Riders winding down training camp, preparing for regular season
REGINA -- With no pre-season in 2021 the Green and White game is the closest the Saskatchewan Roughriders will get to a game-like scenario before their season kicks off on Aug. 6.
The scrimmage simulated gameplay and the players were able to get something out of it, the team's coach said.
“It brought an awareness to our conditioning level, and when I said to the team ‘we’re not ready to play a game yet’ it wasn’t meant to be an insult or a negative, it’s just reality,” Head Coach Craig Dickenson said.
He said the players were able to grow by getting a better understanding of the pace and speed, which he believes will help them next Friday against the BC Lions.
Overall, Dickenson is pleased with the team and thinks they have a “good core group of players.”
The final roster is just days away, and there are some positions up for grabs.
A starting offensive tackle position is wide open.
“I need to see some physicality from our offensive tackle position… that’s something I’d like to see,” said Dickenson.
A returner position is also available. Dickenson said it’s hard for returners to stand out in practice, so it’s likely they’ll dress different players over a few weeks.
Both returning and new players are feeling the pressure of making the final roster.
Jordan Williams-Lambert is looking to finish strong after returning to practice today due to a hand injury sustained earlier in camp.
“[I’m] just finding a way to get my name out there as much as I can it’s been unfortunate that that’s been the case, but you know that’s uncontrollable, and I look forward to focusing on the things I can control, which is doing my job at a high level,” said Williams-Lambert, wide receiver for the Riders in 2018 and 2019.
Newcomer DeMarquis Gates is also looking to secure his spot on the team these final few days of camp.
“Hopefully what I’ve been doing in practice and stuff impress the coaches and hopefully gets me on to that last roster so I can make some plays in the real games and show you all how I really play football,” said the linebacker.
In Dickenson’s eyes, the Riders have had a competitive camp and in the final week, he is looking for guys that flash both on film and in practice.
“I wanna see a couple guys make some plays, and if they do that they’ve got a chance of solidifying their spot or possibly making us change our mind here in the last few days,” said. Dickenson.
He said the player will have to maintain their health and make some tough decisions to be ready for the season.