December 12, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
It's easy to shrug small dramas off when your team is 8-1 and chewing up the league, so Justin Goltz' touchdown jab last week hardly ruffled Kory Sheets.
Yes, Goltz riffed on the Saskatchewan Roughriders tailback's trademark suit-and-tie celebration. Yes, he apologized. No, Sheets was not offended.
"It was a cute imitation," Sheets said, and punctuated that with an impish grin.
"It's the way he did it, it had no muscle behind it. You gotta have muscle when you're doing that celebration. You can't just do it flimsy like he did. He is a quarterback, he's not expected to do much."
-- Roughriders running back Kory Sheets
To be clear, that tongue-in-cheekery doesn't mean the Riders will just let the joke go when they get onto Investors Group Field today. No, they have a payback plan in store.
"(Goltz' imitation) was kinda funny, comical, but we got something for him this week," Sheets said, speaking to media Saturday. "We're going to pull it out with a good touchdown."
Oh boy Banjo Bowl, here we go. This is the kind of swagger a team takes on when they're the best in the league, facing down the bottom ranked.
The kind of swagger that announces a team marching into enemy territory on the back of a historic winning record -- and one that is pretty sure they can win again.
And why not? Part of the reason the Bombers even got in the game in Regina last week, battling to an 18-14 halftime lead, was due to Rider penalties.
"It was one of those things where there's a lot of emotion... You get that adrenaline so high, and sometimes you kind of lose control," head coach Corey Chamblin said on Saturday, sounding totally nonplussed. "Hopefully we can clean those things up and just play a good style of football."
For the Riders, that will likely mean activating Sheets, who was comparatively quiet last week: he rushed for 91 yards in the Labour Day Classic, only the second time in nine games he was held to under 130 on the ground.
"It was more of a passing game last week," Sheets said.
"But I don't think that's going to be a problem this week. I just have a different feeling going into this week. They're going to be focussed on the pass, and forget about the run."
Wait, he thinks that the Bombers will forget about an explosive back who leads the CFL in rushing yards with a whopping 1,149, including eight carries that ended at the touchdown line?
Even after he's just publicly announced that to be the case? "When you gotta cover (Riders receivers) Weston Dressler and Geroy Simon and Chris Getzlaf, it's pretty easy to do," Sheets replied.
Well, can't argue with that. Still, though Chamblin agreed his team has been cocky since before the season started, he's pulling some of that swagger back: the first half of the season is done, the Riders coach said, and the new one just begun.
They don't know how far new Bombers offensive co-ordinator Marcel Bellefeuille is in his revamp. Yeah, the Riders have had success, but that could change at any time.
"They gave us a good shot (last week)," Roughriders quarterback Darian Durant said. "They played a great first three quarters, to be honest with you. We know that if we take these guys lightly, they can jump on us and get a win... I think it's going to be wild, and I'm looking forward to it."
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 8, 2013 B4