Stamps coach 'excited to get playing for real' with fresh roster

The Stampeders' head coach says a fresh roster, combined with sticking with what works, could be the formula this year, as the team opens their season Saturday in Calgary against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

"We just feel like it's a new year, new challenges. We have a new identity. It just feels like there's a lot of freshness on our squad," Dave Dickenson told The Homestretch on Wednesday.

"We look at the film and try to learn, so it has come up from time to time."

He's talking about the team's tough Grey Cup loss last year against the Toronto Argonauts.

"It would have been nice to send those guys off with a championship but we were unable to do that."

'They have been waiting'

There's lot of new faces this year, he said.

"Jerome Messam, Charleston Hughes, Rob Cote, Deron Mayo — we lost all those guys. We've got a good product, though. Sometimes it's just about opportunity. They have been waiting, to see when they can get their start. Get their time. I believe they are ready to go."

And building a fresh team dynamic is well underway.

"We try to have some fun. We did some things in training camp to try to form that bond. A lot of it is just about support and coming together," he said.

"When you have a good team, it's when you are playing for the guy next to you. When you care about that guy next to you. So hopefully we are developing that and we take care of each other."

And Saturday will be a test of that.

"The fans want to get to the games that count. We are excited to get playing for real," Dickenson said.

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With files from The Homestretch