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.”