Ticats guard Pete Dyakowski was called for illegal procedure five times in last Thursday’s loss to the Montreal Alouettes and his teammates aren’t inclined to let him forget it.
“Everyone is joking that I’ve officially lost my Canada’s Smartest Person title,” said Dyakowski, who is also co-owner of an Oxford Learning Centre tutoring business.”Or it’s ‘what are doing running a place that is teaching kids how to count?'”
If his fellow Ticats may have a sense of humour about his miscues, it’s likely because the game film went some way to exonerating the eight-year veteran. While Dyakowski readily admits to committing two infractions, he says tape tells a different story on the other three.
“As someone who takes a lot of pride in what he does, it’s embarrassing,” Dyakowski said. “I’m not calling out the referees, it was just frustrating.”
Ticats head coach Kent Austin backed Dyakowski, who was back at his usual spot at left guard with the first team offence at Monday’s practice.
“I can’t speak specifically about those calls but I would just say that Peter has perspective that might be shared,” Austin said.
But neither Austin or Dyakowski were willing to place last Thursday’s loss at the feet of of the officials. The Ticats turned the ball over five times and made crucial mistakes in key moments against the Alouettes.
“We had the ball in our hands a couple of times at the end with a chance to win it,” Dyakowski said. “It’s frustrating to leave one on the table no matter how it happens.”
Nor are the Ticats the only team suffering under a sea of red flags: the CFL is averaging 27.1 penalty calls a game, up from 21.6 in 2014, while illegal procedures are up 44 per cent.
Austin, who is a member of the CFL’s rules committee, said he spoke to vice-president of officiating Glen Johnson over the weekend.
“I think the officials are doing the best job they can do. The officials care,” Ausin said. “I had a good conversation with Glen the other day and I think he’s doing a good job in trying to make things better.”
So is Austin. The Ticats are now 1-2 on the season and face the fourth straight road game this Sunday in Regina.
“We had an opportunity to be 3-0 – we’re not, so we don’t deserve to be – but a few plays would have made a difference in two games,” Austin said. “It’s my job as the head coach and our job as a staff to make sure we make more of those plays going forward.”
For his part, Dyakowski said he’ll review his pre-snap routine and then try and forget about his tough night in Montreal – assuming his teammates will let him.
“I did jump twice at the end of the day,” he said. “And that’s two too many.”
Notes: Monday was an extra day of practice for the Ticats – they don’t play again until next Sunday – and a number of veterans sat out as a result. Linebacker Simoni Lawrence, defensive tackle Ted Laurent, receivers Andy Fantuz and Bakari Grant were all on the sidelines, though Austin said nobody has been ruled out for the game against the Riders. Running back C.J. Gable is expected back against Saskatchewan while defensive backs Rico Murray and Courtney Stephen also practiced and should play.