If you weren't able to listen to Tuesday's news conference at which new Roughrider Head Coach & GM Chris Jones announced his assistant V.P.'s of Football (John Murphy and Jeremy O'Day), here's a synopsis of what was said:
- This is a group that knows how to win and is a cohesive unit. Murphy's worked 12 years in the league and been to three Grey Cups, winning two. The other guy (O'Day) has been to five Grey Cups and won three.
- Worked with Murphy over in Calgary and had a great relationship. He will be the assistant V.P. of Player Personnel and will assist in every way on the personnel side.
- Jeremy has been with the Riders for "quite some time". He'll be the assistant V.P. of Football Operations & Administration.
- It's an interesting dynamic as we all are three big circles that will intersect. We've talked at length how this is going to work. Jeremy's playing history will be a huge benefit, but has worked some in personnel and lots in administration.
- You win by surrounding yourself with good people. John Hufnagel's made a career of it and Jim Popp's the same. That's the model the new Roughriders want.
- The hiring process was a trying time but it's hard to argue with the results when you look at these three men together. Tough to beat the decision that was made. Feels very comfortable with this group and the direction of the team. That's all been laid out and they're all on the same page. Jones, within five minutes of meeting with O'Day, has laid out his vision and it's exciting.
- Reached out to Jones after 24 hours of "pouting a little bit" but picked him up at the airport and after meeting, they're ready to roll.
- Wasn't looking to leave Calgary but interviewing for the Rider GM job was an extraordinary opportunity and is probably the best job in the league. When he didn't get the job, he went back to work in Calgary but then received another call from Saskatchewan extending this opportunity.
- Thanks Calgary for allowing him the opportunity to join them in 2007 and grow and learn and bring him to the point where he's ready to join the Riders in this role. This is a "once in a lifetime" opportunity and there's only one "Saskatchewan Roughriders team" in our league. It's very exciting to build this team and also wonderful to have Jeremy O'Day stay with the club. The players and fans will be very excited about the coaching staff that will be unveiled on Wednesday.
- We win (Murphy and Jones together). That's it. Period. That's what we're here for and that's our plan. Having Chris Jones on the sideline makes you a better football team.
- I'm extremely fortunate. We have three of the four candidates who interviewed for this job all at this table. As Murphy mentioned, the Riders are the pinnacle of this league and we're here at a good time -- to do the things that will put the wheels in motion to win.
- It's not an accident to win games. You have good people and there's support from the top down. When things started falling into place, I realized this could be special.
- The Rider roster got better today. They asked in the interview if this is "a project". I said yes and no. They had a chance early and young guys fought hard late in the year. There are a lot of holes and age that need to be addressed. We need to get younger, faster, and our Canadian content needs to continue to improve especially through the draft.
- Right now I'm concentrating on getting the staff in order and securing these two guys. Once the staff is order, then I'll be calling players not only from me but the whole staff.
- Darian is a winner. He's confident on the field and the team takes on a different personality when he's not there. He's a tremendous player and we hope he gets back to being 100% and to the old Darian.
- There are 250,000 people here who think they can do, or want to do this job. I was in Disneyworld last year and there was a guy with a Rider jersey on. I'm in New Orleans trying to watch a game and there's eight Rider fans watching the Rider game on TV in the same bar. This is a step up from every other team in the league. Look at the history! We're going to close one facility and open one of the finest facilities in North America a year from now. To help feed the system to put players on the field for those two things - how do you turn that down?