Saskatchewan Roughriders prepare to open training camp

When the Saskatchewan Roughriders open training camp on May 15 in Saskatoon, head coach Craig Dickenson says he will be keeping a close eye on the three things in particular.

“We need to decide who our starting running back is,” said Dickenson, referencing the open starting spot previously held by William Powell.

“The secondary is an area to keep an eye on. We lost a couple of players in Loucheiz (Purifoy) and Ed (Gainey) so you’re going to see some new faces in the secondary. And then the final question I think is just to see how that receiving corps and (quarterback) Cody (Fajardo) develops.

“It will be interesting to see the dynamic between the quarterback and the receivers, with a full training camp and two pre-season games, and the second year in (offensive co-ordinator Jason) Maas’s system.”

Read more: Saskatchewan Roughriders to hold training camp in Saskatoon for next three years

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What will also be interesting to watch this year is how the CFL’s new rule changes will affect teams.

On Wednesday, the league unveiled nine new changes for this season, including the narrowing of the hash marks by eight yards and giving offensives better field position on kickoffs.

However, Dickenson doesn’t believe any of the changes will have an earth-shattering impact.

“I don’t think it’s going to change the game as we see it,” said Dickenson. “But if it does open up the game even just a little bit, I think that was the motivation behind it and hopefully it does what it was intended to do.”

Read more: Roughriders QB Cody Fajardo ready for new title

Meanwhile, in the front office, Riders general manager Jeremy O’Day is preparing for the CFL Draft, which is set for Tuesday night, with the Riders having the seventh overall selection.

“We’re in pretty good shape as far as our Canadian talent,” said O’Day. “I don’t think there’s an area we need to focus in on more than another.

“When that pick comes, if we remain in that spot, we’ll be looking to take the best player available.”

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