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Monday, December 7, 2015

CHRIS JONES NEWS CONFERENCE NOTES


Here are some notes from Monday's Roughriders news conference in which Chris Jones (pictured) was named Saskatchewan's Head Coach/General Manager/V.P. of Football Operations.  The official news release is at the bottom of this post, followed by the Canadian Press story:

PRESIDENT CRAIG REYNOLDS

- Says Jones has "an outstanding track record" as defensive coordinator, head coach and in personnel.  Has never missed the playoffs and has won everywhere he goes.  Calls Jones "a winner".

- Says Jones is "a great leader".

- Said the Riders had a target list of candidates and through research, Chris Jones was on that list.  When the season was over, permission was granted by Eskimos President Len Rhodes and the Esks were "excellent" with providing it.

- Reynolds said Jeremy O'Day was "disappointed" with the decision, but understands and supports it.

- Isn't concerned that Jones being HC and DC is too much.  He'll surround himself with good people and they've been through all of those discussions.

- Hopes Chris Jones is here for a long, long time.  They've discussed it and Chris wants to be a place where football matters.  That's the case in Saskatchewan.

CHRIS JONES

- Says being successful at every level has to do with being around good people and good staffs.  Says the staff in Edmonton was very good and he's been very fortunate.  As far as personnel, he figured out a long time ago it takes good players to win games.  Good players make good coaches.

- He'll speak with O'Day and then they'll "move forward".  Being around each other will "be a good thing".

- You never know till you get here but football means a lot in Saskatchewan.  Was raised around the Alabama/Tennessee State line and when people wake up every day there they think about football and the game defines them.  Saskatchewan reminds him of that.

- Won't predict how the 2016 Riders will be but he'll put together a high-calibre coaching staff and the players will be good people first, and hopefully good players too.  Credits Ed Hervey and Paul Jones with giving him good players in Edmonton and hopes to do the same thing in Saskatchewan.

- He'll have to learn as he goes but says he learned a lot from Jim Barker, Paul Jones and John Hufnagel and is well-prepared for this opportunity.

- Jones will be Defensive Coordinator of the Riders until he's comfortable with turning it over to someone else.

- He left Edmonton because this is "an opportunity to do my own thing" and "do this in conjunction with Craig and build it from the ground up".

- The last few days have been "a blur with the Grey Cup and stuff".  He said after that was cleared up, he realized there was an opportunity with Saskatchewan.

- Confirms this is a three-year deal.

- Being nomadic is a reality of pro football and it's not a negative.  You get to see a different part of the country and he joked that he couldn't see a tree anywhere on the way to Saskatchewan.

- There are so many things to do now that's there's not enough time to detail it in this news conference.  There are tons of calls to be made regarding personnel and where minicamp will be held, and how personnel will be structured.

- We'll talk about coaches at a later time.  This isn't the appropriate time to discuss staff things.  That'll be between he and the coaches he plans on bringing in.

- "I'm not here to say we'll change this or change that.  There are good players here and this is about adding to that, and the salary cap will dictate who will stay and who has to go".

- Had to look at what's best for the individual and there were great connections with Edmonton and the locker room was "as good I've ever seen it".  It was hard to move on, but you have to jump at an opportunity like this.

- Didn't talk with Corey Chamblin about the Saskatchewan environment.  He's known Chamblin a long time but he can figure this out for himself.

- Will start looking for a place to live today.  His wife and kids stay in South Pittsburg, Tennessee.  Has been married since 1997.

- Doesn't know if this position would've been available if he hadn't won the Grey Cup.  "You'd have to ask Craig.  I didn't hire myself."  "I've lost a few Grey Cups myself but I don't look into the past too much".

- Gets asked all the time about returning to the U.S. to coach.  Thinking about that takes away from winning so just enjoy where you're at, win as much as you can, and all the other stuff will take care of itself.

- He's okay with the fishbowl.  He's used to it.  200,000 in Regina and 2,000 where he's from.  NBD.

