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Friday, July 7, 2017

DEREK DENNIS: "THEY DIDN'T BUILD THIS STADIUM FOR US TO LOSE GAMES"

Derek "Bonecrusher" Dennis
It's the ultimate "Chicken and The Egg" argument: You can't win without confidence and you can't build confidence without wins.

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.

RP
@rodpedersen

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Uhhhh...we had a core of guys who were used to winning and having the utmost confidence in themselves and eachother. Jones cut ties with them all.

Thats been my beef from the get go - a TOTAL tear down wasnt necessary. An overhaul? Absolutely - but the axing of the character vets on the team were totally based on Jones' DESIRE to build it his way, from the ground up.

Rudyman said...

Yeah confident guys that had three wins before Jones took over. No wonder you didnt sign your name.

Anonymous said...

Love this Derek Dennis. Huge acquisition for the Riders. Green and white WILL get the win against Hamilton. Look for Austin to blow a gasket on the sidelines.

Bart

Anonymous said...

When will people get over the Durant,dresser,chick.... so on and so forth thing. Get over it and stop living in the past!

Anonymous said...

A total teardown was not necessary.. I beg to differ. The contracts and trades the previous admin put us in was a mess to climb out of. A total tear down was necessary. I keep saying this, but this is the START of year 2 of the rebuild.. It takes time but people want instant results.

I was at the home opener, the first half was awesome. The second half, well they came out flat and stunk. They will fix that. We have a lot of talent on this team. They will continue to adjust.

Cory

Anonymous said...

Jones is going all the way back to his days in Edmonton to try and make his record look better - how desperate and pathetic is that !!!

Anonymous said...

It would be easy to get over Chick, Dressler and Durant if any of them had been replaced.
But they haven't, so I'll just despise the guy that released them when he had no clue how to fill those spots.

BB

Anonymous said...

To start with, I firmly believe that Mr. Jones is way overrated; just because he did win a Grey Cup in Edmonton doesn't make him a savior in Saskatchewan. To add insult to injury, he decimated the team when he arrived. If he is such a great defensive leader and coach, his results certainly don't show this. Unfortunately, If these types of results are the norm for this season, we will be losing diehard fans who will not attend games and purchase rider pride items. His record is now etched in stone,etc.

Anonymous said...

"The second half, well they came out flat and stunk. They will fix that."

Anytime now would be good. I believe the Riders were held to 6 or fewer 3rd quarter points 13 times last year (twice in two games this year).

I'm still waiting to see improvement before I heap any praise on Jones and co.

Anonymous said...

Anon #1 is an idiot who is trying to paint his childish hero-worship of favorite players as some sort of principled stance.

We had over $500K committed to a DE and a receiver.

Just let that sink in for a minute...

Taman left the roster in absolute shambles. A tear-down WAS necessary, and those who say otherwise are simply ignorant.

Anonymous said...

Both Chick and Dressler have absolutely been replaced. Chick by Jefferson. And Dressler? Either of Collins or Holley is as good. And the receiving CORPS as a whole is significantly stronger than what we had with Dressler here.

Get over your crybaby issues.

Anonymous said...

Chris Jones "decimated" a 3 win football team. Riiiiiiiiight...

Anonymous said...

Oskee ... ...
Oskee ... ...
Holy MAKINAW!
Riders stink!

C'mon praire "bum"kins!
Cheer along, you know the words.

STRAIGHT
OUTAOF
TIGERTOWN

Anonymous said...

That is an unsubstantiated excuse. Jones did not make an effort to fairly RENEGOTIATE those contracts. How do I know? Dressler said so.

Anonymous said...

This is epitome of Rider fans. They would have preferred to keep Dressler and Chick, be winless and have zero future.

Of all the Rider players Jones cut how many are still in the league? I count three: Dressler, Chick and ... who smart Rider fans?

Anonymous said...

For Damn Sake you guys. Derek Dennis comes on here makes a Positive statement and some jerks just have to yap their heads off about other players that are gone. Gone is the same as Dead, they will not be back. DO YOU GET IT YET OR IS THAT STILL TO DAMN DEEP FOR YOU ?
Let's concentrate on what is ahead and forget the past. "IT IS GONE' !!!.

Anonymous said...

Okay but you aren't in Edmonton anymore. That makes those stats almost meaningless. To put it in perspective, Jones has now been here for 20 games (18 in 2016 and 2 in 2017). Of those 20 games, they have lost 15. Of those 15 losses, they lost five by less than a TD. They won five games, four by three points or less. They dominated in one game. They lost ten games by a TD or more. In 2016, they were outscored 546 to 341, a difference of 205 points. You can hardly compare stats when Jones was coach in Edmonton but here is coach/GM and VP.
As for "gone is as good as dead", has anyone told Kevin Glen that because he has come back from the dead twice already. Do you get it? Well do you?

Anonymous said...

Who gives #!@& what Winnipeg Blue Bomber Dressler said. He had his chance in Riderville.

Anonymous said...

