Former P Jon Ryan makes passionate plea to the Roughriders

Jon Ryan the next head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders?

The idea was floated when the former punter of the Roughriders posted the tweet earlier this week.

After the former Super Bowl winner made the proclamation, he joined Michael Ball on the Sportscage to make his case.

While he is aware that he will likely be among the finalists for the job, the former Roughrider hopes the organization finds a certain quality in the team’s next head coach.


Ryan said he has heard concerns over the last year from Rider Nation.

“I think this is the first time since the mid 90s where I can really feel the concern in people’s voice, where they don’t know what’s going on right now.”

Jon Ryan (Mark Taylor/CP)

The passion for the green and white is something that Ryan has possessed since he started attending Roughrider games with his father when he was eight years old. He added that he wanted his last achievement from his career to play for his hometown team.

“When I left the NFL, people said he’s been playing football for over 15 years, it’s probably time to retire, sail into the sunset, enjoy it, you had a great career.

Ryan said, “There’s one more thing I need to do, I need to play for the Riders, this team is in my blood.”

In his first season removed from the gridiron, the former Roughrider punter said when he turned on the TV and saw the turnout of Rider Nation during home games, he felt it was a sign the fanbase had had enough, which Ryan agreed with.

“They’re sick of it, and I am too,” Ryan told Ball. “Every person in this province deserves better.”

With a solid fanbase behind the Roughriders, Ryan thinks the football club should be among the league’s elite, competing for a Grey Cup each season.

Some of the first words Ryan wants to hear from the new head coach of the Roughriders, whomever that may be, is that mediocrity is no longer acceptable.

With his well-travelled background, the former punter is familiar with the likely candidates who will be interviewing for the vacant head coaching position. Ryan feels that when Roughriders General Manager Jeremy O’Day and President & CEO Craig Reynolds are discussing the job with possible coaches, there are certain qualities they should be looking for.

“We all need passion for this team, like we have passion for this team.”

Ryan did not blame O’Day or former coaches but emphasized the importance of making the right hire for their next head coach.

O’Day has targeted the end of the month to hire a new head coach. Earlier this week, TSN reported that the Roughriders received permission to speak with Hamilton Tiger-Cats Offensive Coordinator Scott Milanovich and Defensive Coordinator Mark Washington, Calgary Stampeders Defensive Coordinator Brent Monson, Special Teams Coach Mark Kilam, and BC Lions offensive coordinator Jordan Macsymic

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