- Worried only about what the Riders have going on right here, right now.  He's moved up every place he's gone.  He's been lucky to have success and when that happens you get opportunities.  "I'm not looking to pack up and move every other year."

------

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today they have named Chris Jones vice-president of football operations, general manager, and head coach. Jones becomes the 16th general manager and 46th head coach in the club’s history.

Jones spent the previous two years as the head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos. Last season, Jones guided the Eskimos to a league leading 14-4 record before going on to capture the Grey Cup with a 26-20 win over Ottawa.

In his first season at the helm in Edmonton, the Eskimos finished second in the West Division with a 12-6 record, before losing the 2014 West Final to Calgary. It was a remarkable, and club record, eight win improvement from the previous season.

Jones was selected a finalist for CFL Coach of the Year following both his seasons with Edmonton.

Jones joined the CFL coaching ranks in 2002. After one season as Montreal’s defensive line coach he was named the Alouettes defensive coordinator where he spent the next five seasons. He then joined the Calgary Stampeders in 2008 where he spent four seasons as defensive coordinator as well as two of those as assistant director of player personnel. He later joined the Toronto Argonauts for the 2012 and 2013 seasons as defensive coordinator and assistant general manager.  

Through his 14 CFL seasons Jones has never missed the playoffs, reaching 12 division finals with seven Grey Cup appearances between Montreal, Calgary, Toronto and Edmonton – winning in 2002, 2008, 2012 and 2015.

He began his college coaching career as a graduate assistant at Tennessee Tech University in 1995 and spent seven years in the NCAA before entering the CFL.

------

REGINA - Chris Jones comes from the southern United States, where football is akin to religion. He sees the same dedication to the sport in his new CFL home.

Jones was introduced Monday as the new head coach, general manager and vice-president of football operations of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, ending weeks of speculation about the Grey Cup-winning coach's future.

Jones, who led the Edmonton Eskimos to a CFL championship this season, says he's looking forward to working in Saskatchewan, which boasts a fervent fan base.

"I'm from a little, small place down in Tennessee, town called South Pittsburg ... and to have this opportunity, I woke up this morning with a smile on my face,'' Jones said at a news conference at Mosaic Stadium in Regina.

"Football matters a whole lot down south, and it matters a whole lot here, and that hinged a lot on my decision.''

Jones will have his work cut out for him, inheriting a Roughriders team that struggled mightily last season en route to a league-worst 3-15 record.

Saskatchewan spent half of last season with interim tags on both its head coach and GM after the organization fired coach Corey Chamblin and GM Brendan Taman in September.

Jones wouldn't speculate on his vision for the Riders' future.

"I'm not going to sit here and make any bold predictions or anything like that,'' he said. "I can you that we're going to put a really high quality, high character staff together that enjoys being around each other. We're going to bring in good people first, that happen to be good football players and we're just going to go to work.''

He says there are good players on the roster and it's a matter of adding to an already good product. However, he adds the salary cap "will dictate who can stay and who has to go.''

Riders president and CEO Craig Reynolds said Jones is a winner.

"He's a great leader and he's had a track record of success wherever he's been,'' said Reynolds.

Jones has had success at each of his CFL stops since entering the league in 2002 as a defensive line coach with the Montreal Alouettes. After the Alouettes won the Grey Cup in 2002, he was defensive co-ordinator Calgary's championship-winning team in 2008, and defensive co-ordinator, assistant head coach and assistant GM of Toronto's Grey Cup team in 2012.

He has already demonstrated his ability to turn around a troubled team. The Eskimos had just posted a 4-14 record when Jones took over after the 2013 season. Two years later, they defeated the Ottawa Redblacks 26-20 to win their first Grey Cup title in a decade.

"I thank Chris Jones for his work over the last two seasons. This is an opportunity for him to grow professionally and I wish him well in his future endeavours,'' Eskimos GM and vice-president of football operations Ed Hervey said in a statement.

