The Saskatchewan Roughriders returned from their bye week for Day 1 of their Week 5 schedule on Tuesday. Here are some notes:
– We have our first Spy-Gate scandal of 2017. In advance of Saturday’s Roughriders-Stampeders clash in Calgary, Stamps coach Dave Dickenson notified the media that his club will be closing practice this week.
– The Riders’ Chris Jones snickered and said his team is doing the same thing, closing Thursday’s Day 3 practice. Moving forward, the Riders will close one practice per week on either Day 2 or 3.
– Jones said information got out to Ottawa last year and the same thing happened two weeks ago versus Hamilton. The Rider boss said he has no idea who’s leaking the classified info (fans, media, spies, etc.) but this policy should shut it down entirely.
– Regarding only closing one day, Jones said the CFL isn’t like the NFL (who closes every practice) because we’re a “fan league” and need to open the doors to fans who enjoy watching their team midweek in the summer.
– Jones got tongues wagging – unintentionally I’m guessing – when he said, “We had more fans in the stands today than Toronto gets out to their games”.
– There was a new face on Day 1. Star CB A.J. Jefferson(pictured) has been added to the practice roster and wore #20. The Fresno product was cut by Ottawa last week and said the move caught him off-guard. However he feels he can add a lot to the Riders. He didn’t do much during the workout but Jones said they’d learn more during one-on-ones after practice.
– Jones also said Kevin Glenn has “absolutely” had a Hall of Fame career.
– Former Stampeder Derek Dennis – the prized Rider free agent signing at Left Tackle – said he’s incredibly excited for Saturday’s game. He said Stampeder fans turned on him immediately once he signed in Saskatchewan this winter and he expects a rude welcoming at McMahon Stadium.
– Dennis also said there’s lots of bad blood between the two teams and a lot has to do with Stamps QB Bo-Levi Mitchell “ratting” the Riders out for Roster-Gate last year. He said his Rider teammates haven’t forgotten about that.