Plenty left for Dickenson to learn

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:24 AM ET

CALGARY - One thing Dave Dickenson learned in two head-coaching interviews is the truth hurts.

And the former quarterback was the one doing the talking.

When asked by the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats if he was ready to take the helm of a CFL team, Dickenson said he was but admitted there would be growing pains as well.

Dickenson didn’t get the job with the Riders — it went to Corey Chamblin — then he took himself out of the running for the Ticats position that went to former Calgary Stampeders offensive co-ordinator George Cortez.

“I might be a bit too honest with these guys,” Dickenson said about interviews he had with Riders GM Brendan Taman and Ticats GM Bob O’Billovich. “In Saskatchewan, it was reported I might be a better head coach in two to three years. I believe that.

“If I was hired, I would have some challenges and things I should learn — that’s not the answer people want to hear. I do have complete confidence in my ability. But I’m not a cocky guy.

“Wherever I’ve been, the lowest amount of wins I’ve ever been part of was 10. I’ve never had a losing season.

I plan on keeping that streak alive this year.”

The Stampeders announced their 2012 offensive coaching staff Tuesday, and it was no surprise Dickenson is officially returning. It’s not a consolation prize to him.

Because his family is settled in Calgary and he can learn from GM-head coach John Hufnagel, this is where he thinks he should be.

“You don’t really know if you will make a good head coach or not,” Dickenson said. “You need to keep learning.”

The Stamps have a couple of changes in their offensive staff for 2012, but the coaches in new positions were both with the team last season.

Mike Gibson moves to offensive line from running backs, replacing Kris Sweet, who went to the Riders, while Brent Monson takes over the running backs after spending a season working with the defensive line.

Pete Costanza returns for a fifth season as the receivers coach, while Mark Kilam retains his duties as special teams co-ordinator for a third season — his eighth with the team. Monson’s move means there is an opening at defensive line, where DeVone Claybrooks can take over upon his expected retirement from active duty this week.

While there is shuffling among the staff, the offence will be much different from the one that began last season.

Drew Tate will begin the season as the No. 1 quarterback, marking a departure for Dickenson. Henry Burris was the pivot since Dickenson started his coaching tenure in 2009.

Dickenson and Burris worked well together, even when they teamed as QBs in 2008 during the Grey Cup run.

Now that Burris is in Hamilton after a trade that netted the Stamps pivot Kevin Glenn, it will be a different feeling in training camp.

“It will be a bit strange for the club, in general,” Dickenson said. “Henry was the face of the club for a long time and did a lot of good things. We’re going to be younger. We have some new blood in our organization.

“Sometimes, you need to keep it fresh. Sometimes, it’s a problem if you have a veteran team. They might not come in with a desire to learn new stuff. You still have to coach guys tough. I like to treat guys with respect and let them know I’m working my tail off. I expect the same from them.

“(Having Tate and running back Jon Cornish in starring roles) will be an easy transition. I expect to see some new players, and I’m looking for some of our young guys to step up. The veterans need to get pushed … so that will make us the best offence it can.”

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter @SUNIanBusby


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