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August 7, 2016

Burnett: Hats off to our coaches

Joe Burnett brekas up a pass during a game against Saskatchewan on Aug. 4, 2016 (Photo by David Moll)

It feels good to win against a divisional rival. Saskatchewan, they came in and we knew they were going to come in and give us a tough game and they did exactly that. Hats off to our coaches for getting us prepared to the point where we could finish the game and play all four quarters.

Until the end, it was a pretty tight game and the Roughriders had a chip on their shoulder trying to get a win. We just had to stay firm and play solid football.

Once I saw Darian Durant throwing that pass in the second quarter, I knew we had two deep defenders and I saw how Rob Bagg was running with the ball loose. With me coming from behind, I knew he didn’t have eyes for me, and my job, instead of trying to make the tackle when I had two defenders in front of me, was to go ahead and try to make the big play and cause a fumble. I was hoping we could get a tip out of bounds and that’s exactly what happened. Ciante Evans was alert to tip it out. It was a huge play – a huge turnaround and a momentum swinger for us. It came at the right time.

The Riders’ record is one thing, but we know Chris Jones does a good job of getting those guys prepared to play week in and week out. When you’re playing a team like Saskatchewan who’s not doing so well right now, it could turn around for them at any point. We just look forward to going there next week for a rematch and playing sound football and coming out with a victory.

It will be nice to have a longer week to prepare for that game in Regina. Anytime you can get a break or an extra day to gain back your legs and get guys healthy, it’s always beneficial. Coming off of this game where we know the Roughriders are a physical team, and extra day or two is definitely needed.

Joe Burnett, #24