For the first time as a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, linebacker, Larry Dean will be facing his original team in the CFL, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Friday.
Dean played in Hamilton for three seasons, (2016-18) he then spent the 2019 season Edmonton before joining the Riders.
Even though there could be a lot of sentimental feelings for Dean facing his old team, he’s more concerned about the playoff magnitude for the Riders that’s hanging on Friday’s game.
“We’re just on a mission right now, one of 12.”
A five year veteran in the CFL, the Riders linebacker says it’s important that he reminds his younger teammates that making the playoffs is no guarantee.
“Being an elder statesman of the league you kind of have the responsibility to share that knowledge that you do understand where we at right now.”
Saskatchewan is 6-9 heading into the contest with Hamilton, a win by the green and white would put them in the driver’s seat in their final two games of the season to clinch the final playoff spot.
Dean knows it’s going to be a playoff game in Steeltown and is expecting the Tiger-cats to go outside with their ground attack.
“Everyone is fighting for their lives right now to secure a spot, it’s going to be good, they have a good running game, they like to get on the perimeters of that nature, so we’ll see. ”
One of the major storylines for the Roughriders in 2022 has been the injuries to a number of key players. One position that has been immune to the list of the walking wounded has been their linebackers including Dean, Darnell Sankey, and Derrick Moncrief.
This comes a season after the Valdosta State product missed the entire 2021 season following a torn Achilles injury that he sustained on the opening day of training camp.
Dean believes the trio are true pros and have spent a lot of time taking care of their bodies during the season.
Even though Friday’s game is essentially a playoff game, the 34 year old thinks that there shouldn’t be any changes in his preparation leading up to the game.
“I’ve been doing it since day one, I don’t think there’s any added pressure, to go out of my shell and do anything extra.”
The Riders and Tiger-Cats contest can be heard on 620 CKRM, with Countdown to Kickoff beginning at 2:30, the opening kickoff follows at 5:30.