John Chick has never had a chance to hit his good friend Darian Durant.
He gets his shot on Saturday night when his new team, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, host Durant’s Saskatchewan Roughriders at Tim Hortons Field.
“I’m never allowed to hit the guy in practice, so it will be different tomorrow night,” Chick, a former Roughrider, told reporters on Friday. “He always made it sound like he thought he could get away, so …”
This is the first time Chick will face his former team. He played six years for Saskatchewan, from 2007 to 2009 and then again from 2013 to 2015, bookended around a three-year stint in the NFL, primarily with Jacksonville.
He’d been a premier defensive player with the Roughriders during that time, a CFL all-star in 2014 and last year led the team in sacks with 11 (tied for fourth in the CFL).
Then the Roughriders, with Chris Jones in as the new head coach, general manager and vice-president (football operations), released him in the off-season reportedly to save money. Chick told reporters yesterday at Tim Hortons Field he didn’t like how the whole thing went down, and that no one should be surprised at the Roughriders’ 1-6 record due to the high turnover from last year – approximately two-thirds of Saskatchewan’s roster for Saturday’s game weren’t Roughriders last year.
Then as he tried to explain his feelings decided he’d said enough.
“It is that one on the calendar,” he said when asked if he’d had it circled. “The former squad, that you get to go out and show them how they messed up.”
“I’ve definitely got some buddies on the team, but … in the game between the whistles it doesn’t matter who’s over there. You’re going to give your best and I’m going to go out there and even more so. I’m always hoping to have my best game.”
620 CKRM will have the game starting with the pre-game show at 2 and the play-by-play at 5.