WINNIPEG — As one of the most coveted players up for grabs this CFL off-season, Weston Dressler could have chosen any team to sign with. But the veteran receiver picked the Winnipeg Blue Bombers since he believes the team has more positives than anywhere else.
“I’m very familiar with (offensive coordinator Paul LaPolice) and the way he runs his offence,” said Dressler. “I worked with him for two years in Saskatchewan. There’s a number of guys as well that will be my teammates that I previously played with and a lot of guys I played against over the years that I have a lot of respect for.”
Dressler met with the media on Wednesday for the first time since inking a two-year contract with the Bombers. The deal was finalized late Monday night after Winnipeg’s initial offer landed a few thousand dollars off the 30-year-old’s asking price.
Dressler joins the Bombers following eight seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The University of North Dakota alum was Saskatchewan’s leading receiver in 2008, 2009 and 2012. He was also a CFL All-Star twice and a Division All-Star four times. Dressler was cut by the Roughriders on January 14.
“That was obviously a difficult situation for me,” said Dressler. “There were a lot of good memories there. I’m still very connected to Saskatchewan and that community. I don’t believe that will ever change for me.”
That frustration was evident in a statement he posted just days after being cut in which he says he believed he was never in the Roughriders’ plans for the 2016 season or beyond.
“Sometimes things happen for a reason whether you like the way they go down or not,” said Dressler. “You have to make the most of the next opportunity that comes from it.”
Dressler has no doubts he’ll fall in love with fans in Winnipeg. The only thing he is worried about is persuading his girlfriend’s Regina-based family to start cheering for the Bombers.
“They were more saddened than upset to see me not be part of that organization anymore,” said Dressler. “They’re obviously fans of the Roughriders. We’ll work in getting them into some blue and gold.”
Dressler has racked up 7,797 yards and 50 touchdowns off 539 career catches. He’s amassed 1000-yards in a single season five times in his career and has 25 100-yard receiving games. Dressler won his first and only Grey Cup title in 2013.