The Saskatchewan Roughriders hit the field at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach, FL on Saturday with a "Play-In" Tryout Day. Players who were drafted or signed in the now-defunct Major League Football outfit were offered a chance to tryout with the Riders, and be carried over to the minicamp which begins on Sunday. The Roughriders' Dan Plaster had a one-on-one with Rider boss Chris Jones on www.riderville.com after the workout and here is the transcript:
HOW PRODUCTIVE WAS SATURDAY?
CJ: Well I thought it was very productive. We did a good job -- we were very efficient with our time and did all of our testing stuff within an hour-and-a-half. We had 100 guys show up and it's one of those deals where we had some really good players and hard decisions to make. We're gonna move forward with 12-14 guys and see where we go with them.
HOW EXCITED ARE YOU TO OPEN CAMP?
CJ: There's no doubt. There's gonna be some great looking kids here and we look forward to pitting them against each other on Sunday.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
CJ: You gotta have a certain physical skillset. You gotta be able to run, jump and change direction. You gotta be in great shape. As you saw we did a ton of one-ones today. We'll do the same thing on Sunday and the tempo's going to be fast. Then you've got to have a certain amount of skill offensively and defensively. You've gotta be able to throw the ball, catch the ball, and get in and out of your breaks. That type of thing.
IS IT TOUGH TO RATE THE LINEMAN WITHOUT CONTACT?
CJ: It's a little bit harder to evaluate but at the same time you can tell when a guy's explosive and he's able to change direction or if an offensive lineman can stay in front of everybody that he goes against. You take enough reps, you'll see if they can play.
WHAT ABOUT THE QUARTERBACKS?
CJ: I've gone against Darian for so long. He's quite the leader and he's the field general. He's tough as nails. It's unfortunate the last two years that he's had injuries so it's going to be good to see him get back on the field.
IS NICE TO FINALLY GET IT GOING?
CJ: Yeah we started way back, Jeremy O'Day and I started back in January down here in Florida, in West Palm Beach actually, where we had our first workout. We've gone all across the country and now we've come all the way back. So it's going to be real exciting. It's like Christmas Day for the coaches. We look forward to getting the meetings started Saturday night.
Here are some photos from Dodgertown:
Our broadcast location is on that patio ...
Some classroom study and testing ...
This is the spring training facility of MLB's Los Angeles Dodgers ...
It's all baseball, baseball, baseball with one football field ...
Local teams play on one of the diamonds ...
My car ...
My hotel ...
The Riders practice from 8:00 am ET to 12:00 pm ET on Sunday.
620 CKRM's SportsCage comes to you live at 2:00 pm Sask time with Luc Mullinder and me as well as various Roughriders personnel.