In fact, despite seeing his team lose three in a row – the second time they’ve done so this season – the rookie head coach remains steadfast in his declaration that the 2012 edition of the Saskatchewan Roughriders still has plenty of fight left in them.
“This is football. You’re going to win some and you’re going to lose some,” said Chamblin immediately following his team’s loss to the Argonauts on Saturday afternoon.
“Like I said there’s a lot of fight in that locker room and I’m very proud of what I’ve seen from a very young team which will progress and will be in the playoffs and will be a better team,” he added.
That being said, the Roughriders have been playoff bound for two weeks now, having backed into the post-season dance as a result of Hamilton’s loss to the Stampeders in Week 17, the same day they fell to Alouettes by a 34-28 decision.
As a result, it’s possible that Chamblin’s Riders have relaxed to an extent, with their goal of securing a spot in the post-season being a massive weight off their backs.
Chamblin, however, doesn’t see it that way.
“I don’t know that,” proclaimed Chamblin.
“Once guys get into the playoffs different things can happen. But at the end of the day, I can tell you that those guys prepared – it was one of the best weeks of preparation I will tell you that – the guys came out and they were ready to play, and I thought they fought strong,” he added. With just one game remaining in the 2012 campaign – a Saturday night date in BC with the Lions – Saskatchewan’s playoff destination has still yet to be decided.
A win would see the Riders lock down third place in the West Division, setting up a matchup with the Calgary Stampeders in the Western Semi-Final on Nov. 11.
A loss, combined with a win by the Eskimos would see the Riders cross over into the East Division to take on the Argonauts in the Eastern Semi-Final on the same date.
So with the Argos delivering a well-received message by-way of their victory last week and the Stamps winning the season-series by a 2-1 count, it’s safe to assume the Riders don’t have a specific preference on who they face come the 100th Grey Cup Playoffs.
Regardless, Chamblin believes it’s important for his club to remain positive, as well as stick with the plan at hand.
“We have to remain positive,” said Chamblin.
“We’ve had losing streaks and we’ve also had winning streaks so hopefully once we hit the playoffs we can catch a winning streak there.”
Before the post-season begins, there’s no doubt that Chamblin would rather see his club end their three-game skid, and enter the second season on a high note.
However, should they lose their season finale to the Lions in what is also the final game on the entire CFL calendar, Chamblin hopes his leaders can quickly learn from the situation at hand.
“Like I told the guys, the one thing I know throughout my life as a football coach and as an individual is that there are a lot of situations we have to learn from.”
“And like I said, the door to the dance isn’t closed just yet. We have to learn from all these things – everything that has happened throughout this season to this team is something we’ve learned from, so we’ll take this situation and learn from it.”