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Thursday, November 23, 2017

GREY CUP NOTEBOOK: WEDNESDAY

Photo: CFL.ca
OTTAWA - Time has done little to diminish the disappointment of Dave Dickenson's last Grey Cup visit to Ottawa.

Dickenson was the surprise starter for the B.C. Lions ahead of league MVP Casey Printers in the 20014 championship game. Dickenson, a three-time Grey Cup champion, played the entire game, but the Lions came up short in a 27-10 loss to the Toronto Argonauts.

"I remember the losses more than the wins ... and '04 stings,'' Dickenson said Wednesday during the Grey Cup coaches news conference. "When you lose you look back in a different light and certainly wish we could've done things different.''

That win was redemption for Toronto starter Damon Allen, who'd been dealt by B.C. to the Argos the previous season after the Lions signed Dickenson as a free agent. Allen was named the game MVP after passing for 299 yards and a TD.

Dickenson, now Calgary's head coach, returns to TD Place Stadium on Sunday when the Stampeders face the Toronto Argonauts in the '17 Grey Cup game.

Dickenson began the '04 season as the Lions' starter before suffering a knee injury. Printers stepped in and was simply brilliant, completing 325-of-494 passes (65.8 per cent) for 5,088 yards with 35 TDs and just 10 interceptions.

But Printers injured his throwing shoulder in B.C.'s 27-25 overtime West final win over Saskatchewan. That forced Lions head coach Wally Buono to start Dickenson against Toronto.

"I remember Wally making the right decision starting me,'' Dickenson said. "That was a weird week, a weird, weird week.

"Casey was the MVP that year, he threw the ball underhand during practice to save his shoulder. Now that I'm a head coach ... I want to see what I'm going to get in the game in practice. When you can't do that it makes it very difficult to have faith that person is going to get the job done.''

Dickenson, a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, finished 18-of-27 passing for 201 yards and a TD while running eight times for 36 yards.

"We did a lot of things wrong,'' Dickenson said. "We had a fight on the bus the day before the game.

"It wasn't the type of situation that I would want to happen for our team this year.''
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OTTAWA - Marc Trestman recognized Dave Dickenson's coaching potential 10 years ago.

The two will square off Sunday in the Grey Cup game when Toronto faces Calgary at TD Place. Trestman will complete his first season as the Argonauts head coach while Dickenson is in his second year as the Stampeders' head man.

Shortly after Dickenson was released by the B.C. Lions in November 2007, Trestman approached the veteran quarterback about becoming part of his coaching staff with the Montreal Alouettes.

Dickenson declined because he still wanted to continue playing. He spent the 2008 season with Calgary before becoming the club's running backs coach in '09.

Trestman spent five seasons as Montreal's head coach from 2008 to 2012, reaching the Grey Cup three times and winning twice before leaving to become the Chicago Bears head coach.

Dickenson was promoted to offensive co-ordinator with Calgary in 2011 before replacing John Hufnagel as head coach in 2016.
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OTTAWA - Defensive lineman Charleston Hughes of the Calgary Stampeders wasted no time kicking off the Grey Cup trash talk Wednesday.

The Stampeders face the Toronto Argonauts on Sunday at TD Place in a battle of the two division first-place finishers. Calgary took spot in the West with a CFL-best 13-4-1 record while the Argos (9-9) finished atop the East.

A big part of Toronto's success this year has been the play of quarterback Ricky Ray. After being relegated to nine games the last two years, Ray started 17 contests this season, passing for over 5,000 yards for the first time since 2008.

Ray, completing his 15th CFL season is also the East Division nominee for the league's outstanding player award. But Hughes wasn't giving the Argos quarterback any love Wednesday.

"Ricky Ray is not difficult to take down,'' Hughes said. "He's one of the easier quarterbacks to sack because when he sees you coming he's going to turtle.''

Hughes led the CFL in sacks (11), anchoring a Calgary pass rush that finished tied with Toronto atop the league standings with 50. The Argos allowed 40 sacks, sixth in the nine-team league.

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FAJARDO CONTINUES: While Cody Fajardo will dress for Sunday's Grey Cup game, his former college teammate Colin Kaepernick remains out of football.

Fajardo succeeded Kaepernick as the starter at the University of Nevada, Reno. Kaepernick went on to play for the NFL's San Francisco 49ers, leading the team into the Super Bowl.

But Kaepernick has remained unsigned since opting out of his deal with San Francisco in March 2016. Some say it's because his performance had declined, but others suggest it's likely because of his decision to sit, then kneel during the American national anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality in the U.S.

The six-foot-five, 215-pound Fajardo played 41 games at Nevada from (2010-14), becoming just the second player in FBS history to accumulate 9,000 yards passing and 3,000 yards rushing in career. The other was Kaepernick.

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QUIET RAY: Ricky Ray has been instrumental in the Toronto Argonauts' resurgence this season but head coach Marc Trestman said the veteran quarterback remains a quiet entity.

