Saskatchewan Roughriders Head Coach & GM Chris Jones held his post-season news conference on Monday at Mosaic Stadium and afterwards, his players cleaned out their lockers and headed home on Garbage Bag Day. The Riders’ 2017 season ended on Sunday with a 25-21 last-minute loss to the Toronto Argonauts in the East Division Final at BMO Field.
Here are some notes:
1 – Although the club doubled its win total from 2016 to 2017 (5 wins to 10), Chris Jones said the end of this season doesn’t sting any less than last year. He said the Riders’ defense “didn’t show up” on the Argos’ final drive which lead to the winning touchdown. As far as the team’s inability to counter Toronto’s blitz-happy game plan on Sunday, Jones said he hadn’t looked at the team’s play on offense as closely yet. They said they all need to be better coming back next year.
2 – Jones was to address the team one final time immediately after the news conference and said he loves this group and they have as much character as any team he’s had. He added that it’s premature to list what deficiencies or roster holes they have heading into the off-season.
3 – The GM said there are “13 or so” pending free agents but personnel staff John Murphy, Jeremy O’Day and Mike Davis are working on that as we speak. He said he’d like to have the biggest majority of this year’s team back in 2018.
4 – Regarding the non-call on the hit to QB Kevin Glenn in the first quarter leading to a pick six by Toronto’s Terrance Plummer, Jones said he’s been checking the rule book ever since and that definitely should’ve been a penalty. However he wanted to make it clear that the non-call wasn’t the reason the Riders lost the game.
5 – Regarding the play of QB Kevin Glenn, Jones said everyone wants to point the finger of blame at Glenn but they wouldn’t have won the Eastern Semifinal at Ottawa without him.
6 – Jones said, “We want Kevin Glenn back next year. He’s a tremendous character guy. We’ll sit down and discuss it.”
7 – Jones revealed that they’ve had preliminary contract extension talks with QB Brandon Bridge. He said that it’s a good sign that Bridge’s agent approached the team with a proposal. Jones said Bridge likes it here, and likes his teammates and coaches.
8 – As far as the coaching staff goes, Jones expects all coaches to be back in 2018 but won’t stand in the way of anyone advancing their career. Regarding himself, Jones said he “loves it here” and that he’ll be meeting with President Craig Reynolds on Tuesday to discuss an extension.
9 – Regarding Duron Carter, Jones said he’ll meet with Duron to discuss his plans for the future. He’s scheduled to become a free agent in February and he’ll garner plenty of interest from the NFL on both offense and defense.
10 – In conclusion, Jones said “It starts at the top. We didn’t make enough plays down the stretch to advance and that’s on me.”
11 – Duron Carter addressed reporters and said it’s always been his dream to play in the NFL. If an opportunity presents itself and it’s the right situation, he’d be excited to explore it on either offense or defense.
12 – Glenn said he plans to be back in 2018 and expects to be the starter. Regarding the non-call for Roughing The Passer, KG smirked, “I’ve seen other QBs get that call. I’ll leave it at that.”