Less than 24 hours after losing the Western Final to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the Saskatchewan Roughriders addressed the media for one final time before going their separate ways knowing some will be back and others won’t.
One player who will be back is quarterback Cody Fajardo. After a sub-par 2021 season compared to his stellar 2019 season when he took the league by storm in his first season as a starter, Fajardo reiterated how proud he was of his teammates despite the fact they once again fell short to the Bombers in the West Final.
Fajardo was then asked what it means to be the quarterback of the Riders by the Leader[Post’s Rob Vanstone. It was an answer that had the 29-year-old fighting back tears as he became very emotional on what seemed to be an ordinary question.
With his voice cracking, Fajardo expressed his love for the organization and the fact that is very tough being the quarterback of a team that so many love not only in Saskatchewan but across the country.
“It’s everything.” Fajardo said before taking a long pause. “It’s tough at times when you are not winning and you’re not playing well, but there have been a lot of hard times in my life throughout my football career. I go out there and give it everything I have. I know I’m probably not the most talented guy when it comes to being a quarterback, but I wouldn’t want to play for any other team.
Fajardo took a lot of heat from fans on call-in shows and on social media as the season went on because of the offence’s struggles. He admitted those comments took a toll on him as the season went on.“
“It’s tough when people call for your head when you do everything you can for this team. If it was a perfect world, I wish I could play my best every game and win every game. But it’s professional football. Those guys get paid on the other side as well. “Fajardo said. “It can be mentally tough sometimes. That’s why you see me breaking down here. I’m a human being at the heart and it’s just tough sometimes going through a whole year. You give everything you have and people don’t see that or people don’t give you the respect.
Fajardo then went on to say the loss will motivate him over the off-season as he gets ready for 2022.
Meanwhile, the ink hasn’t dried on the 2021 season, but when it does Craig Dickenson wants to go through everything as he looks towards 2022. He does know though that they have to get better.
“I want to have a real thorough look at our team and not make any rash decisions.” Dickenson said. “I want to look at the team inside and out and involve the coaches. I want to know who they think we can build around, how we get better and what players can maybe help us out in free agency.
Dickenson admits one of those things is to strengthen themselves on both the offensive and defensive line saying that is where you win games which is what Winnipeg does and why they are still playing.