LIVESTREAM: CFL Preseason – Saskatchewan Roughriders @Calgary Stampeders, Fri. May 31, 7p (9p EDT, 3a CEDT June 1)

CALGARY — Friday night’s tilt between the Calgary Stampeders and Sasktchewan Roughriders will be a battle of the Dickenson brothers.

Craig and Dave Dickenson will face each other as head coaches for the Riders and Stamps respectively when their teams hit the field at McMahon Stadium. It’s the first pre-season action for both clubs.

“It’s a little bit of a distraction from the game but it’s a thrill,” Craig said during a media availability on Thursday when asked about coaching against his brother. “I’m proud to be here and really happy to be. To be in this league and to be one of the nine coaches that get to call themselves a head coach and I’m looking forward to coaching against him (Dave) and I’m looking forward to meeting him tomorrow. We’re going to go out and have breakfast and catch up a little bit.”

The grueling life of training camp is under way and tempers started to flare at Riders camp in Saskatoon this week. Bench boss Craig says that his team, and his coaching staff, are looking forward to finally hitting the field and playing against someone other than their own teammates.

“Guys are getting tired of each other,” said Craig. “Coaches, we’re probably getting a little tired of seeing them and they’re tired of seeing us. It’ll be nice to play a team in different colours and get a chance to really go through a game and really feel the grind and feel the conditioning that’s going to be involved. Our guys are looking forward to getting out there and showing what they have and we as coaches are looking forward to seeing who rises to the top.”

Defensive lineman Micah Johnson, the former Calgary Stampeder, did not make the trip to Calgary for the contest. Instead, the team will get a look at their other defensive tackles including Makana Henry, Tresor Mufata, Jeremy Faulk and 2019 draft pick Charbel Dabire.

“I think he was disappointed but he understood,” Dickenson said when asked about Johnson not making the trip to his former home. “He’s been a leader in camp. He’s a guy we see as one of our driving forces on our team.”

The competition between two running backs has been heating up at camp so far for the Riders. James Butler and Jamal Morrow are battling for a spot on the roster, in what Dickenson said would likely be a spot on special teams. The team’s projected starter, William Powell, did not make the trip to Calgary.

“The two running backs have had a good camp,” the head coach said. “Both Butler and Jamal Morrow have had a good camp. We’re looking forward to one of those two step up.”

Zach Collaros will not play in Friday night’s game but instead the Riders coaching staff will get a look at four other quarterbacks including former Argo Cody Fajardo and David Watford. Isaac Harker and Ty Gangi will also get in the game for some reps to show off what they can do with the team’s offence.

“We’ve got four good quarterbacks playing tomorrow,” said Dickenson. “They’ve all had good camps so it’s going to be important to see which quarterback moves the team, which quarterback controls the huddle and which quarterback just had a general rhythm that you want to see in camp.”

The Stampeders, on the other hand, have decided that many of their starters will get to play in their first home action of the 2019 season.

Bo Levi Mitchell will play along with receivers Markeith Ambles, Eric Rogers, Reggie Begelton, and Juwan Brescacin.

Along with Mitchell, Nick Arbuckle, Montell Cozart and Troy Cook will get a chance to take snaps under centre for the red and white.

“I love the pre-season games,” Mitchell told Stamps TV. “Watching these young guys get their opportunity because I know I was there at one point and I remember how much fun it was. You go out there and you take advantage of what the coaches give you, time-wise, and you get a chance to make the team. I’m excited for these guys.”

Perhaps the biggest competition for the Stamps on offence is at receiver. With the departure of Marken Michel, and an injury that sent Kamar Jorden to the sideline until at least Labour Day, the young pass-catchers have a chance to fill in those spots.

“There’s a lot of guys competing for jobs,” said Mitchell of the team’s receiver group. “I think there’s some playmakers in that group. Excited to see some of the guys that maybe haven’t gotten the ball as much in practice just because of the way our defence plays.”

Along with getting to see the rest of his teammates competing for spots on the roster, Mitchell is will use the game as a chance to shake some of the off-season rust and then step aside for his teammates.

“Just go out there, get comfortable,” he said. “(I want to) get used to the 20-second clock again but it’s my eighth year so really just go out there and throw a couple passes, feel good about what you did and then let the young guys take over.”

All eyes will be on the linebackers in Calgary, with the off-season departure of Alex Singleton, the Stamps will need to find a replacement for last year’s tackle leader.

Cory Greenwood is listed as the starter for Friday night’s game and Jerod Fernandez, Dwayne Norman and Anthony Gore listed behind him. All will have a chance to compete for the starting role over the next few weeks.

AFI, Yare Media and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Yare Media and the Canadian Football League to present 2019 CFL games live. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the top flight TSN network television broadcast.

LIVE STREAM: CFL – Saskatchewan Roughriders @Calgary Stampeders, Fri. May 31, 7p (9p EDT, 3a CEDT June 1)

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