Hardrick is in Winnipeg. Tyree Hollins is in Montreal. Those two come to my mind right now. Another question is how many of the 104 players that dressed for the Riders in 2016, brought in by Jones, are still here? Some of the players that were here are very good players for other teams, such as Shaun Lemon, but for their own reasons did not want to play here. A lot of the 104 are playing nowhere, even though they were hand picked by Jones and Murphy. I guess they aren't such great talent evaluators. It is more like throwing enough stuff up against the wall and seeing what will stick.

3RD and 1 said...

A Hamiltonian Tiger Cat calling SK Rider fans dumb names. Shows the immaturity level of Ontario bred, self serving, less than knowledgable football fan. With Hamilton getting their ass served to them on a platter by Ricky Ray and Company. I'd be a little quieter until I knew just how bad my team was. Then again hiding under anonymity makes so many of them keyboard warriors that can run and hide when their boisterous comments turn out to be ludicrous.

Anonymous said...

I've never heard a coach reference his old team as much as Jones. You will never hear Babcock talk about Detroit while coaching in Toronto. who cares what you did, it's what will you do here and so far this defence mess is all in him

Anonymous said...

It is pretty obvious that a lot of people care what Dressler said. It is Jones that I don't care up listen to anymore. Why would I care what he did in Edmonton, where at least they were smart enough not to make him GM.

Anonymous said...

Smart rider fan. Hollings db Montreal Hadaria rec Montreal Hardrick ol Winnipeg Richard ol B.C. Question for you: How many defence starters from week one in 2016 started the first week of 2017 for our riders? I count one Ed Rainey. Boy that coach sure can coach them up and find talent. Lol.

CM said...

Mike Reilly definitely made Jones look good. He won a lot of close games for him as he did the opener this year. Hard to be pumped as a fan when the QB is 38 yrs old and has played for almost every team and has never won a cup.

Anonymous said...

The game will be close at halftime then the cats will make adjustments and pull away in the second half. Hamilton 42 riders 27 .

Anonymous said...

Anon #1 here, I'll repeat - Jones did not make an effort to fairly renegotiate those contracts. Had he done that, this is a different story.

Derek Dennis said it - this team doesnt have guys that know how to win together and Jones didnt make a real effort to keep the ones that did.

To think that the total teardown was done for any other reason than Jones's DESIRE to build to his full specification is ignorant.

Thats the problem with handing the keys to the whole football operation to the head coach, before he's got the record and EXPERIENCE to warrant it.

Anonymous said...

No thanks.

Anonymous said...

I just plain dont like how jones does things, on the field and off of it. I never have, as long as hes been in this league. So, until he somehow changes my mind, Ill keep on whining about him, thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

I keep reading about Dressler, Chick and Durant. Are these notable guys? Where do they play out of?

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many Jones' supporters actually go to the games. Long term season ticket holders have been through a lot over the years and most don't support Jones after the fines and lack of talent he has recruited. The defence is terrible and the wins are going to be hard to come by this year. Air Canada and West Jet will be happy with all of the players that will be coming and going later this year!

Anonymous said...

I've been to hundreds of games over 40 years. I've seen the 'lottery/begging years" I'm a huge Jones supporter. But you'll probably just call me stupid because you're right I'm wrong.

Rob C said...

I wish you guys would grow up. I have cheered for the Riders since the 60s, through the ups and downs. I have never seen so many so-called fans spew such vitriol over something that happened in the past. That was then and this is now. Derek Dennis believes in this team,even if so many fair-weather fans don't. The multitude of negative comments do nothing to help the team. It makes our fan base look weak and divided, that's all.

Anonymous said...

You may support anyone you like. Those of us who do not like Jones just want the same courtesy without being called names.

Anonymous said...

3rd and 1 you keep dissing people for hiding under anonymity yet don't use your real name. I suspect you weren't handed your handle by your parents. No irony there.

Anonymous said...

To answer your post.. what are your expectations? Instant results? Unrealistic..
He had to tear apart the team. We were old and had many overpaid players. It's not like they were the make or break. Look at the season of 2015 as an example. People like you need to stop and actually think before you start spewing. We are a much better team compared to 2015 and 2016. He'll I honestly think we aren't far off to start rattling off wins. We've lost by a total of 4 points the last 2 games.
Might as well fire everyone and start from scratch again and be in the same boat for the next 2 or 3 years. Logical thinking eh?

Anonymous said...

Lmao!! Probably the best post here. ^
So many uneducated, ignorant fans out there.

Anonymous said...

You guys are dumb. Shawn lemon didn't want to drop back into coverage. Had an attitude. As maybe a reason why he's been on so many teams. Ask Calgary what they think of him. ��
Plus we lost Knox and otha to the NFL. Justin cox.. well you know how that worked out. Give you heads a shake guys.

Anonymous said...

And with all of our old, overpaid players how many wins did we get in 2015? Teardown was needed and you people are just impatient.. plain and simple. He's turning this team into a contender. As you can see we've only lost by a combined 4 points. Plus that beautiful no quit attitude.

Anonymous said...

Lack of talent. What an ignorant statement. There is more that are season ticket holders, that love jones. More than you think there is anyways. Unrealistic expectations... a year and 2 games in and let's start from scratch again. Idiots..