With the Riders increasing the team’s win total last season, expectations from fans are also rising.
Saskatchewan begins its quest for a fifth Grey Cup in franchise history Friday night, when the Toronto Argonauts visit Mosaic Stadium.
It marks the third season under head coach Chris Jones, who saw the Riders go 5-13 and 10-8 the last two seasons respectively.
While the team’s improvement, along with key additions such as quarterback Zach Collaros, could mean added pressure — long-time fan Terry McEvoy said it’s not Grey Cup or bust, yet.
“You can’t tell until the season’s into a few games and you see how everything shakes out,” he said.
But that doesn’t mean fans in Riderville will accept failure, either.
“Anything less than a West Division Final at home would be a bust in my eyes,” Rider supporter Jon Paskaruk said.
Paskaruk has seen Jones lead the team and said he’d give the coach an A- grade heading into year three.
“He’s made a few questionable decisions, but overall, the talent level’s never been better here.”
While he praised Jones’ work in assembling a big receiving group — and a “borderline unstoppable” defensive line — Paskaruk said he still has doubts about the offensive line.
Kickoff for the season home opener at Mosaic Stadium is 7 p.m. 980 CJME’s Green Zone game day coverage begins at 5 p.m. with the post-game show starting after the final whistle.