"The search for our new head coach begins immediately. Over the next few weeks, I will interview several qualified candidates and select the right head coach for our team and community.''

Jones says he debated staying in Edmonton, but the decision ultimately came down to the chance to do his own thing in Saskatchewan.

"When an opportunity like this presents itself, you have to jump at it,'' he said.

(CP)

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great hire! Welcome aboard Coach Jones. Extremely happy to have you as our leader going forward. Glad you are OK with the "fishbowl" because we have some different "fish" that claim to be fans.
Lets get started. When's training camp!

Dave
Medicine Hat

Anonymous said...

Welcome Chris Jones! This is truly an early Christmas present. Best comment, "I don't need people to tell me whose a good guy. I can figure that out myself." His own man who knows how to win. Let's be realistic and hope we can at the very least attain mediocrity next year which will be 100 per cent better than this 3-15 mess in 2015. Thank you again for coming again Mr. Jones. Great hire by Craig Reynolds.

mister winnipeg said...

I wonder how the Rider press gallery is going to like it when Jones puts them in their place on a routine basis? This should be good (munches popcorn)

Anonymous said...

Mr Jones sure put some media members in their proper place with a firm no nonsense take charge demeanor with some lite moments added. Thank you Saskatchewan Roughriders President Mr.Craig Reynolds/Mr.Chris Jones VP/General manager/Head coach/defensive coordinator for the new team/franchise direction. The on field product now moves forward.

Anonymous said...

"Says being successful at every level has to do with being around good people and good staffs. Says the staff in Edmonton was very good and he's been very fortunate. As far as personnel, he figured out a long time ago it takes good players to win games. Good players make good coaches."

Thanks Captain Obvious! That means "I don't do squat, and am the yes man for all the minions doing all my work for me"

Which also means, that O'Day would've been successful IF HE HAD THE RIGHT PERSONELL AROUND HIM.

Anonymous said...

2 years and Jones will be gone!!!!!!

Only here for the money !!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Head Coach only - all would be good.

HC and GM - he is going to be a very busy man.

HC, GM, and Defensive Coordinator... hmmm, the last time I saw that many hats was when Calgary hired Matt Dunnigan in Calgary. That didn't last very long...

So let me imagine for a moment; when it is time for defensive meetings and film study, Chris Jones will be required to be there. And when it is time for Head Coaching, he will be required to be there. And somehow after all that, he is supposed to become and perform the duties of General Manager...??? Seems a bit much.

I suggest that President Craig Reynolds better have thought this out as likely his job will be on the line is this does not work.

ZZZ

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas Rider nation! Now let's give him a chance to get to work without all the negativity. My mood has improved considerably yours should to.

Anonymous said...

THE WHOLE TOWNS TALKING ABOUT THE "JONES BOY THE JONES BOY" ! We welcome you to the land of FOOTBALL sir and hope you enjoy our "GREAT RIDER PRIDE" !.

Roger and Gene said...

Two Big Thumbs Up!!

Anonymous said...

Anon says...
2 years and Jones will be gone!!!!!!

Only here for the money !!!!!!!

Tell us oh brilliant one. Who the hell takes a Head coaching job or a GM's job for anything else but the money?
Your twinkle toes brain probably thinks that they sign because there were more flowers growing in Regina than Edmonton. Or the open skies is much better for his skin.

Give us a fricken break!!

Sam said...

Only here for the paycheck he doesn't give a shit about whiner nation

Anonymous said...

Suck on this all negative cry baby's. Chris Jones = Saskatchewan Roughriders Vice President of Football Operations = General Manager = Head Coach = Defensive Coordinator. There's a new sheriff in town.

Anonymous said...

Oh, the jealous fans from other teams are coming out I see.

Welcome to the heartbeat of the CFL Coach Jones!!

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of idiotic pinheads we have in Rider Nation.

Who cares what his motives for being here are. He's a winner and can do it all. How long did the last regime last or the ones before it…. We're paying the same amount as his salary to a couple of guys who are no longer with the club. How much does anyone think those guys care about Rider Nation now? How much did Kent Austin care about Rider nation when he left after wining the GC? … some people better get a grip on reality.

