Henry Burris confirms interest in Saskatchewan Roughriders vacant head coach position

Henry Burris led the Saskatchewan Roughriders for three seasons as the team’s starting quarterback (2000, 2003-04) and now he would love another opportunity to guide the green and white, this time, as the team’s head coach.

The position became vacant earlier this week when the team announced they would not retain Craig Dickenson.

On Wednesday, Burris joined Michael Ball on the Sportscage to confirm his interest in the head coaching position with the Roughriders.

Becoming a head coach in Saskatchewan is something the former quarterback would love to do and something he has discussed with his family.

“If the opportunity is there, sure 100 percent we would be interested in.”

Burris described Saskatchewan as a second home to him and his family.

“If it wasn’t for Saskatchewan, we wouldn’t be where we are currently, so we’re truly thankful and we’ll never forget that place. “

He moved south of the border for family reasons but kept an eye on Canadian football while gaining coaching experience.

Burris previously served as an offensive quality coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2022. He worked with Head Coach Doug Pederson and quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

“I’ve been in the rooms and I’ve been able to learn and to be put in position to learn the duties of both offensive coordinator and the head coach.”

This past summer, the 48-year-old spent time with the Los Angeles Rams as an assistant tight ends coach.

With his playing experience in the CFL, Burris believes he can use that in a coaching role.

Henry Burris. Photo: Justin Tang/Canadian Press

“When it comes offences, when it comes to defences, the personnel that are calling it, what changes are happening, the rules, the special situations that are taking place. “

The most overlooked aspect of a head coach, said Burris, is establishing a positive culture within the locker room.

“Being able to establish the right mindset for your players, empower your players , but also create the proper culture, so each and every one of those players can succeed, it’s all teams thrive.”

As a former quarterback, the Spiro, Oklahoma product believes he has an advantage due to his built-in relationship with a starting quarterback.

“Just with that opportunity there, not only being able to help lead the team and help put the guys in places to help run the offences and defences, it allows you to talk to the leader of the locker room and to spend time and time again, over and over again, helps you both get on the same page.”

From Burris’s perspective, Saskatchewan should be one of the cornerstone franchises in the CFL. He thinks it’s time for the green and white to return to the prominence the team experienced in the past.

“It’s all about setting the culture first and about putting the proper people in place to help make that happen.”

The three-time Grey Cup champion said when discussing his possible future with his wife, he noted that he had unfinished business in Saskatchewan after he didn’t return following the Roughrider’s heartbreaking loss to the BC Lions in the Western Final.

He believes Rider Nation should be rewarded for their passion towards the team.

“They are the benchmark of the CFL, and when the Riders are great, the CFL is great.”

In the coming weeks, General Manager Jeremy O’Day will begin compiling a list of prospective candidates for the head coaching position. Only time will tell if Burris will be one of those names on the list.

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