Saskatchewan Roughriders Head Coach & GM Chris Jones held his traditional day-before news conference on Wednesday as the Green & White prepare to host Hamilton Thursday evening at Mosaic Stadium (7:00 pm, TSN, 620 CKRM Rider Radio Network).
Jones’ address at the podium lasted just over six minutes and as usual, he was calm and measured with his answers. However one quote particularly stood out, as he answered a reporter’s question about the growing panic in the Rider Nation over the team’s 1-2 start, and current 2-game losing skid.
“Let me just cut you off right there,” Jones responded. “I’ll be honest with you. I just worry about this football team. I can’t worry about the fans. If we went undefeated, there’d by somebody complaining. I remember when we won the state championship in high school, I was sitting in a cafe the next day and there were people complaining we didn’t throw the ball more!
“I’m not going to sit here and worry. I know what we gotta do. We’ve been here before. Unfortunately we’ve stubbed our toe again. We took too many penalties last week which helped cost us a football game. We’ve got to correct that, play good football and get back to our winning ways.”
The Riders announced their roster for the game on Wednesday morning, and Duron Carter was once again listed as a starting cornerback. Jones is hoping for more steady improvement from the team’s reigning MVP.
“Duron’s gotta make strides,” Jones offered. “Like everybody else, he’s no different. Unfortunately for him, he’s Duron. He’s a dynamic guy that you guys love to ask about. #42’s a good player but nobody ever asks about him! Duron’s a guy that you want to ask questions about. He’s gotta learn to play defense, learn to disrupt routes early in the play and if he does that, he’ll have success.”
Starting quarterback Brandon Bridge held a news conference too, and perhaps unknowingly fed the fans’ narrative that Carter should be switched back to offense.
“I would love to have Duron on offense,” Bridge said. “I would love to have him on offense. He’d have the same impact he had last year. A thousand yards. Attention of defenses and defensive coordinators. They’d probably be scared of him. He’s definitely a playmaker for our offense. He helps out other guys too if he has all that attention.”
NOTES: The Riders have only one change from last week’s 23-17 home loss to Montreal. Rookie lineman Tacoby Coffield replaces fellow rookie lineman Jarvis Harrison on the 46-man roster.