“I firmly believe they’ll get the right guy in the room,” Roughriders QB Trevor Harris confident in team’s search for a new head coach

The memory of the 2023 Canadian Football League season has faded following the Montreal Alouettes claiming the 110th Grey Cup championship on Sunday in Hamilton.

But the dream of a successful 2024 season is already in the mind of the Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Trevor Harris.

On Tuesday, Harris caught up with Michael Ball on the Sportscage as he provided an update on his recovery from his knee injury. He gave his thoughts about the 2023 Grey Cup and the Roughrider’s search for a new head coach.

QB Trevor Harris. Photo: Saskatchewan Roughriders

Over the weekend, the quarterback observed as his previous team won the Grey Cup championship. Harris believes the Roughriders could very well be in that position in 2024.

“I texted quite a few guys this past weekend and I said, hey, 365 days from now, we’re going to be looking at green and white confetti coming down on us and we’ll be celebrating.”

Harris signed with the Roughriders this past February after spending the last two seasons with the Alouettes. The 37-year-old said if there wasn’t unsettling ownership with the team last year, he could’ve ended up staying in Montreal but added that everything happens for a reason.

There was no animosity from the former Alouette as Montreal captured the Grey Cup. Harris believes a big reason why the Alouettes found championship glory in 2023 was because the team made the right hire at head coach, former Roughriders offensive coordinator Jason Maas.

During their time together in Edmonton in 2019, Harris discovered that Maas was a true leader.

“We played hard for him, everybody would’ve ran through a brick wall for him.”

The most important decision facing the Roughriders this winter will be hiring a new head coach after the team elected not to retain Craig Dickenson following a second straight 6-12 campaign.

Scott Milanovich is a strong candidate for the job and someone familiar to Harris.

Their relationship dates back to 2012 when Harris played for the Toronto Argonauts, where Milanovich served as head coach.

This year, Milanovich joined the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as a Senior Offensive Assistant before he took over the play-calling duties during the season.

A reunion is something that Harris called a dream that would come true, pointing out that Milanovich is someone who the quarterback seeks out advice on football knowledge, acumen, and leadership.

During their time together, Milanovich displayed leadership skills to Harris.

“He’s a leader among men, he has a way to galvanizing guys.”

Harris stated that a united team, like the Argonauts when Milanovich was in charge, could achieve great things.

“When you have belief, you get the buy-in, and when you have the total buy-in from the group, and everybody is believing in what you’re doing, that’s really when the magic happens.”

Even though the quarterback would be fully on board if the Roughriders hired Milanovich as the team’s new head coach, Harris has faith in General Manager Jeremy O’Day and the rest of the football operations on the eventual decision.

“I firmly believe they’ll get the right guy in the room.”

In his first season with the green and white, the Waldo, Ohio product led the Roughriders to a 3-1 start before suffering a season-ending knee injury in July. Harris said he doesn’t want to end his career with the injury.

The quarterback has 1,274 passing yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions for Saskatchewan before he was injured.

At the end of the season, Harris said he was attempting to return to the Roughriders roster and believed if the team advanced to the Western Final, he could’ve suited up for that game. His knee probably would’ve been in the 75% range.

With continued rehabilitation, the quarterback hopes to reach the 90-100% stage early in the new year.

Harris stated that he won’t return if he can’t make an impact on the field.

“I won’t trot myself out there unless I know that I can put my team on a level where I can compete for a championship.”

One of Harris’s goals is to restore Rider Pride within the team’s fanbase and win the Grey Cup for the province.

“I want fans to wear their gear around town and be able to be proud of that.”

Saskatchewan hopes to have a new head coach in place by the end of the month.

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