REGINA – Rob Bagg will be entering his seventh CFL season next year but in many ways it feels like he is just getting started.
The resilient receiver’s history with injuries is well-documented. But after a mid-season scare, Bagg became a sure-handed threat in the Roughriders offence down the stretch, helping earn a contract extension last week through the 2015 season.
“It’s good, I’ve always made it clear that I always want to be a Roughrider for as long as I possibly can and just to put a full season behind my belt, I am looking forward to next year,” he told reporters last week.
Bagg was solid in the final third of the season, even more so once the playoffs started. His touchdown reception in the Western Final versus Calgary is already becoming somewhat of an iconic image for a team that seemed to have lost its way midway through last season only to go on and win the Grey Cup at home.
“Obviously you cannot top a Grey Cup season but as an individual I can continue to improve now that I know I can stay healthy for a full season and I am already looking forward to it.”
Bagg nabbed 34 passes for 430 yards and four touchdowns in 2013.
The two knee injuries that almost ended his career are now a thing of the past and with a championship cemented on his resume, thoughts to keeping the Grey Cup in Saskatchewan have already started.
“For sure it solidifies why I want to stay here … now I am thinking about how badly I want to experience the feeling again,” he said. Had we lost I still would have been on a quest to make sure I had got a Grey Cup in a Rider uniform. There is always going to be pressure but we have one behind us now and we can start building towards building the same type of championship team.”
His recent extension assures Bagg that he will have a shot at another Grey Cup. However, unique to the 2013-14 off-season, it doesn`t 100 per cent guarantee it will be with the Roughriders.
The last hurdle Bagg must clear in hopes of repeating as a Roughrider occurs next week when the Ottawa Expansion Draft happens.
Bagg sits as one of a group of Canadians that the Roughriders could protect heading into the Draft. However, should he be left unprotected he would surely be on the Ottawa REDBLACKS radar.
“I’m looking forward to December 16th to see where everyone stands, but it really isn’t something I can focus on,” Bagg told reporters. For me to get into a new Rider contract (is great) and as far as I am concerned I will be wearing green.”
“It’s different, but the good part about it is that it is happening so quickly at least we will get it out of the way in December. A lot of the time there is not a ton of clarity as far as where you are going to be playing before April anyways. You are under contract but it is the type of league where that is just a piece of paper and a lot can change on any given day. We will get it out of the way in the next couple weeks and then everyone can move forward.”
For now, Bagg is just looking forward to having a conventional off-season on the horizon as far as his health is concerned.
“It will be the first time in a while that I will have a full off-season to worry about training and not rehabbing, I am really excited about that.”
- With files from Riderville.com