RIDERS MAKE IT OFFICIAL

August 28th, 2014

The Saskatchewan Roughriders today announced international wide receiver Weston Dressler has signed with the team. As per club policy terms of the contract were not released.

Dressler (5’7 – 179) returns to Saskatchewan after attending training camp with Kansas City Chiefs where he played three preseason games, recording one 19-yard kickoff return.

The Bismarck, North Dakota native has spent his entire six year pro career with the Green and White. After 98 career regular season games the 29-year-old sits third in franchise history with 442 receptions and 6,536 yards, while his 43 receiving touchdowns rank fifth all-time.

Dressler has surpassed the 1,000 yard receiving mark in five of his six seasons and has been named a West Division All-Star four times (2009, 2011-13) and a CFL All-Star twice (2012-13).

He recorded five receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown as the Riders won the 2013 Grey Cup championship.

MADANI: TERMS OF THE DRESSLER DEAL

August 28th, 2014

By: Arash Madani

One of the decade’s most sought-after CFL free agents is remaining in Regina, Sportsnet has learned.

Receiver Weston Dressler, whose services became a sweepstakes-style bidding war league-wide after being released by the Kansas City Chiefs, turned down a higher offer from Ottawa and is returning to Saskatchewan.

The one-year, pro-rated deal is worth approximately $200,000, including a small signing bonus.

The 29-year-old had previously played six seasons with the Roughriders, including the 2013 Grey Cup title run. Because Dressler knows coordinator George Cortez’s offence, and has terrific chemistry with quarterback Darian Durant, it’s believed he will play in Sunday afternoon’s Labour Day Classic against Winnipeg.

Dressler made the decision early Thursday morning, weighing not only the richer opportunity from the expansion RedBlacks, but as Sportsnet first reported Wednesday evening, a sizeable offer from the Stampeders. According to sources, Calgary quietly entered the fray after Dressler became a free agent.

Ottawa had the most money and the longest term to offer Dressler, while Saskatchewan presented a one-year contract to the five-time, 1,000-yard receiver. Because the option-year clause was removed from the latest collective bargaining agreement between the players association and the league, the Riders deal still gives Dressler flexibility to explore the open market this winter, giving him another chance to cash in. It is believed the Roughriders will want to begin talks on an extension sometime this fall to avoid the two-time league all-star getting to free agency.

The Riders offence has been stagnant this season, and the organization’s hope is that adding Dressler can ignite Durant and the passing game.

Dressler signed with the Chiefs last winter, and had made a favourable impression with the NFL club during OTA’s and mini-camps. But he did not survive the first round of cuts this week when rosters had to be pared to 75 players.

DRESSLER WATCH, WEDNESDAY QB UPDATE

August 27th, 2014

What’s the hotter topic in the Rider Nation these days: the Weston Dressler Watch or the starting quarterback situation for Sunday’s Labour Day Classic XLVIII?

The quarterback question is an easy one. Top pivot Darian Durant missed the second half of Sunday’s 20-16 win at B.C. with an injured throwing hand and participated only lightly in Wednesday’s Day 1 of practice. Head coach Corey Chamblin said they haven’t settled on Durant or Tino Sunseri as the starter against Winnipeg and the decision could come as late as Friday.

As for the Weston Dressler Watch, the Riders made their contract offer to the free agent slotback on Wednesday and say the ball is now in his court. It’s likely Dressler and his American-based agent Justin Seurer are currently sifting through contract offers from a variety of CFL teams. It’s been reported the Ottawa RedBlacks have offered $250,000 per season.

As for Dressler’s former Rider teammates, they’re hoping he returns to the Green & White.

“He’s a great player and he’s excited to get back and play football I’m sure,” said Rider wide receiver Rob Bagg. “There’s a lot of amazing things and reasons why to play football in this province so I know he’s evaluating all that stuff and I’m sure we’ll find out soon.”

Bagg was asked if he feels the need to be a recruiter for Dressler’s services.

“He knows that I’m going to support him either way,” Bagg said. “He’s my best friend if football ended tomorrow. It’s not like we would call each other more or less. Like I said, I’m going to support him either way. It’s a business decision right now and he’s looking at all those angles. I’m sure we’ll find out in the next couple hours or so.”

What? Really? In the next couple of hours? That piqued reporters’ interest in Bagg’s media scrum so he was quick to check himself.

“Well, whenever they figure out a deal,” Bagg laughed. “What time is it?”

