There is reason for optimism in Riderville heading into the 2018 campaign.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders doubled their win total from 2016 to 2017 and following a busy off-season that featured a number of high-profile transactions, expectations have been raised.

The top storyline heading into the season revolves around the starting quarterback position. Canadian Brandon Bridge performed admirably when called upon last year but the team traded for Zach Collaros in the hopes he can become the next franchise pivot. Having two capable QBs is not so much a controversy as it is a good problem to have and if the oft-injured Collaros can regain his form he can re-emerge as one of the league’s top stars.

With division rivals Edmonton and Calgary boasting the likes of Mike Reilly and Bo Levi Mitchell, respectively, it will be tough to compete in the stacked West unless the Riders get solid production and leadership from their guy.

General Manager: Chris Jones
Head coach: Chris Jones
2017 Result: 10-8 record, fourth in West, lost to Argos in East final as crossover team.
Starting QB: Zach Collaros/Brandon Bridge

Key Departures: Kevin Glenn, A.C. Leonard, Ese Mrabure, Kacy Rodgers, Cameron Marshall, Bakari Grant, Rob Bagg, Chad Owens, Otha Foster

Key Additions: Zach Collaros, Jerome Messam, Charleston Hughes, Zack Evans, Tre Mason

Expected team strengths: The defensive line is loaded with talent and depth, which should make running the ball against them difficult and force opposing QBs to make plenty of mistakes. The team only registered 27 sacks in 2017 so Willie Jefferson, who’s coming off an eight-sack, 45-tackle campaign, and last year’s sack leader Hughes attacking off the edge will be a boon to Saskatchewan’s pass rush.

Expected team weakness: The offensive line was less than stellar last year and Chris Jones wasn’t happy with …read more



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