That was one nice birthday present for Carter Chamblin.
While the infant son of Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach Corey Chamblin was celebrating his one year birthday back home in Regina, his father was getting splashed with a Gatorade shower in Hamilton after winning his CFL coaching debut against the Tiger-Cats.
Actually it was just before he won his coaching debut, which is worth pointing out. Rider running back Brandon West and a few of his teammates doused Chamblin with the cooler while 54 seconds still remained in the Riders' season-opening 43-16 blowout over the Ticats Friday night. Chamblin smiled, but was seen pointing at the score clock while swatting ice cubes off his shirt in the sweltering southern Ontario heat.
|Related: Riders 43,Ticats 16|
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"I told them 'Let's finish'!" Chamblin revealed after the game which gives you some idea of his style. The game is to be played full-out for 60 minutes, no shortcuts.
And let's be honest. There isn't a soul out there who believed the Roughriders would go into Ivor Wynne Stadium and thoroughly dominate the Ticats like they did last week. Not even Chamblin who was confident in his troops going in but admitted "I thought it would he close going into the fourth quarter."
It wasn't. The Riders opened a 7-0 lead ten minutes into the game on the first of three Weston Dressler touchdown passes from Darian Durant and they never relinquished the lead the rest of the game. They led 7-3, 16-13 and 33-16 by quarter on the way to a nearly four touchdown blowout win.
And here's where you get some "Rider Insider" stuff. Perhaps the biggest turning point in the game came midway through the second quarter with the Riders leading by a point.
Durant hooked up with a 52-yard pass to Dressler which replays clearly showed wasn't a completion. But the Rider offence raced down the field with quarterbacks coach Khari Jones screaming in the headset "Get on the ball! Get on the ball!” They got the next play off before the Ticats could challenge even though Hamilton coach George Cortez had his hand on the yellow hanky. Then one play after that, Durant threw a 29-yard touchdown to Chris Getzlaf.
What does this mean? It means this Chamblin coaching staff is 'with it', it's sharp, and along with the players, they're all singing from the same hymn book, to coin a phrase.
We've discussed the many similarities between Chamblin and Rider legend Kent Austin but as each day goes by, it becomes spooky who their methods parallel each other. Each has taken criticism for their "my way or the highway approach" but their results speak for themselves.
Rod Pedersen is the Voice of the Saskatchean Roughriders on 620 CKRM. You can check out his award-winning blog at www.rodpedersen.com. Follow Rod on Twitter @sportscage.