I'm sure Jones wants O'Day and if he's wise, O'Day should welcome the opportunity to learn from a prolific winner. It's much better than tutoring under someone with a career .440 winning %. If O'Day doesn't accept senior managements decision and grow from it, then he can exercise his options. I don't think he is any more revered or valued than Kent Austin was, and he left us without regret

The dual role has worked out well for Hufnagel, Buono, Austin and others. This too much on your plate thing is total BS… It's time for the cheering section to swallow their sour grapes, put the pom poms away, and be grateful we could land such a great catch…

Not a good hire…a great hire!


John said...

You are correct! He is here for the money like every other person who does the job. And he will be here until he is given a better job which could be many years if he does a good job. Quit bitching before he even starts. As far as being busy, yes he will be but he brings in the right personnel, he will only have to make the final decisions.

Anonymous said...

chamb lin standing on the sidelines with another professional football team should merit a look see by the Rrs. Is he in violation of any contractual terms?

Anonymous said...

Anytime the shine and spotlight can be removed from an EE grey cup is a good thing and well worth the money. If he's gone by labour day it doesn't matter as this offseason talk will not center around the EE.

Anonymous said...

Yabity Dabity Doooo!!!

Anonymous said...

Of course Reynolds job is on the line for this hire. Reynolds job would have been on the line had he hired O'Day. And of course he'll be gone in two years. But only for an NFL opportunity.

Anonymous said...

I wonder who the Riders new GM and coach will bring in as his OC.

Anonymous said...

December 7th "Pearl Harbor Day"

Do you suppose the Eskimo fans are feeling raided?

Anonymous said...

The new CFL website looks excellent - worth checking out!

Anonymous said...

It's green and white bro, not green and grey.
Auspicious start.

Anonymous said...

For the most part, Chamblin remained composed on the sidelines.
Jones on the other hand is a time bomb waiting to go off.
I give him a year before his God complex will make Chamblin look like a choirboy.

Anonymous said...

Now if Rams can just tie a can to Gibson (CALL BOB DYCE), football prospects in this city will have taken an extreme turn.

Anonymous said...

What did I miss. Anything going on in the CFL today?

Anonymous said...

Two jobs was too much for Chamblin. Now we have three for Jones. Two years in Edmonton, left a week after winning first grey cup. Did he even negotiate with Edmonton? I would predict he is here two years. Hope we can get a grey cup out of it and some players to build from and not another salary to pay to someone who doesn't work here anymore.

How often have we all cheered against and laughed at failed teams who previously broke the bank to buy the "best players" and leached off of others hard work in developing players and coaches. Not sure if O day is the future but for sure if any other team wants him, he will be gone. Development will be all out the window and we will start from scratch. Drafting, scouting and developing well (all three) makes great teams. That takes time and perseverance.

BHJ

Anonymous said...

I love it :-) it's the mental midgets you speak of who wanted O'Day to be the GM.In the end it's all about winning Grey Cups and making cash. Who really cares if he leaves for the NCAA after two seasons? As long as we have another cup or are very close to another, I certainly don't.
I also read that suicides are up 30% in Alberta since the economy tanked, hopefully some of these arrogant Albertans posting on here will add to that number shortly after they realize the shambles their lives have become :-) have a nice day :-D

Anonymous said...

If you think Chamblin was arrogant for the way he behaved, you ain't seen nuthin yet.

I can't wait for Vanstone, McCormick or Nye to get on his wrong side and just get blasted.

Anonymous said...

I cant believe the negativity here. This is a great move on the part of Reynolds to show the savvy to go after a football person of Jones's calibre. We've been missing this kind of savvy for a while. Who were they supposed to hire?? Bring Ken Miller Back?/ Come on...
We could have hired Vince Lombardi and there would still be fans complaining, Yeah, he's got some work to do, but that's why he's making the big bucks. And if he moves on, that means he did a great job here. this is a coup. ( I live in Edmonton and just got manure put on my lawn...Just kidding, but Eskie fans are po'd right now!!)

