Riders' head coach optimistic ahead of third matchup against Calgary
Just days away from the third straight meeting with the Stampeders, Saskatchewan Roughriders’ head coach Craig Dickenson said he is “optimistic” heading into Calgary this weekend.
Coming off a bye week on Tuesday, he said practice looked a bit rough as the rust was shaken off, but the team was looking sharp by day three on Thursday.
“We had some moments on both sides of the ball, completed some passes, got some interceptions on defence. The guys, the new players that we feel like are going to help us, look like they’re getting their legs under them,” said Dickenson.
Riders’ new addition Duke Williams has been trending up, as has fellow wide receiver Shaq Evans, who is recovering from injury. It appears that will be able to play on Saturday.
Cody Fajardo said having Williams and Evans on the roster will bring an element of excitement for the fans and team, but with it being their first game back the expectations can’t be too high.
“I know we’re going to go out there and try and get our timing down as early as possible and just try and move the football and give ourselves a chance to finish drives with seven points and not three,” said Fajardo.
The quarterback said, at the end of the day, the Riders need to execute better and not turn the ball over.
“We have yet to put a complete game together, offensively, defensively and special teams. I think once we do that we’ll hopefully put the league back on notice,” said Fajardo, adding the right time for the Riders to “get hot” is now with five games left before playoffs.
Dickenson said he is optimistic heading in to Calgary and he hopes the players can use the time they have left before kick off to prepare mentally and put the icing on the cake.
“I know we’re going to go into a tough place to play against the team that’s playing with a lot of confidence so, is it enough? I hope so and I think so.”
With only a few games left in the regular season, Dickenson said the team can still control their destiny in terms of the playoffs and hosting a playoff game.