Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Stampeders Coach Dickenson Doesn't Feel Need to Address Grey Cup Setback

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Stampeders Coach Dickenson Doesn't Feel Need to Address Grey Cup Setback

Article excerpt

Dickenson won't address Grey Cup setback

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Dave Dickenson's preparation for his second season as a CFL head coach won't include addressing the Calgary Stampeders' heart-breaking end to the 2016 campaign.

After posting a dominant 15-2-1 regular-season record, the Stampeders ended their season with a bitter 39-33 upset overtime loss to Ottawa in the Grey Cup. Not only did the Redblacks earn the Canadian capital its first CFL title since 1976 but they became the first franchise to win a league championship after registering a sub .500 regular-season mark (8-9-1).

"Yeah, it was disappointing but it's not really, to me, needing to be addressed because it's not part of our team," Dickenson said during a CFL conference call. "You need to move on . . . so we're going to address how to make our team better and we have some ideas.

"Ultimately if you can learn from past experiences, great, but we have a new challenge, new team, exciting team."

Calgary will start the 2017 campaign with a home-and-home series against the defending Grey Cup champions. The Stampeders will visit the Redblacks on June 23 with the two clubs returning to McMahon Stadium six days later.

"That's a huge challenge to face the Grey Cup champs twice right away so we understand we have to be ready and I believe our guys will be," Dickenson said.

Still, there's no denying just how dominant Calgary was in 2016.

The 15 regular-season victories was one behind the league record set in 1989 by the Edmonton Eskimos but were the most ever by a rookie head coach. And Calgary's 14-game win streak was a CFL single-season best.

Predictably, Calgary dominated the CFL awards banquet with five individual winners. Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell claimed the CFL's outstanding player award with Dickenson (coach of the year), CFL rushing leader Jerome Messam (top Canadian), receiver DaVaris Daniels (rookie) and Derek Dennis (outstanding lineman) also honoured.

But in Mitchell's mind, last year is in the rear-view mirror.

"We've got our eyes forward," he said. "We're looking forward to getting out there Game 1.

"Yeah, it's Ottawa but even if it was a different opponent we're going to approach it the same way. …

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