CFL Pass

Nail in the Coffin for Tino Sunseri?

The question the mind of every single Sasketchewan Roughriders fan heading into the season is the health of Darian Durant and his surgically repaired elbow.

Good news, Rider fans: The elbow is fine. Durant threw the ball with conviction and connected on numerous passes to the wide side of the field in last night’s preseason game against the Edmonton Eskimos. Optimism is once again high in Rider Nation because if Darian Durant is healthy, a run at the Grey Cup is always possible.

The question now is who will be third on the depth chart behind Darian Durant and Kevin Glenn. After a horrible finish to the 2014 season in which the Roughriders went 2-6 in their final eight games, Tino Sunseri was going to have to play great football to stay with the organization.

Following the 31-24 loss to the Eskimos, Sunseri’s status with the Roughriders moving forward is questionable at best. Sunseri connected with rookie receiver Naaman Roosevelt on an impressive pass play but when it was called back due to penalty, things were all downhill from there. Sunseri looked as though his confidence was left on the turf with the flag from the previous play. He was lost in the pocket. He stared his receivers down long enough for Edmonton’s defenders to key in. He spent more time on the ground than on his feet. In all, the performance was very reminiscent of his play late last season after taking over from the injured Durant.

Calgary punter Rob Maver did have an interesting take on Sunseri’s performance:

 

 

Tino may get one more opportunity in Saskatchewan’s final preseason game against the Stampeders on Friday but rookie quarterback Brett Smith out of Wyoming may have made that task a lot more difficult.

Smith went 5 of 6 for 99 yards and a touchdown. Much like Edmonton’s rookie standout James Franklin (10 of 17 for 159 yards), neither looked like they were making their CFL debuts. Both quarterbacks looked confident and mobile with the potential to be starting quarterbacks in this league someday.

With cut-down day looming, Tino Sunseri may just be looking for another job very, very soon.

– written by Travis Currah