriders will be in transition a little bit with two new coordinators. Look for them to finish behind Edmonton and Calgary in the West. 

Prediction: Third in West Division

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