“Unfortunatetly he was unable to change the way he played so we had to do it.” Riders Dickenson reacts to the release of Garrett Marino


On Tuesday, the Saskatchewan Roughriders announced they had parted ways with defensive tackle Garrett Marino.

The 28 year old made headlines earlier this summer with a number of incidents that resulted in a four game suspension. On July 8 against the Ottawa Redblacks, Marino injured quarterback Jeremiah Masoli with a low hit. Following the hit, the defensive tackle celebrated as he was escorted from the field following an ejection from the game.

After returning from the suspension, Marino was fined again by the league, this time for an illegal hit against BC on August 19.

The former University of Alabama at Birmingham product time with the Riders ended following Sunday’s Labour Day Classic matchup with Winnipeg.

Riders Head Coach Craig Dickenson felt the team had no alternative but to make the move to release Marino.

“Hopefully he is able to land his feet somewhere and is able to change what he needs to change and do things differently than he has done in his past, we wish them the best.”

Dickenson resassured the decision to move on from the defensive tackle was made by the Riders and that there was no outside influence in the transaction.

“This was our decision, I felt like we did the best that we could to try and give him a second chance, even a third chance, he just wasn’t able to turn it around. ”

Former teammate Charleston Hughes was disappointed to see Marino go.

“He was a great player on the field, it’s unfortunate that he’s not with us anymore, it’s one of those scenarios that football is a tough sport sometimes.”

The move did catch Hughes a little bit by surprised, but he’s hoping Marino gets another chance to play football somewhere.

“After going online and seeing all the people, going against my teammate, I’m in full support of him as a man, he still got to provide for his family the best way he can, when it’s all said and done I hope he get’s an another opportunity to play somewhere else.”

The latest controvesry relating to Marino happened during Sunday’s loss against the Blue Bombers. The defensive tackle hit Winnipeg quarterback Zach Collaros shortly after he released the football. The play didn’t draw a flag, but it did ignite plenty of chatter following the game. Dickenson wasn’t sure if the hit on Collaros was the final straw that led to the move.

“When he sees the other colour, he’s going to hit it, he doesn’t know half of the time if it’s quarterback, o-lineman, he sees it, he sees a jersey of a different colour and that’s why he’s darn good and disruptive, but it’s also a dangerous way to play and eventually gets you into trouble.”

The Riders Head Coach said the bottom line was that the accumulation was too much.

“It just go to be too much, week in, week out” He added “We know how Garrett plays, unfortunatetly he was unable to change the way he played so we had to do it.”

Dickenson noted that discipline issues were becoming a distraction.

“He got fined, he got suspended, he was getting warned again and after awhile it wears you down.”

During Sunday’s game, receiver Duke Williams took a penalty on the team’s sideline that cost Saskatchewan valuable field position. Earlier in the season, Williams was suspended for a game following a pregame incident in the Touchdown Atlantic game against Toronto. Dickenson said there are similarites and differences between the discipline problems.

“It’s not dangerous behaviour, it’s just undisciplined and selfishiness, he (Williams) came and talked about it, he feels bad about it, we’re going to handle it in house. ” He said . “It’s different, but in some ways similar, it’s putting yourself ahead of the team, and we want to discourage that as best as we can.”

Hughes didn’t want to put himself into the shoes of the Riders decision makers who made the move to let go a player like Marino.

“If my bank account put me at G.M. or Head Coach, I can answer something like that, but my bank account say player. ”

On Saturday, the Riders will meet the Blue Bombers in a Labour Day rematch. The game can be heard on 620 CKRM with an opening kickoff at 3:00.

More from 620 CKRM