Riders coach optimistic about 2021 CFL season
REGINA -- The head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders is holding out hope that the 2021 CFL season will resemble a normal, pre-pandemic season.
During a head coaches conference call with media on Wednesday, as part of the Grey Cup Unite virtual celebration, Craig Dickenson said the chances of seeing some sort of CFL season happen in 2021 are “very good."
“That’s what we’re all hoping for and working towards. It’s full steam ahead for our staff,” Dickenson said. “We suffered through this last summer of not coaching football and it was tough and painful for all of us and I think all of us are going ahead with the mindset that we’re going to play in 2021 come hell or high water.”
Dickenson said he recognizes that no one knows what the season will look like.
“I would love to see a full season where fans could come and enjoy the games. Can that be done? I don’t know,” Dickenson said. “I’d like to see it play out with a full season of 18 games, training camp with a full pre-season because I think the quality of football is best when it’s done that way and I think it’s more enjoyable to have a full season and it’s more rewarding when it’s all said and done.”
Rick Campbell, head coach of the B.C. Lions, is hoping to see something similar.
“We’re actually shifting into what’s going to feel like more normal. We’re going to get into the off season, get a schedule announced, get to the things like free agency and the draft and I hope we can all feel some normalcy again,” Campbell said.
Dickenson said he expects his core players to return next season. He added the Riders are interested in extending Cody Fajardo’s contract, which ends in 2021.
He said there will be some staffing changes because of a 20 per cent cut to the football operations cap. He said one coaching position will be cut and every coach that’s coming back will see a pay cut.
More details on 2021 staffing will be released over the next few days.