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REGINA — It comes as no surprise that in a year that saw the Saskatchewan Roughriders rebound in the standings, that receiver Weston Dressler was at the forefront of it all.
The 2012 season, Dressler’s fifth in the CFL, was his very best. The Bismarck, ND native racked up a career-best 94 receptions for 1,206 yards and a league-best 13 touchdown grabs.
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The Saskatchewan Roughriders kicked off mini-camp season last week in Bradenton, FL, with several key veterans going through the motions in preperation for the 2013 season.
But while Dressler’s season was top-notch from start to finish, the Riders saw their season cut short in a thrilling Western Semi-Final loss to the Calgary Stampeders, a game that saw Dressler lead the Riders in receiving with six receptions for 153 yards.
The loss, combined with the everlasting desire to continue improving on a personal level, is something that will drive the 27-year-old heading into the 2013 season.
“I’m always looking to improve my own personal game and try to do what I can to help the team win,” he said.
“Obviously we didn’t end the season the way we wanted to last year, so I’ll just keep working on the little things in the game and keep trying to help us win,” he added.
Dressler was evidently busy in 2012, as his 94 catches were 29 more than Chris Getzlaf, who was the next best Riders pass catcher last season. In 2013, however, Dressler will have some welcomed experience joining him in the Riders’ young receiving corps, as veteran Geroy Simon was acquired by the club in a blockbuster trade in January.
While their time together has been limited to a few days on a practice field in Florida, Dressler says that Simon’s presence alone has already begun paying dividends.
“Just watching Geroy at one practice…you can take something from it,” said Dressler at Riders mini-camp in Bradenton, FL.
“The guy has been the best in the league, really since he’s been in it and is the greatest receiver all-time in the CFL, so I think any time you have an opportunity to work with a guy like that, you’ll watch his every move and listen to every word he says and try and take as much information from him as you can,” he added.
The 2013 off-season saw Riders GM Brendan Taman add some skill and some know-how to the team’s roster. The additions of Simon, linebacker Rey Williams and defensive backs Dwight Anderson and Weldon Brown will undoubtedly help the young Riders get through trying times.
And with the 101st Grey Cup heading to Regina in November, getting through those difficult times will be more important than ever.
“The moves we made during the off-season builds on that excitement. The closer we get, the more and more excited we get as players and the fans and really within the entire province,” said Dressler.
“We still have a little bit of a wait before we get to full-time camp and the games, so we’re just trying to let that excitement build.”