Weston Dressler says while he has great memories of playing for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, he now looks forward to suiting up with the rival Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
The Bombers' newest receiver spoke to reporters in Winnipeg on Wednesday, a day after the team announced it has signed a two-year contract with him.
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Dressler, a two-time CFL all-star from Bismarck, N.D., had played eight seasons with the Roughriders but was released by the team earlier this month by new head coach and general manager Chris Jones.
"That was obviously a difficult situation for me and when you play somewhere for eight years there's a lot of good memories there and a lot of emotional moments, and I'm still very connected to Saskatchewan and Regina and that community. I don't believe that will ever change for me; that's a part of my life now and a great part of my life," he said.
"But sometimes things happen for a reason. I think with all that going down, it opened up an opportunity for me to become a part of the Blue Bomber organization and this community here."
When asked about the factors behind his decision to join the Bombers, Dressler mentioned familiar faces like offensive co-ordinator Paul LaPolice.
"Obviously I'm very familiar with coach LaPo and the way that he runs his offence. I worked with him for two years in Saskatchewan, so that was definitely something that intrigued me about coming here," he said.
"There's a number of guys as well that will be my teammates ... that I have previously played with and a lot of guys that I have played against over the years that I have a lot of respect for," he added.
"There's definitely more than one thing that you look at when you're trying to decide on where you want to play next, but there is just a lot more positives here than I was looking elsewhere."
Dressler added that he believes Bombers quarterback Drew Willy has a lot of potential and has done a lot of good things in the CFL already.
"He's continued to improve year after year. I think … the biggest thing for me is watching his growth over the years," he said.
"I know the type of worker that he is, the time that he's put in to improve himself as a player, and he's definitely capable of leading the team to a Grey Cup."
So how will Dressler feel when he faces the Roughriders in the Labour Day Classic and Banjo Bowl, the annual Winnipeg-Saskatchewan rivalry matches?
"That will definitely be an interesting moment for me," he said.