"Ricky Ray shows you that leaders come all different ways,'' Trestman said Wednesday during the Grey Cup coaches news conference. "Ricky Ray is really the surgeon, he's really the guy who just does it but the vocal part of him is not there.

"He can do it ... if he's got something to say he'll be very specific and right on but he's not going to reach out and speak to the team unless I ask him to. I've not asked him very much to do it, only on one or two occasions have I asked him to break the huddle at the end of practice.''

Ray has a well-earned reputation of being a quiet leader, someone who'll never openly celebrate a positive situation or chew out a teammate for an on-field miscue. After rallying Toronto to a 25-21 East Division final win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Ray actually was photographed smiling.

"I know this, when I go to work every day I can't wait to get there because I get to work with Ricky Ray,'' Trestman said. "Ricky Ray gives us hope.

"He loves football and when you walk into the meeting room you want a quarterback who not only loves football but really loves football and will do everything to prepare properly. By the same part of it he brings out the best in everybody because we don't want to let him down.''
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TORONTO - The mayors of Toronto and Calgary say they've agreed to the terms of the traditional Grey Cup bet as the Argonauts and Stampeders prepare to meet Sunday in Ottawa.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Toronto Mayor John Tory say the losing mayor will contribute $5 for every point scored by the winning team to a food bank in the winning mayor's city.

Tory has selected the Daily Bread Food Bank while Nenshi has selected the Calgary Food Bank.

Both mayors are encouraging fans to make similar friendly bets to benefit their own local food banks.

The losing mayor will also send the winning mayor a selection of local craft beer.

In addition, the losing mayor must wear the winning team's jersey and read a poem - written or selected by the winning mayor - at their next city council meeting.

(Canadian Press)

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Although these two teams finished first in their divisions I find it hard to get excited for this one. Trestman is a tremendous coach who seems to know how to get the best out of his players and Dickinson year after year has proven he too is an excellent coach as well. Don't really care which one gets to hoist the cup. As for players I think Ricky Ray is a class act and it would be great to see him hoist the cup one last time.

Anonymous said...

If Toronto is to have a shot at winning, they will need James Wilder Jr. to have a Kory Sheets like Grey Cup performance.

Anonymous said...

Altough these two teams finished first in their divisions I find it hard to get excited for this one. How can anyone take seriously a league that rewards a mediocre win/loss 9-9 season such as the Toronto Argonauts while other teams who aspire to be the best with a winning record sit idly by on the sidelines? This is definitely not a showcase of the best, CFL East, West division format has got to go. Wont be watching the GC this year as Calgary wins easily as they are best of the best without a doubt. Go Calgary!

Pal Opll

Anonymous said...

If you don't watch the grey cup because the riders aren't in it your not much of a cfl fan, I suspect much of this is sour grapes. Or should the league just give the riders a bye to the final every year to keep all the whiners happy and tuned in.

Anonymous said...

I agree that this East West crap has to go. The only reason the 9-9 Argos are in the GC... they were rewarded with a home game for the final. If the 12-6 EE or 10-8 Riders were given that home game against the Argos. I think we would see a West West Grey Cup.
I agree with Winnipeg’s ability this year. In the Semi final we saw the 2nd place playing the 3rd place team. While the game in Ottawa saw the 4th place team playing the 6th place team. While the 5th Place team sat at home waiting to hoist a game. Pure BS! The 1st and 2nd Place teams should have had the by. That being Calgary and EDM. With the 3rd hoisting the 6th and the 4th place hoisting the 5th in the semis. So Winnipeg hoisting Ottawa while SK hoisted Toronto. The way the CFL playoffs are right now. It reminds me of the Government Provincial Equaluzation payments. With Quebec getting more than 50% of the equalization funds. While Provinces like Alberta, SK, BC get jack!
Nothing in this Country is about an equal chance of East versus West. The division has always been and will always be a line drawn to give every and all advantages to the East. Hell the East has spin Doctors to come up with every excuse as to why the division should remain. From the difference in Population to the time zone. Nothing is left unturned to give the East every advantage possible. They still think the West is home to dumb Hillbillies and homesteaders. Until someone changes things. We actually are to let the BS run as long as it has.
It’s cheaper to fly from Manitoba, SK or Alberta to LA than it is to fly to Toronto.
Yet people sit back and wonder why this Country is so divided!!! Stupidity at its finest.

Anonymous said...

I still like the east - west format but maybe if the cross over team has a better record than the east team ,the cfl should change the format so the team with the most wins hosts the playoff game, if that’s a west team then so be it, that would make the eastern teams have to pull up their socks and try to do better. That would be a subtle but good change I think.

Anonymous said...

The '89 Grey Cup champion Riders were 9-9.

Anonymous said...

Bang on satement! You hit the nail on the head! You understand the simplicity of it all.

Pal Opll

Anonymous said...

That was 28 years ago bub! Get with the now.

Anonymous said...

Yawn ... 2017 Grey Cup.

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