Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Massive improvement by #65 Ben Heenan from the first ill-prepared adventure to this game. Fulton, Labatte, Picard and Best all showed the expected progress.

#65 still faces a considerable climb to be a proficient RT.  But call us very, very impressed with what both he and Coach Malone have accomplished in a very, very short time frame. Ben has a tenacity about him that is a real pleasure to watch. Big thing is-- he shows very good strength, he's bending his knees, playing with leverage and getting a nice punch-- sometimes. We put money down, it all comes together sooner rather than later. 

Cortez schemed up a great game plan which helped the entire O-Line. As the season moves on, they won't see that same advantage and it''ll be back to ol' fashioned grinding. Take it when you can get it.

In the razor thin margin department-- Durant also helped the cause-- big. So did Sheets. It all works together. When it's clicking, the schemes are sweet, receivers get open, the ball gets off on time and everyone looks good. 

The first regular season game.

 As far as players being in the polished zone-- which requires a certain number of reps; gotta remember, in reality this used to be the 3rd pre-season game.  There was a reason they played four pre-season games. Tip of the sombrero to the Rider coaches for getting in done within those constraints. 

Would appear CC's strategy and the cash support to get a jump start in Florida and hold camp in Saskatoon was sound wisdom. Guys looked fresh and tight on assignments. 

#65's biggest challenge is becoming proficient in 7 step drop back protection-- set, footwork and technique. He has the tools and the obvious acumen.  Bearing witness to his progress makes for a compelling story.

On the other side of the ball. 


That is not the same player that left in '09. Ya, he's an effort guy. But now, amazing technique and efficiency. Incredible handwork. Leverage etc. Gonna be some big fun watching #97.

By the way, LOVE THE WHITE UNI's! 

Especially for day games. Added bonus, on film they give the optical illusion of making the white team look bigger and more bad ass. Another huge A+ for whoever called that shot.

The first thing to move should be the right foot. See the right hand? That and his hips shifted before the snap. Ol' Ben got away with one there. And a nice early jump start on his set.

Incredible improvement on his kick step. The journey has just begun but #65 and Coach Malone get props for this. That is close to what a RT is supposed to look like. In the next instalment we'll show what a well trained athletic kick step can look like. This is getting there.

 Notice how the base remains close to constant, The knees are bent and nice upright back angle-- all in a leverage position. The feet stay close to the ground. Nice job Ben.

Difficult to believe #65 just jumped out to RT 2 1/2 weeks ago.  Nice tilt with inside shoulder. Inside foot posted with knee bend. Nice base. Excellent back angle. Eyes excellent. Good hand carriage ready to punch. Looks like a different player than the guy who was thrown out there on very short notice. He would've helped himself by being slightly wider. But he'll get it. 

Nut crunchin' time. Nice punch and hand placement, maintains knee bend and back angle.  Feet get stuck in the mud a little. Overall he's put himself in good position.

 Lang tries it on with Ben. No go. #96 attempts to do the same thing to Ben you see Chick doing to other OT's. Last year Ben looked top heavy. Not now. In the following frames watch how he takes on #96's best shot and largely folds him. THIS IS VERY IMPRESSIVE!

 This is the same 6th sense we saw when evaluating his Senior Bowl performance. In that game, his college coach hadn't taught him how to pass set to a defender's alignment and would dig a hole he'd get himself out of with sheer tenacity and football savvy. 

Here, you'll see a couple of nano second adjustments he makes feeling the change of pressure. Only the very good ones have that, especially as quickly as Ben does out in unfamiliar open space, like that.

 #65 opened his hips to the QB prematurely, but that's a feel- timing thing, and it will come. Strength is a non-issue. WIth excellent heavy outside hand placement, he locks #96 out, keeps a good base and doesn't panic.

Check out the result of #96's, who is as strong and athletic as most R's in the CFL, attempt to power rush and leverage Ben. Folded. THAT IS AWESOME!

 Grow 'em stout out in Grand Coulee.

 Credit Lang. With an amazing display of athleticism, he keeps working and counters with a  last ditch spin.

 #96 gets it but the ball is off. 

As the evolution continues Heenan and Coach Malone will address spin moves. Every R in the league will be watching closely.

Awesome job. Only one snap of 50-70? (didn't count) but shows what a rare talent and what huge potential #65 has. 


  1. Thanks Elmer. Seems like we may actually end up with some depth at tackle. DJR

  2. Most welcome!

    Depth is a good.

    But better yet you've popped the cherry and now are entered in "YOU COULD WIN A BRAND SPANKING NEW, SHINY SPARKLING GREEN CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE!"

  3. This place is crazy and very cool.