November 23, 2018

Getting Settled In

EDMONTON – Acclimatization.

Inside. And out.

That was Dave Dickenson’s express aim less than 36 hours before kick-off against the Ottawa Redblacks in the 106th Grey Cup.

“I think it is, for our team, best,” explained the head coach of his decision to take the Stampeders’ Friday practice out into the biting elements rather than return to the cozy comfort of indoor Foote Field by the U of A campus.

“I want to do some different things and this is one of them. Get in the locker-room early. Make it feel like it’s your home.

“And get on the field a day early, maybe get your cleats (ready), learn about the field. I think the more you can simulate, the better.

“For us, I thought it was the right thing to do. If it was a littler chillier, so be it.”

Given their history of battles against the Edmonton Eskimos, the idea of the Stamps, as the West home team, taking up squatter’s rights in green-and-gold digs takes a bit of getting used to.

“It’s an impressive locker room,” said Dickenson. “You look around, it’s a nice place, a great facility. A lot of history there. A lot of great players on the walls. When I got into this league I’d heard a lot about Edmonton. They’d had that big-time (five Cups on the trot, 1978 through ’82)  run and I know it’s a great organization.

“It’s gonna be different, being the home team here. When we run out, we’ll probably going to the wrong sideline, ‘cause we’re used to going to the other side.”

The Bonecrusher, O-lineman Derek Dennis, admitted he hadn’t thought too much about appropriating the arch-enemy’s lair.

“It’s a nice room,” he conceded. “I’m very appreciative of them lending it to us for the weekend.”

From a personnel standpoint, Dickenson and his staff were contemplating final roster touch-ups Friday, with import pass-catchers DaVaris Daniels, Eric Rogers, Markeith Ambles and Chris Matthews all ready and eager to feature in the final fixture of the season.

“There’s a decision at receiver, I want to see how things go today. I’ll be repping multiple people,’’ said Dickenson during his pre-workout media availablity.

“I’d also like to put us in situations during practice week like we’ve had, especially on Day 3, start moving receivers to different spots that they may be able to back up.

“See if they can handle it.”

Dickinson admitted the Stamps were toying with juggling the position ratio to accommodate a back-up import receiver.

Other than that, as they say at Cape Canaveral, all systems are go.

“We’ve got some beat-up guys,’’ said the coach, “but none in jeopardy of missing the game.”