Saturday, February 20, 2016
ROUGHRIDERS VISIT PRINCE ALBERT
Prince Albert Daily Herald
The 2015 CFL season didn’t go the way the Saskatchewan Roughriders wanted.
Finishing an injury-riddled campaign that saw the Green and White play to a 3-15 record and last place in the West Division, there were changes to come in Riderville.
However, for wide receiver Nic Demski and defensive tackle and Tearrius George, that poor season has given the team “tremendous motivation” for the 2016 campaign.
“We’re paid to win,” said George, who was alongside Demksi at the Prince Albert Raiders game on Friday night.
“That’s what we practice for. That’s what we work all off-season for and we didn’t get that done last year. It’s a big motivation.”
The changes started fairly early in the off-season for the Riders. About a week after he led the Edmonton Eskimos to a Grey Cup victory, Chris Jones was hired by the Riders to be their new head coach and general manager.
Not only did Jones head to Riderville, he brought all but one of the members of the Eskimos’ championship coaching staff, including offensive co-ordinator and assistant head coach Stephen McAdoo.
“It says that those guys are loyal to each other,” George said of the coaching staff moving. “They want to be together. They’ve got something special together, so that’s why they would all go to the same place.”
“They won a Grey Cup last year in Edmonton, so it’s basically a privilege for them to come over to us and lead us to our Grey Cup this year,” Demski said.
Neither Demski nor George has had a chance to speak with Jones yet about the upcoming season, although the veteran defensive tackle said it’s understandable. Jones and has staff have been preparing for the upcoming CFL Draft and managing the roster as the CFL’s free agency period opened on Feb. 9.
Both players were curious about what Jones would do to improve the roster, leading them checking for updates.
“I was on Twitter all day just waiting for updates and stuff like that,” Demski said. “It’s probably a thing all around the league that everybody does, just sitting and waiting to see who goes where.”
The Riders made the biggest splash on the second day of free agency, signing the likes of national defensive end Justin Capicciotti, international defensive back Ed Gainey and former first-round pick Shamawd Chambers.
George said he expects big things from the new additions.
“Nobody’s going to take it easy on us just because we’ve got a lot of new players or it’s a new team or we’ve got some new coaches,” he explained. “I think we’re expecting big things from everybody.”