Friday, February 8, 2019
CRAIG DICKENSON APPEARS ON CALGARY RADIO
Here's the transcript of the interview:
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE NAMED HEAD COACH OF THE ROUGHRIDERS?
It's really special. Just to have a group and an organization put their trust in you enough to name you the head coach means a lot. It means a lot to be the head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders just due to the fact I've had the chance to work for them, I've gotten a chance to know the people of the community and the province. Football is very important to them and they place a lot of trust and honour in working for that organization. So to be named the head coach and to be bestowed that sort of trust is very meaningful. I'm thrilled and really happy to get to work.
DOES IT COME WITH A LOT OF PRESSURE?
Yeah but that's okay. I've been asked that a couple times and there's pressure wherever you work and a lot of that is self-induced. Everybody that gets into sports wants to compete at a high level and wants to be as good as they're capable of being. It comes with the territory, and you want engaged, motivated fans. That's what you get on the prairies.
HOW WILL YOUR DUTIES CHANGE?
I don't know all the answers to that because it's still fairly new. It's been a month or a little under. You have to manage your time a little better and I asked my brother Dave about when he went from being a coordinator to the head coach. A lot of it has to do with having the ears and listening to your staff. Oftentimes when you're a coordinator you're in your own little world but when you become a head coach, you have an obligation to listen to your staff, find out what they're doing and how you can help them do their job better and improve their side of the ball.
I just think you have to be willing to listen. It's not necessarily putting your head down and work, work, work as much as it is managing your people and finding out ways you can help them out.
WHAT ABOUT THE BROTHER BATTLE WITH DAVE IN CALGARY?
It's gonna be fun. We've always had a competitive rivalry streak in our family and you sit at the kitchen table at Christmas and the peanuckle games get intense. This is great. It's going to be a real thrill to compete against my brother. I've enjoyed watching him from afar and seeing him succeed. We want to try to put a good product on the field in Saskatchewan and try to take a bite out of the champs.
WILL YOU NAME YOUR DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR WITH US TONIGHT?
We are not going to announce it until the end of the week, Friday or the next day. I'm not going to spill the beans! We've had some good, quality candidates apply for the job both in-house and out-of-house. We've done a good job of interviewing candidates and we feel pretty good about the hire so I'm going to have to let our PR people handle that.
DOES YOUR VISION DIFFER FROM CHRIS JONES?
Chris did a heckuva job. I thought he did a great job of building the team and getting good athletes in place. We're not gonna mess with that. We're certainly gonna try to continue to do what we did well under Chris. The areas we struggled in, we're going to invest some time and try to improve that. Every team's different, as you know, and every team has its own personality. It'll be a different group. It's never the same. We'll do the best we can on that.
WHAT WILL YOU DO AT QB?
This has been quite the off-season with QBs. I shouldn't say all, but the vast majority of them are free agents. Everybody's in the same boat. We're kind of waiting to see how the dominoes fall. I think once the first few guys sign, the other guys will wait to see what the market is for QBs and I think you'll start to see a lot of movement after that. But Zach Collaros, when he's on, he's as good as there is. I like his competitiveness. I like his toughness as a player. Whenever a guy gets a concussion, you're worried about that for the future and that's something we're concerned about. I think he's got a lot of good years left and we're going to visit with him. We want to take into consideration the guys we have on our team before we start looking elsewhere.
WILL WE HAVE SOME CLARITY NEXT WEEK?
This tampering rule is difficult. I'm going to be honest with you. You don't really know where you stand with anybody and the only way you figure that out is you have to talk with these people and you're not allowed to. I don't know. It would be nice to think that once Tuesday hits, you'd have a fair shot at them but you know a lot of them are (signed) by then. It's a difficult thing. It's a challenge to your staff but we're going to do our best to put our best foot forward and find the right guys for our football team.
DO YOU HAVE A GOOD CONNECTION WITH JEREMY O'DAY AND PAUL JONES?
You have to. I really trust Jeremy. I've known Paul Jones a long time too, but haven't worked with him as much. I really trust Jeremy. He has a great eye for talent, he understands what's important in building a team. He understands we have quite a few pieces in place, really. I think if you trust the guy's judgment you work with, and he trusts yours, it allows you to go out and put together a team. It makes your job a lot easier.
WILL YOU HAVE A SIMILAR STYLE TO OTHER HEAD COACHES?
I think you learn from everybody and you learn what things to do, and you also learn the things you wouldn't do. Don Mathews - I only worked for him for one year - but there are a lot things we both believe in. Huff - I worked with him for a few years - and he's a real attention-to-detail guy. I learned that from him. He says if a team's going to beat you, it's by putting time in in the film room, not by winging it. I really learned from Huff. You just learn from everybody and you have to be yourself when you're in front of the group and hope you've got some real solid assistants around you. Those are the ones that drive it.
Coaches are like QBs. When things are going good, you get a lot of credit. Maybe more than you deserve. And when you're struggling, you get a lot of blame and maybe sometimes more than you deserve. It goes with the territory. There's enough work out there, you don't need to create more. If you get good assistants, let them work and offer them support, it's not too much to do that and also be involved in one side of the ball.
WILL YOU STILL GET TOGETHER WITH DAVE THE NIGHT BEFORE GAMES?
That's still on because Dave owes me dinner. The last time we went out I had to pay because he had some excuse. We're definitely going to go out because it's his turn to pay and I'm not going to let that one slide.