Derek Dennis on Riders release: ‘I wasn’t a good fit’

Derek Dennis never got comfortable in Riderville.

“I felt that it wasn’t a good fit personality-wise for that coaching staff and me,” Dennis told the Regina Leader-Post. “The structure there was a lot of change and adjustment. I felt I wasn’t a good fit for what the Riders were doing.’’

Where he was able to be himself was in Calgary where Dennis has signed on Friday.

Dennis signed a lucrative three-year deal last February after winning the CFL’s Most Outstanding Lineman award in 2016. During his first year with the green and white the 29-year-old started out as the team’s left tackle, but after Bruce Campbell came out of retirement Dennis was shifted to left guard. He started nine games there and missed three due to injury.

“Everybody knows that I may not have fit into [Chris] Jones’s system and that’s the reality of it. Some coaches can coach certain players and other can’t. Football is like that, from Pop Warner to the pros. It doesn’t really change,” Dennis said.

The former Stampeder was the highest paid American offensive lineman in 2017. He made over $180,000 in 2017 which was due to rise to the high $180,000 range in the final two years of his original three-year agreement. But Dennis was released shortly after the free agent period started.