Riders’ head coach Craig Dickenson studying critical three minute situations

Photo courtesy: Justin Dunk

Saskatchewan Roughriders’ head coach Craig Dickenson has honed in on the final three minutes leading into halftime and the end of the game.

Former Edmonton bench boss turned Riders’ offensive coordinator Jason Maas provided the idea for Dickenson to study the critical situations. He’s been going back through the 2019 season and watching every single game, specifically the crucial three minute decisions made on each sideline.

“I’m trying to watch it from a big picture perspective where you’re getting the score, you’re getting the amount of timeouts each team has, challenges they have or don’t have, and then you make decisions moving on. It’s easy to second guess and it allows me to second guess our decisions during the season and other teams,” Dickenson said on 620 CKRM’s The Sportscage.

“That’s basically one of the projects I’ve been doing is just going back analyzing and trying to critique the three minutes before the end of the half and the three minutes before the end of the game, how coaches handled those situations and how I would do it moving ahead.”

Dickenson is focused on improving for the future when football returns to action and coaching calls decide outcomes of games, not just practicing hypothetical scenarios. He wants Saskatchewan’s staff to remain sharp as well — in order to do so the head man assigned each coach a team to study.

“I asked them to watch film as if they were the coordinator or the head coach. I wanted them to watch the film, and watch it from a coordinator or head coaching perspective and put together a teaching tape of each team,” Dickenson said.

“I wanted them to make a cut-up of that team’s plays during the season that we felt were teachable clips, whether it be really outstanding effort, really physical play, super heads-up football IQ plays, examples of what not to do.”

That teaching tape could prove valuable for the Riders once the CFL puts its brand of football between the white lines again.