|Jones on Monday morning|
Here are some notes:
- Roughly half of the news conference was dedicated to the ongoing contract talks with pending free agent quarterback Darian Durant. Jones said he hopes and expects to re-sign the 34-year old quarterback.
- Jones declined to get into the salary numbers being tossed back and forth between the club and Durant's agent Dan Vertlieb but was clear to point out, "This is not me versus Darian."
- Asked if the "Next Darian Durant" is currently in the CFL but playing for another team, Jones said that's a possibility but declined to name names for fear of being fined.
- Regarding a grade for his football club in the first year of this regime, Jones gave them an emphatic "F". "Any time you only win five games, that's not very good," Jones remarked.
- He stated that the entire coaching staff is expected to return, and that a lot of their struggles were injury related which can't be pinned on his assistants. He said they've won too much in the past and therefore he still has a strong belief in their abilities.
- Regarding all the injuries, Jones said they'll investigate into why the number was so high this year. He said the bulk of the injuries occurred during games rather than in practice, which was interesting.
- He said their spring minicamp will be much more physical than last year's in Vero Beach, FL.
- He said the team will hold several more free agent tryouts camps this off-season including seven between now and Christmas. He feels this was a valuable resource as last year's camps turned up players such as receiver Ricky Collins and linebacker Sam Eguavoen.
- Jones doesn't expect the team to be as active in free agency as they were last year.
- He said he'd like to re-sign linebacker Jeff Knox Jr. but the player would also like to explore NFL opportunities. Jones revealed Knox played injured for the entire season, and played every play on defense in B.C. on Saturday night.
- Jones said he did learn some things in his first year as a General Manager. With the sudden retirements of players such as Maurice Price and Bruce Campbell, they will restructure the wording of their contracts.
- Regarding all of his roles as V.P. of Football, Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator and if they were too much for one person to handle, the said it wasn't a lot different than what he was doing with the Edmonton Eskimos.
- Jones concluded the session by remarking that New Mosaic Stadium will likely be a drawing card for potential free agent signings and referred to their football facilities as "immaculate".
- We'll air the news conference on the SportsCage today at 4:00 pm on 620 CKRM.