The end of November is a very busy time for shoppers as they try and find the best the deal as apart of their holiday spending, but don’t expect the Saskatchewan Roughriders to find any type of Black Friday deal when they go out seeking a new offensive coordinator to replace Jason Maas.
On Monday, Riders head coach Craig Dickenson joined the SportsCage with Michael Ball to provide an update on the Roughriders offseason itinerary. Dickenson returned home to Montana on the weekend for a short break but will return to Regina next week for the Grey Cup festivities. General manager Jeremy O’Day and Dickenson plan on sitting down and beginning going through the lengthy list of things that the Roughriders need to accomplish during the offseason.
The first priority will be finding replacements for the offensive coaches on their staff. Shortly after Saskatchewan wrapped up the regular season, Maas, along with receivers coach, Travis Moore and offensive line coach Stephen Sorrells were relieved off their duties after the Roughriders finished the season at 6-12.
Dickenson appreciated the efforts of the outgoing offensive coaches, but added that the production from the Riders offence in 2022 didn’t meet their expectations.
“We can get some fresh ideas on offence , some new voices in the room, our offence was 8th in the league or 9th in the league, it was right near in the bottom in a lot of categories.”
Following the Grey Cup, the Montana native plans on staying in Regina and begin contacting potential candidates and is hopeful to have someone in place for the offensive coordinator position shortly after the Grey Cup.
“Once you ask for permission to interview someone, you only have a limited time to do that, you don’t want to do that until you’re in a position to hire a guy fairly quickly.”
With both Dickenson and O’Day only having a year remaining left on their contracts, the Riders head coach knows that it will be a little more difficult with the recruiting process, since his own future after next year is anything but certain.
The decision of who will be the new offensive coordinator will come down to Dickenson. He noted that O’Day will be involved with the hiring process as the general manager’s main responsibility will determining the salary for the next coordinator.
Once an offensive coordinator is hired, the next order for the Roughriders offseason plan will be addressing the starting quarterback for next season. Cody Fajardo is set to become a free agent in February. The QB has said that he will be exploring his options this winter, noting that he didn’t want to rule out a possible return to Riderville.
Bo Levi Mitchell will likely be the number one free agent in the CFL, the QB boosted his case by coming in relief for the Stampeders in the Western Semi-Final and throwing for 147 yards in the fourth quarter in their loss to the B.C. Lions on Sunday. Dickenson was impressed with Mitchell’s performance but added that the Lions were playing in a soft defence late in the game which probably padded the passing numbers a bit.
“Without talking a specific player (laughing) , he did himself a favour by playing well in that game.” Dickenson “He wants to go somewhere and be a starter, and there will be a number of teams in talking to him.”
It seems that the Roughriders will be one of the teams interested in adding Mitchell’s services in 2023.