Wednesday, May 25, 2016
ROUGHRIDERS CONFERENCE CALL NOTES
WHAT'S THE FOCUS GOING INTO CAMP?
JONES: We're just looking for buy-in. We sell the fact that we have fun everyday and that's what we do. It's all about football.
RATING THE OFF-SEASON
JONES: It's been very busy but we're used to it. We've been doing this for a long time. There's always going to be lots of changes.
TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE
JONES: We're more about running around and playing fast. We know they can hit. We saw that on film. Can they keep it up over two-a-days? That kind of thing.
HOW WILL THIS CAMP BE DIFFERENT?
JONES: We've been through this before. We had lots of new faces in stops in Calgary, Toronto and even way back in Montreal in 2002. We're kind of used to that. Offensively there are a few more vets.
ON CANADIAN DEPTH ...
JONES: We picked up some real good guys in free agency and the Draft was good to us. Quarterback play and Canadian content is key and we feel we're in really good shape.
WHY DO YOU WEAR BLACK ALL THE TIME?
JONES: It matches my personality! It makes it real easy to pick out clothes in the morning.
WHO'S ATOP THE RUNNING BACK DEPTH CHART?
JONES: Curtis Steele has the most experience. If there's a front-runner, he'd be it but he knows he'd better be ready.
WHAT ABOUT THE CHICK AND DRESSLER RELEASES?
JONES: We've rehashed that but we'll do it again. It's natural for fans to love players but I was hired here to win, not win a popularity contest. Those are great guys and great players but this was what was best for the team. All moves are made to win a Grey Cup.
HOW DO YOU BUILD A TEAM AND CHEMISTRY?
JONES: A combination. We look for certain physical attributes but if we have a guy with special talents and characteristics, we'll let him do a whole bunch of that. We just try to be simple with the players and give them simple assignments to do over and over. Those that can do that will stick with us.
HOW DOES THIS OVERHAUL COMPARE TO EDMONTON?
JONES: We had a lot of changes over there in the first year two. We've brought guys over that have played in the league. There are some close parallels.
DESCRIBE THE DEFENSIVE MINDSET ...
JONES: I'll leave that for you guys. We'll do the same things we've been doing since 2002. We'll stop the run, rally to the football and do everything in our power to get to the QB.
WHAT'S PLEASANTLY SURPRISED YOU ABOUT SASK?
JONES: The passion. You can only assume things from looking from the outside but seeing it from the inside, there are some very genuine people at this place that love the team and want to win.
WHAT'S YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR COACHES?
JONES: They're some of my best friends in the whole world. We're more like family than co-workers but everybody knows why we were brought over here. It certainly wasn't for our looks.
HOW'S DARIAN DURANT?
JONES: I think he brings a level of leadership. He and Mike Reilly are similar in a lot of ways. They're tremendous leaders. He looked outstanding at minicamp and is in fantastic shape. He's been out for two years so he has to prove certain things but you can't worry about things or you'll worry yourself to death. 95% of things you shouldn't even be worried about.
WHO'S THE BACK-UP?
JONES: We'll have more guys there to evaluate. I won't comment on anybody until I see them. Darian's our starter and then we'll go from there.
WAS THE OFF-SEASON OVERWHELMING?
JONES: No. I love every aspect about this job. I love coaching and personnel and when the season starts, it's like Christmas Day. Players is the name of the game. In high school years ago and Coach Lolley was the head coach, we found out personnel is how you win football games.
WHAT'S UP WITH THE DRAFT PICKS?
JONES: We've got all of them signed but Josaih St. John (the #1 overall pick). We hope to be able to have him signed. We certainly would like him to join our team but we have certain philosophies in how we'll do things and that's sort of where we are right now.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT FOOTBALL?
JONES: If it wasn't for football, there ain't no telling what I'd be doing. I'm just very blessed to be in football. I wasn't good enough to play it, but I love every aspect of it and I think our staff parallels that.
RUMOURS ABOUT XAVIER FULTON AND JONATHAN WILLIAMS?
JONES: Yeah we've got them both coming in.
HOW ARE EXCITED ARE YOU TO GET UNDERWAY?
REYNOLDS: It's exciting. It was exciting in December when we named Chris and he's surrounded himself with great people. I'm excited to see how it plays out in the final season at Mosaic Stadium.
HOW IMPORTANT IS THE FAREWELL SEASON?
REYNOLDS: It's an important year. We have a couple coming up here with the new stadium as well. It's exciting and I can feel it across the whole province. Saskatoon is excited to welcome us for training camp. We'll only do this once-in-a-lifetime, closing down a stadium. It will be very emotional for our organization but more importantly, our fans.
SEASON TICKET UPDATE?
REYNOLDS: We're at 80% capacity right now with seasons and single game tickets go on sale June 1. We've started the seat transition process and we've started conversations. That's started with club seats and come mid-June we'll start discussions with others.
We'll air this conference call on today's SportsCage on 620 CKRM.