Rider quarterback Darian Durant said he has let Dressler know he’d like to see him back in a Roughrider uniform.

“I try to say my piece,” Durant offered. “I spoke with him and all I did was say my piece. I told him we’d love to have him but at the end of the day he has to make the best decision for Weston, his family and his pockets. We’d love to have him here but if there’s a better situation out there for him then he has to do what’s best for him.

“That’s with anyone in life. A lot of people will get upset when athletes switch jobs but at the same time, if you had an opportunity to make a lot more money and leave your job you would do it as well. It’s just a tough situation but as a friend, I want him to do what’s best for him and his family.”

Rider coach Corey Chamblin admitted he’s anxiously watching the situation as well.

“I got my pom-poms like everybody else,” Chamblin said. “Just looking at it, Brendan and those guys take care of that. At this point I guess it’s all about money. Weston knows as far as football what we’re all about and what we do. I can’t give you any updates on that.”

DRESSLER CLEARS NFL WAIVERS

August 26th, 2014

Let the Weston Dressler sweepstakes begin.
 
The CFL announced Tuesday that Dressler had cleared NFL waivers and therefore was an unrestricted free agent. The former Saskatchewan Roughriders slotback was released Monday by the Kansas City Chiefs.
 
The Riders released Dressler, 29, in January – roughly two weeks before he was scheduled to become a free agent – so he could explore his options south of the border. Shortly after working out for the Chiefs, Dressler signed with the NFL club but donned No. 13 in honour of Saskatchewan’s rabid football fans, affectionately dubbed the 13th Man.
 
The five-foot-eight, 179-pound native of Bismarck, N.D., spent his entire six-year CFL career with Saskatchewan, registering 442 catches for 6,531 yards and 43 TDs. He surpassed the 1,000-yard receiving plateau five times, including the last four years.
 
Dressler had five catches for a game-high 81 yards and a TD in Saskatchewan’s 45-23 Grey Cup victory over Hamilton last November at Regina’s Mosaic Stadium. A two-time all-star, Dressler was the CFL’s top rookie in 2008.
 
Dressler appeared in three exhibition games with Kansas City, recording a 19-yard kickoff return.
 
(The Canadian Press)

RIDER NOTES

August 26th, 2014

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today that international defensive back Tad Kornegay has signed a one-day contract with the team and will subsequently retire as a Roughrider.

An eight year CFL veteran, Kornegay played five consecutive seasons (2007-2011) with the Roughriders after being acquired by the team in June, 2007 after spending two seasons with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He also played for the B.C. Lions in 2011 and Calgary Stampeders in 2012.

In his time with the Green and White, Kornegay tallied 174 defensive tackles, 20 special teams tackles, four interceptions and two quarterback sacks in 61 regular season games. He was a member of the 2007 Grey Cup Championship team and played in the 2009 and 2010 games.

For his career, Kornegay played 116 regular season games, six playoff games and four Grey Cup games.

It’s an event not to be missed! The Saskatchewan Roughriders are proud to present their annual “SGI Play it Safe” Day Saturday, August 30th at Mosaic Stadium. Rider players and coaches, Gainer the Gopher, the 620 CKRM Rider Cheer Team, the 620 CKRM Pep Band and the U of R Conservatory Rider Drum Line will all be on hand.

Festivities begin at 9:00AM on the bricks on the west side of Mosaic Stadium. Gates will open at 10:00AM where fans will be invited to make their way into the stands to watch the Roughriders as they hit the field for walk-thru at 10:45AM.

After the conclusion of the walk-thru, the team will be introduced to the crowd and a public autograph session will follow (approximately 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm). The Roughriders are encouraging everyone to come early as a limited amount of autograph cards and giveaways will be available.

RIDER INJURY UPDATE

August 26th, 2014

Saskatchewan Roughrider national fullback Scott McHenry suffered a neck injury during Sunday night’s game in Vancouver.

McHenry, who was injured in the fourth quarter, was treated on field before being taken to hospital following the game where he was diagnosed with a stable, undisplaced fracture involving the sixth cervical vertebrae and subsequently released. He has no neurological symptoms.

The 27-year-old joined the Riders as the team traveled back to Regina today. He is expected to make a complete recovery.

Meanwhile quarterback Darian Durant will receive treatment on his injured right hand over the next 48 hours and be re-evaluated on Wednesday’s Day 1 of the practice week.

