Realty One

Sunday, April 17, 2016


By: Curtis Mullen

On a windy overcast day in Kansas City, Missouri the Saskatchewan Roughriders - led by VP of Football Operations, GM & Head Coach Chris Jones - held a free agent camp on Sunday. Assisting the head coach was Riders' regional scout Alphonso Hodge along with two coaches from Avila College.

Over 25 players paid $ 100 each as they continued to chase the dream of playing professional football.  Registration started by 9:15, once that was complete each player was tested in four separate areas: 40 yard dash, shuttle, broad jump and vertical jump. After the testing the head coach went through what the players could expect if they made a CFL roster.  He emphasized the speed of the game along with the small roster sizes.

Once testing was complete, players from each position were put through a series of change of direction drills. These drills are important as players had the opportunity to show the coaches how well they could change direction while keeping their eyes focused on the head coach.  The next stage was a series of drills that allowed the offensive and defensive skill players to focus on specific routes or coverages. Once the skill players had some routes and coverages taught to them, it was time for some one-on-one action.

The offensive skill players were lining up against their defensive counterparts.  Once every player had been through several rotations, the offensive and defensive lineman were provided an opportunity to show what they could do. As there were no helmets and pads, power rushes were not allowed.  After the lineman had completed their one-on-ones for the first time, the coach said that was the end of the first quarter.  The players then completed the one-on-ones three more times to try and simulate a game.

After the one-on-ones were complete, the head coach asked for return specialists to stick around as the long snapper and punter went through their drills.

Throughout the course of the day, Coach Jones was focused on running each drill with purpose and speed.  He wanted to make sure everything was done in a timely fashion.  During the entire day, Coach Jones did not use a whistle; he just had command of the entire process.

Once all the drills were complete, the coach gathered all of the players together to tell them that he personally had enjoyed the day with them. He them advised them of some things they would need to get in order, in case they were called by the Riders.  This included making sure that each of them had a valid passport. Additionally, he mentioned that just because they did not receive a call today did not mean that they were not good ball players; it just meant that he did not see something on that day.  Coach Jones stressed that each of them should continue to improve on their conditioning while continuing to chase the dream.


Anonymous said...

In other word there were no players there good enough to play pro ball - which has been the case with all of the camps

To bad the riders couldn't get their act together and get a proper scouting staff like the other teams.

Riders are a confused mixed up bunch this year - it is going to be a sad year.

Anonymous said...

At this stage this camp seems like a bit of overkill. Seems to me that with all that been done to date by coach Jones there is ample talent coming to training camp in all positions, and add to that the players still come from the upcoming CFL draft.

Anonymous said...

Riders are still last place and the Eskies are still Grey Cup Champs

Anonymous said...

Every CFL team do these camps all over the USA. What each team is looking for are players from each of these camps that they can invite to training camp.

If the Riders did not do these camps and other teams did, fans would be saying that they need to put more time and money into scouting. This is what scouting is all about. Going to wherever there is a chance that the team could uncover a player that could improve the team.

Scouting is not pretty or glamorous it is a lot of hard work. Until proven otherwise, I trust that Coach Jones knows what it takes to bring in talented individuals to build a winning team.

John Moore said...

Jones & staff have done an outstanding job attracting prospects to the camps. You never know when a real gem will turn up at these camps. The camps allows the Riders to get a long list of future prospects. The Florida camp will bring at least 6 new players that will make our team better. Very impressed with the quality of the coaching staff and Jones especially so far he has definitely walked the talk.

Anonymous said...

Schmos fan posting like a mad man this morning. Guess he's got lots of free time since he's unemployed and bankrupt

Anonymous said...

I love my Eskimos but I's knows we's are in trouble this here year.
We ain't gots us a highest caliber coaching staff and we's didn't do much in that there free agency. Plus we lost several players in that same darn free agency.
I's remember our new Defensive Coordinator taking over the Grey Cup Champion BC Lions and losing out 3 years in a row in the 1st round of them playoffs. Now we has us an ex QB who was never a starter. Just a respected back up bench warmer. But he had the BC Lions coach to guide him.
Oh my I's getting me an upset stomach from writing this here message. I can tell our Eskimos is gonna be up the frozen crick without any wale bone paddles.
I sure wish Coach jones and his crew wouldn't had abandoned us for them there greener pastures. I guess they saw how much red was a headin to our Province and they split while the splittin was good.

Ernie Engrate loyal Edmonton Eskimos fan

Anonymous said...

Just about every team does exactly what SK is doing this year. The only difference is Regina has to report what's happening. Where as other teams don't report crap in the off season. Other than free agency and the draft.
For that 1 Eskimo fan on here ripping at stuff he knows nothing about. It just shows the stupidity some people have about football. We have some of them right here in our Province. They are the same ones that didn't have to sit through 11 years of not making the playoffs because we could find a good QB if our life depended on it. Now that we have had Joseph for a couple years and Darian as a starter for 7 years. The no minds figure we can just magically hire a Grey Cup winning QB. Time to grow up and support your team.
We have had 3 different GM's and 4 different head coaches that are more than happy to have Darian as our leader. Yet some of you figure you know more than 7 different professionals do and want to get a new younger QB. Just shows how stubborn and stupid people in football can be. They work at cutting chain at lowes or Home Depot but feel they are more qualified to decide who should stay and who should go.

Clay said...

I love it. Leave no rock unturned

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr Taman.

Anonymous said...

Ha,ha...rider fans acting like Eskies fans, how cute. Our team has lost a few pieces but still boasts very strong team and you will all see very soon.

Anonymous said...

"Good enough"

Typical Saskatchewan mentality. Work just hard enough to the crop in and never dare do anything extra.

If they find one player from working all of these camps it is all worth it!