ON SIGNING DB DERRIUS BROOKS:
JM: I'd known Derrius from our time together in Calgary and knew he was in the midst of making the choice of waiting till the spring with the NFL or the CFL. I think his momentum was swinging more towards the CFL in recent times. Derrius suffered a major loss when his home had a fire in the fall so he pretty much lost everything he had. During that period in talking to him about life, I said when he's 100% that I'd like to work him out. It was more of a personal thing when the time was right and that's a position we thought could use some re-tooling. Derrius has played three positions in the CFL in only two seasons. He has good ball skills, is aggressive and doesn't mind chipping in on being a tackler which is a scheme that Chris Jones uses.
I think that's one thing you've seen through Chris's defenses is that his DBs are very aggressive and chip in against the run. Derrius was also a very good special teams player for us in Calgary so all of those things match up well for what we were looking for. To have the opportunity to grab him and solidify that position before free agency, we did it.
ON ACQUIRING MAURICE PRICE FROM OTTAWA:
JM: A year ago we were on the other end in Calgary of sending Mo Price to Ottawa and they were looking to add some offensive weapons. Like we discussed a few weeks ago, to add a piece you have to move a piece. Ottawa made some other moves and has a number of free agents to deal with and moving Mo likely helped them in other areas. We look at Mo Price as an asset. He's a very good veteran wide receiver who just a year or two ago was a top 10 receiver in the league. He's a guy that played both outside positions and also slot for Calgary. For what he did last year, the most important part for us was that he played every game and finished the season healthy.
For Ottawa, down the stretch, he had some productive games and you could still see what you needed to see athletically from him. Whoever you spoke to in Ottawa, when you watched the film, those were the plays that were left on the field last year; if Henry connected with Mo on some of those throws, he'd have thrown for 6,000 yards. You saw that his legs are still there, he'll be coming here with a chip on his shoulder and we know what kind of smarts he has. He has versatility and willingness to do that and we never heard anything publicly or privately about him complaining about not being used in the offense in a certain way. He helped his team to the playoffs and has done that every year he's been in the league.
WHAT ABOUT PRICE'S HIGH SALARY?:
JM: When you have conversations and know people, we have relationships with Maurice Price plus his representatives. We weren't the only team in the mix to get him, and the same thing with Derrius Brooks. A lot of things came into play including the coaching staff wanting these guys. It also boils down to these guys wanting to be here. Derrius selected Saskatchewan over other teams and I'm very confident that it'll be win-win for Maurice Price and the Riders. Pricetags will always be dealt with. With the salary cap, if you have a good deal, it's subject to change. If you don't have a good deal, it's really subject to change, and if you want to be somewhere you'll adjust appropriately. If you're looking for the max deal, there's eight other teams you can go play for.
ANY PLAYERS TO WATCH IN THE ALABAMA-CLEMSON GAME?
JM: There are a lot of good players but unfortunately they'll be playing in another "F.L."! And I don't mean Florida. I don't even know what players are neg'd with CFL teams but could you imagine how the Clemson quarterback would look on a CFL field? That's an exciting player, no doubt. That'll be the most interesting part of it -- Alabama's defenses have struggled with a mobile quarterback who can beat you with his arm and his legs. I'd like to see something new and different so I'd like to see Clemson win, but also living in the area code of 504 (New Orleans), if you cheer for Alabama they'll kick you out of the state!