Last weekend during the broadcast of the Saskatchewan Roughriders final regular season game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, mention was made of a comment from Riders head coach Craig Dickenson to his players, to make a note about where they were. He made sure his players ingrained the fact that a return trip to Hamilton a few weeks later, would mean they ran the West Division table and earned a spot in the Grey Cup game on December 12th.
We have kept in touch with rookie Roughriders starting offensive lineman Logan Ferland, who confirmed his coaches’ comments.
“It is something to think about. I mean, it’s something that he brought up to just look where you’re at right now, and this is where we want to be in three weeks,” shared Ferland, who emphasized the eight days of practice his team has to be ready for their first postseason challenge, “Are you going to look back on it if we lose and regret not watching enough film, working out, or not going through plays enough and things like that. That’s really what I think he was trying to do, is get guys to realize the season does end quick, and to start visualizing being [in Hamilton] in three weeks.”
Ferland quickly turned back to the focus of one game at a time in the playoffs, but how looking ahead gives the team a good idea of where they want to be.
“It is something good to get in your mind.”
The first order of business is a home playoff date against the Calgary Stampeders Sunday afternoon. Kickoff on what should be a beautiful day in Regina is set for 3:30, and the Roughriders will get the chance to prove themselves after a very up-and-down season.
Following a special debut at Mosaic Stadium and a string of home games to begin the season, Saskatchewan seemed on top of the world starting a perfect 3-0. There was even a special family night mixed in between. Then adversity would strike in losing back-to-back games against the leagues top team in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, starting the Riders middle of the season stretch that was inconsistent to say the least. Saskatchewan would assure their spot over Calgary in the standings with some key late season wins, including one in Calgary following two tight losses to their rival.
The Roughriders offensive line has been a main point of contention throughout the season, and a big push from Ferland and his fellow lineman will need to be at the forefront of the action if Saskatchewan hopes to act on their championship aspirations.
This week’s winner will take on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers next week in the Western Final, as the date of the 108th Grey Cup is approaching fast.