Anonymous said...

Geez! Can't you pinheads see that 90% of the comments trashing this hire are trolls screwing with your heads looking for a reaction? And your giving them precisely what they want, an "Oh yeah?" response, exactly what they were hoping for.

Feed 'em, they keep on coming. Ignore them completely, they'll soon tire and move on back to their Gameboys or Facebooks or pulling their pud.

Anonymous said...

I heard the comments about O'Day on the cage tonight and I'm not sure it's entirely accurate. To suggest O'Day will need to go somewhere else to achieve his goals I think is a bit presumptuous. Also there is no proof he is more ready than either Murphy or Sunderland right now. With all due respect to O'Day one could argue that Murphy and Sunderland might have a compelling case to suggest they are more deserving. Sunderland was the first person hired by the RedBlacks and was instrumental in putting together a GC participant. Murphy has been stocking Calgary for years and the team has been the most successful in the CFL in recent past. Comparatively speaking. Murphy has been an understudy just as long or longer than O'Day, yet he doesn't have a GM's job.

There are only 9 GM positions in this league and right now there are no available positions anywhere. There may not be for at least a few years. Winnipeg appears to be the team most likely to make a change particularly if they have a bad season next year. However there may be the like of Murphy, Sunderland, and even Tillman vying for that position. O'Day could be in contention but there is no slam dunk. Considering our history in Saskatchewan, the most likely spot for an opening might be here. If Jones is successful and he likely will, a NCAA Division 1 team could come calling. Remember Kent Austin?

No doubt O'Day feels hurt and bit wounded right now, but many of us have gone through that in our workplaces and prevailed. How come the Oilers PBP guy wasn't a good Canadian guy? This thing happens all over the world in all professions. Jones didn't become a GM until he was 48 years of age. O'Day is only 41 years of age. I don't think he is badly positioned to gain this job in a few years. He is welcome to apply for any GM jobs available I'm sure, but again they're not plentiful. Working hard and trying to enhance his skill set would be better than what some folks are suggesting. He's not the only assistant GM wanting the top job, and he's not the only one with a great resume. I hope he stays but that's his choice and no one person is bigger than the Rider organization

Anonymous said...

From reading some of these comments on the blog today, looks like the old saying is true. God must love stupid people, he made so many of them.

Unreal.

Anonymous said...

Great day to be a Rider fan!

This guy has a track record of nothing but success. Good odds of it continuing.

Anonymous said...

Tried to sign on to the CKRM site to listen to the sports cage today and I was blocked by my Virus protection. Turns out getting on the site will generate a virus. Sad if this is Eskimoe fans reaction to our signing Jones.

Anonymous said...

" I did it my way"...

Graig Raynolds

Anonymous said...

Rod you said you would be shocked if Jones was on the Rider sideline next season. Prepare to be shocked.
Dean

Caesar said...

"December 7th "Pearl Harbor Day"

Do you suppose the Eskimo fans are feeling raided?"

I was thinking the same thing! haha, hit them where it hurts, from the inside of the operation!

Well played.

Anonymous said...

Rod: Extremely disappointed that poster 29 with his "hope that more Albertans" join the 30% higher suicide rate in Alberta would have that post make it in the remarks section. Classless.

13th Man said...

Question: is Chris Jones perhaps overrated? If you look at the league in 2015 was it not of a lower caliber? With all of the injuries to key players teams were not as strong as normal. Not to take anything away from any team or individual, but is it not unheard of for a 2nd year team with a 40 year old QB to almost take all the marbles? On an other front why is Reynolds getting so much credit? Did he have any choice but to sack Chamberlain and the GM. It was either they or he that walked the plank?

If the Riders are so plush why are the penalizing the fan with increased seat costs hidden by another name (do they think fans are dumm - I guess so).