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Riders prepare for pre-season clash against Bombers with Harris at the helm

The Saskatchewan Roughriders will play in their final pre-season matchup against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Friday, a game that will see quarterback Trevor Harris dawn the green and white for the first time.

Harris said he thinks it’s one of those things he’ll think about after the game.

“When I’m getting ready for the game, my full focus is on what I need to do between the white lines. But after the game it’ll probably be one of those things I’ll kind of get to look at the green and white. Something I’ve talked about that I’ve always wanted to do, be able to put on that jersey,” Harris explained.

However, according to head coach, Craig Dickenson, Harris will not play the full four quarters.

“He’s told me he’s got a checklist, whatever that is, he wants me to accomplish during the game so he said, ‘As soon as you get all those checks, you’re out of there.’ That’s all I know for now,” Harris said.

Dickenson said he has some expectations for Harris when he hits the field.

“I’m expecting poise. I’m expecting good decision making and I hope he can move the team down the field. He’s a leader out there. He’s who I want back there behind centre. So I hope he just gets some rhythm and gets a chance to get into a groove with his guys,” Dickenson said.

“We want to give him a certain amount of throws, we want to see him in certain situations. We want to give him a red one series, we hope we can do a tempo series with him. We want to make sure he gets a go ball and make sure he gets a corner route thrown,” he added.

Harris’ spot on the Riders may be secure heading into the season but that is not the case for everyone. Saskatchewan will be tasked with making some final cuts following the conclusion of Friday’s game and heading into the regular season next week.

“We’ll have some tough decisions to make, especially in the d-line group because it’s a good bunch. Offensive line we have good depth as well. So overall, pretty good depth and you only start figuring out what your team looks like 45 [players] and 10 on the practice roster. It gets pretty thin. So we’ll have a little bit of work to do,” Dickenson said.

Dickenson noted it will be around 25 players they will have to let go and when asked how he will weigh their performance in this final pre-season test, he noted it’s a weighted system.

“We grade the on games but we have opinions based on practice in the first pre-season game, but it’s going to carry a lot of weight. There’ll be a few guys that make or break it in this game and there’ll be a few guys that confirm what we’ve already known,” Dickenson explained.

The hot topic amongst Rider Nation is who will be Harris’ primary backup this season.

“We’ll get Trevor out of the game maybe after a quarter and half. Then we’ll just let the other three play and figure it out. Hopefully get equal reps but we’ll keep our fingers crossed,” Dickenson said.

As for Harris, he is using this game to get back into the feel of football, especially with an entirely new team at the helm.

“It’s more than adapting to the new system, getting to know the new receivers, the new cadences, the things that we’re trying to do offensively,” Harris shared. “I just think it’s going to be fun to kind of disperse the football.”

The Riders will hit the road to take on the Bombers Friday night at 6:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on TSN. Top Stories

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