|Jones on Friday|
It's the first return to the Alberta capital for Roughriders Head Coach & General Manager Chris Jones who jumped from the Eskimos to rival Saskatchewan just eight days after capturing the 2015 CFL championship. Here's a transcript of Jones' session with reporters:
ON HIS RETURN:
CJ: It's more about what we need to do as a football team moreso than coming back here. It was a good two year ride here but it's like everywhere else I've been; I've got a job to do, they hired me for a reason and that's where my focus is.
ON RETURNING TO COMMONWEALTH
CJ: Again, I've been in that stadium a buncha times before on the other side. When you're around this stuff as long as I've been, 15 years in the league, we've got a job to do and that's kind of the way I'm approaching it.
HOW'S IT BEEN WITH THE RIDERS?
CJ: It's been a good training camp. We're very fast, very athletic. We got a bunch of guys who never played together so we're still feeling each other out and knowing who each other really is. Especially defensively, there's a lot of new faces. We got some work to do.
HOW MANY NEW FACES ARE THERE?
CJ: I don't know. I'd like to know. Y'all look at the roster and y'all let me know.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN A PART OF SOMETHING LIKE THIS?
CJ: Defensively, we had a rebuild in Calgary. We had a rebuild in Toronto with a lot of new guys who'd never worked together before. This is not uncharted territory.
IS YOU VERSUS JASON MAAS A GREY CUP REMATCH?
CJ: I'll leave that for y'all to decide too. Me and Jason have known each other for years and Jason's an outstanding football coach. He's going to have his group prepared and we just want to show up and do our job and have fun while we do it.
HOW MUCH DO YOU ENJOY ALL THE ROLES YOU'VE TAKEN ON?
CJ: That sounds like a lot but I've been pretty heavily-involved in the last two organizations I've been in and again, it's one of those deals where I'm the head football coach and just happen to call the defensive plays and I help find the people. I've got two guys in Jeremy O'Day and John Murphy who are outstanding and well-proven in the league. They know personnel and they've done a good job of helping me assemble talent.
WHAT'S YOUR REFLECTION OF YOUR TWO YEARS IN EDMONTON?
CJ: Ya, again, the organization here was very good to me. Ed Hervey gave me my first shot, the city was very receptive to me and I've still got a lot of good friends here. As soon as I landed here today, I had a ton of messages from people me and my staff befriended during our time here. It was a great locker room, we probably weren't the most-talented group but we were definitely the tightest locker room and we're trying to emulate the same thing over in Saskatchewan.
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR RECEPTION WILL BE LIKE ON SATURDAY?
CJ: I'm sure it'll be typical for somebody who left somewhere. I'm sure it won't be the friendliest of welcomes. I'm okay with wearing the black hat. That seems normal for me.