|Derek "Bonecrusher" Dennis|
And that's the crossroads where the Saskatchewan Roughriders currently find themselves at 0-2 with both losses coming by a combined four points.
Veteran offensive tackle Derek Dennis - the CFL's reigning Most Outstanding Lineman while with Calgary - says his new team just doesn't know how to win yet.
"They're not used to a winning culture (here)," Dennis said after Thursday's practice. "They're not used to having guys in the locker room who have the utmost faith in themselves and the team. That's something that guys like me, Bakari Grant and Peter Dyakowski, guys who come from teams who are used to that environment, are trying to instill in everybody else."
The Riders got the lead against Winnipeg in Week 2 - 17-3 in the second quarter at home - but fell down 27-17 in the second half before tying the game at 37-37 and forcing overtime.
"Guys have to learn that regardless of the score, in this league no lead is safe and there's always plenty of time in games for anybody to come back," Dennis, who signed as a free agent with Saskatchewan this winter, observed. "We could've folded last week but the fact we came back shows the mentality around here is changing."
Dennis said the team isn't at a Make or Break point yet, but it's getting close.
"Me personally, I don't think we're in desperation mode but once we get that first win, it'll be a sigh of relief for a lot of guys," Dennis explained. "They're not accustomed to winning early in the season so for them to get that first win will probably help a lot of guys with that anxiety and those expections.
"Of course this city, this team, is expecting us to come out here and win. They didn't build this big stadium for us, and the fans don't cheer for us, to keep losing games. I think the direction the team is going, and the way we're playing, it's good. We're going to come out on the good side of games."
Roughriders Head Coach & GM Chris Jones was asked which comes first: confidence or wins?
"It's a good question," Jones said Thursday. "We've fallen short but I looked at a stat this morning. Since taking over in Edmonton, we've played 70 ball games and 13 of the 25 losses we've had have been by under a touchdown. I think 17 of the 35 wins have been by under a touchdown. We have to learn to make the plays when it matters.
"I told them this morning there's not a huge difference between each of those wins and losses. I asked them that if they could each take one thing back from that last game, would we have won? Running backs, receivers, each group, if you could take one mistake back, would it have meant a win? The answer's probably yes. We can't take it back now so we just have to find a way to finish when it's tight."
The 0-2 Roughriders host the 0-1 Hamilton Tiger-Cats Saturday night at 8:00 (TSN, 620 CKRM Rider Radio Network) and Derek Dennis knows he'll have his hands full with old foe John Chick.
"It was always physical battles," Dennis said of his games against the Ticat sack leader. "I never think anybody's too much of a challenge but I don't under-estimate any opponent. He's a double-digit sack guy so I can't take him lightly for that simple reason. You have to understand the type of player he is. He's got a high motor and he plays from the first whistle to the last whistle.
"I'm going to be in for a long night."
Both teams need a win on Saturday night, but it's unlikely the Tiger-Cats are as hungry right now as the Saskatchewan Roughriders.