REGINA – Saskatchewan Roughriders Assistant V.P. of Player Personnel John Murphy joined 620 CKRM’s SportsCage on Monday to discuss Sunday’s 23-18 season-ending loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the 2018 CFL Western Semifinal.
However Murphy was more interested in leading off the interview by discussing the headshot by Winnipeg’s Jackson Jeffcoat which knocked Rider QB Brandon Bridge out of the game with 0:08 left and the Riders attempting a comeback.
Murphy said headshots on Rider QBs have become the thing-to-do late in CFL seasons.
“Don’t wanna beat on what’s already been beaten over several times but to hear the person who’s in charge of the entire league say that a hit like yesterday needs to be closer evaluated, that something needs to be done about it, well I’m going to go one step further and say something should’ve been done about it after last year’s playoff game (East Final),” Murphy said. “A turnaround play in the game should’ve been reversed when Kevin Glenn got hit in the head.
“So now I go to a preseason game against Calgary (this year) and Zach gets hit in the head, no flag. In the first half of the Ottawa game, Collaros gets clipped, unintentionally, in the facemask, no penalty. Two weeks ago, it takes us throwing the flag to get hit-to-the-head (Odell Willis on Zach Collaros) penalized, and then, yesterday, at the end of the game, there’s another clear hit, that’s clear to everybody but the people working the game. So for me, I’m saying clearly this is a league-wide scenario.
“But what am I supposed to tell anybody who wants to play that position, anybody that is a free agent from the NFL, looking at playing QB for us? Who has now seen five times in less than a calendar year a Roughrider quarterback get hit in the head, intentionally or unintentionally? Whatever you want to pretend you led with, the result is the same: hit to the head, hit to the head, hit to the head, hit to the head, hit to the head.
“And I’m gonna tell you if the math (punishment) of that equation is half-a-game cheque and a meeting with the Commissioner versus winning a game on the field? It’s not exactly difficult to decipher why it continues to happen.
“The major thing is, that takes nothing away from an amazing play that Terrence Plummer made last year or nothing away from the end result (on Sunday). But why are we even having to discuss this issue again? We discussed it for two weeks after a great West playoff-type game and now 15 hours after the game, it’s still one of the discussion points rather than it was a great game that was decided on the field.
“It’s a blemish for every team.”
The Roughriders will clean out their lockers on Tueday and hold one final media availability before officially beginning the off-season.