The Saskatchewan Roughriders are staying in Ottawa all week between back-to-back games in Eastern Canada.
Following Friday’s 18-17 comeback win over the RedBlacks at TD Place Stadium, the team held a light walk-through on Parliament Hill on Sunday in front of dozens of Rider fans and curious onlookers.
“It’s the second time we’ve done this,” Jones said Sunday, alluding to last year’s practice on the lawn in front of Centre Block. “It’s a big honour to be able to come here, practice, and do our walk-through here today. Again, it’s not very often you get to do this type of thing.
“It’s Canada’s version of the White House. I think it’s important to be able to go into these buildings and a lot of these guys have never done this. It gives us an opportunity to see the Capital.”
MP for Moose Jaw-Lake Centre-Lanigan Tom Lukiwski provided a 30-minute tour of the Parliament Buildings for the football club and family members. Lukiwski was adorned in a Rider hat and white 2010 retro Rider jersey.
It was a treat for all the Rider players, including 10-year veteran wide receiver Rob Bagg. The Kingston, ON product has been to Parliament Hill many times before, but admitted it never gets old.
“To be able to come here and do a light walk-through on Parliament Hill is certainly a pretty neat experience,” Bagg said Sunday. “Not many people can say that they can come out here and have an organized function like we had. We certainly appreciate them providing us this opportunity. I think it’s pretty cool, especially for guys who saw it for the first time.”
Bagg said the workout was especially spirited given the team’s emotional 18-17 comeback victory over the RedBlacks on Friday. The Riders trailed 17-0 in the third quarter.
“Even just watching the film, you watch it after a ‘W’ and it looks totally different than it would if it were a loss,” Bagg continued. “Proud of the guys and how we responded in the fourth quarter. We made enough plays obviously, to win the game. Just refocusing now and re-establishing the importance of preparation and how important it is as we go down the final five games of the regular season.”
Chris Jones didn’t need to provide an injury update after the workout because the team came out of the Ottawa game generally injury-free. WR Naaman Roosevelt missed the game with a concussion and has been placed on the 6-game Injured List. Jones said he’ll provide a status report on the team’s leading receiver later on in the week.
The Riders visit the Toronto Argonauts Saturday at 2:00 pm on TSN and the 620 CKRM Rider Radio Network.