DRESSLER CUT

August 25th, 2014

The NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs released 11 players on Monday morning, including receiver Weston Dressler.  Dressler only got on the field for one play in each of the Chiefs’ past two preseason games.  There is a now a 10-day period for Dressler to clear NFL waivers before he’s free to sign with any NFL team.  Otherwise he’s likely headed back to Canada where he’s expected to draw rich offers from Saskatchewan, but also B.C., Ottawa, Winnipeg and perhaps more.

We’ll have more on the topic on today’s SportsCage on 620 CKRM at 4 pm.  We’ll be broadcasting live from The Cooperators Centre in advance of the Regina Pats’ annual Blue & White game.

RIDERS 20 LIONS 16

August 25th, 2014

VANCOUVER – Tino Sunseri’s first CFL career touchdown pass sparked the Saskatchewan Roughriders to a comeback 20-16 victory over the B.C. Lions on Sunday.

Saskatchewan spoiled Lions president Dennis Skulsky’s guarantee of a B.C. win.

As a result, the 33,196 fans who attended Sunday’s game will receive a free ticket to a future game. The Riders (6-2) are now tied for second place with Winnipeg in the ultra-competitive West Division. The Lions (5-4) fell to third place.

The game was decided on the final play of the third quarter. With the Riders scrimmaging from the B.C. one-yard line, offensive lineman Dan Clark lined up as an eligible receiver at tight end and got his hands on a high Sunseri pass in the end zone and held on, while falling backward. The TD and Chris Milo’s convert gave the Roughriders their first lead of the game and put them ahead to stay before Josh Bartel’s punt single in the fourth quarter rounded out the scoring.

Both teams lost their starting quarterbacks to injuries.

The Riders were forced to play the second half with rarely used backup Sunseri at the helm. After playing the entire first half, starter Darian Durant was sidelined with an apparent finger injury.

(The Canadian Press)

CHAMBLIN ON “THE GUARANTEE”

August 22nd, 2014

Following the Roughriders’ final practice of the week on Friday, head coach Corey Chamblin was asked to respond to B.C. Lions President Dennis Skulsky’s guarantee that his team will beat Saskatchewan Sunday evening when the two teams meet at B.C. Place (5:00 pm, TSN, CKRM).

“It kind of loses its luster,” Chamblin smirked. “When you look at it, that’s three of them now: I did it (two years ago on Jon Cornish), Murray McCormick did it (last week) and now Dennis. I don’t know if I really want to get into it. It’s like a copycat-type thing. But that’s good! It makes the game exciting. We know what their mindset is and he’s supposed to think like that. But like anything else, actions speak louder than words.”

The Leader Post’s Murray McCormick asked Chamblin if he takes it as a slight towards his football team or if he realizes it’s just a marketing ploy.

“Everything’s a slight towards me Murray,” Chamblin smiled. “That keeps us aggressive. We use anything we can so we understand what they’re trying to do but at the same time, we’re gonna play a football game and we’re going to have an aggressive mindset.”

Chamblin was asked if Skulsky’s comments are bulletin board material for the Riders in advance of the game.

“Of course you’re gonna use it!” Chamblin continued. “But it doesn’t matter at the end of the day. It’s all fun and games and like I said, it puts a little more intensity into it. It puts a couple more people in the seats and that’s what you want.”

REDBLACKS EXTEND SHOLOGAN

August 22nd, 2014

OTTAWA - Veteran defensive lineman Keith Shologan has signed a one-year contract extension with the Ottawa REDBLACKS of the Canadian Football League.
 
The 28-year-old from Rochester, Alberta, joined the REDBLACKS through the 2013 CFL Expansion Draft (from the Saskatchewan Roughriders) and has become a fan-favourite in Ottawa-Gatineau through his determined on-field performance and community activities.
 
“We knew that Keith was an exceptional player and leader when we selected him in the expansion draft and he has proven that both on and off the field,” said REDBLACKS general manager Marcel Desjardins. “He works hard during both games and practices, and Keith is a fine representative of our team in the community as well.”
 
Shologan has started in all seven REDBLACKS games this season and has registered nine defensive tackles.
 
“I’d like to thank the REDBLACKS for this opportunity,” said Shologan, who lives in Gatineau. “The fans in Ottawa and Gatineau have been tremendous and welcoming to our family. It’s truly been a pleasure to play here with a great group of teammates in front of such awesome fans.”
 
The REDBLACKS are preparing for the team’s next game, Sunday, August 24 against the Calgary Stampeders at TD Place. A limited number of tickets are still available for the game, which is close to being sold-out.