Riders or Bombers? Weston Dressler undecided about which team to represent in Hall of Fame

Photo courtesy: Winnipeg Blue Bombers

While many across the prairies believe Weston Dressler would enter the Canadian Football Hall of Fame as a Saskatchewan Roughrider, the 2024 inductee was non-committal about the green and white.

“I spent the bulk of my career in Saskatchewan and that was my prime years, numbers-wise. But I think part of what I’m most proud of my career is definitely those final three years that I had in Winnipeg,” Dressler said on The Waggle Podcast.

“A lot of times, guys my style of play rely on speed and quickness a lot. When that starts to go and you’re a smaller guy, you’re not going to last as long as some of the bigger guys that can body up and play the game that way. I’m extremely proud of the way I grew throughout my career and was able to continue playing at a fairly high level during my final years in Winnipeg. I wasn’t as fast as I once was and I didn’t have my best attributes at that time, but I still played at a high level.”

Dressler made an immediate impact in the CFL, taking home Most Outstanding Rookie in 2008 with 56 receptions for 1,128 yards and 1,014 punt return yards. His career 715 catches are 13th all-time and his 10,026 receiving yards rank 17th in league history. The former University of North Dakota Fighting Hawk tallied 65 touchdowns, including five via kick returns. He was a four-time West Division all-star and two-time CFL all-star.

Over 11 seasons Dressler played 161 games for Saskatchewan and Winnipeg. Eight of those seasons came with the Roughriders, where he suited up in 123 contests with the green and white, helping the team capture Canadian football’s ultimate prize, the Grey Cup, in 2013 in front of a sold-out Mosaic Stadium.

Dressler credits his time in Winnipeg for helping him take the next step in his career, seeing growth on the field, but specifically taking strides off the field as a leader in a young Blue Bombers dressing room.

“Coach LaPo (Paul LaPolice) and coach (Mike) O’Shea definitely helped grow me and mature as a leader. Not just as a player, but as a person as well. It’s hard to discredit my time in Winnipeg, even though it was much briefer than my time in Saskatchewan.

“It’s not as easy of a choice as it probably should be or seem like but, we’ll see where it goes.”

The Bismarck, N.D. native will be inducted alongside receivers S.J. Green, Chad Owens and Marvin Coleman, defensive end Vince Goldsmith, as well as builders Ray Jauch and Ed Laverty. In addition to the players and builders, statistics guru and CFL associate vice-president of football analytics Steve Daniel and long-time TSN reporter Farhan Lalji will be recognized by the Football Reporters of Canada for their contributions to covering the game.

The Class of 2024 will be officially inducted in an evening ceremony on Friday, September 13 at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton. The Hall of Fame Game is scheduled for Saturday, September 14 with the Tiger-Cats hosting the Ottawa Redblacks.