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Saturday, December 3, 2016

JONES SPEAKS ON THE DEATH OF JOE MCKNIGHT

An emotional Chris Jones held a teleconference on Friday to speak on the tragic murder of Roughriders running back Joe McKnight Thursday in Louisiana.  The Roughriders Head Coach & GM is in Fort Lauderdale, FL where the club is holding tryouts this weekend.

Here's a transcript of the media event:

JONES: Joe meant a lot to our football team.  He wasn't with us the entire year but he's a guy I've been tracking a long time through his NFL career and college.  It's a tremendous loss for us.  A lot of our players are real upset over it.

WHAT KIND OF A MAN WAS JOE MCKNIGHT?

JONES: Previous to us getting him, you heard a lot of different stories about Joe but he was nothing but a good guy around us.  Worked hard, showed up every day, he had tremendous talent but he worked hard at his craft too.  That's what I'll remember about him.

WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO SIGN HIM?

JONES: Certainly he possesed great speed, and all the tremendous attributes that Joe had.  It just kills me. He was still just 28 years old.  He had a lot of years left, football or not, and it was just a tremendous loss.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLAYERS FEELING?

JONES: I know Jeff Knox called me.  He was pretty tore up about it.  I got a call from the area code 416 and it was Greg Morris.  Greg was like Joe's little brother and they even shared the same nickname.  I don't know.  Greg's real tore up.  We've got our team Pastor reaching out via email to our players and I know for sure I had him call Greg to make sure he's okay because like I said, they were like brothers.

HAS IT SET IN YET?

JONES: This is all about Joe right now. The loss for us as a football team and as a family, to lose one of our guys, we're very close as a team and it's just a tragic loss.  I tried to wake up this morning hoping it was a dream but it wasn't.

WHAT WERE JOE'S PLANS FOR NEXT YEAR?

JONES: I don't think Joe had reached his potential. He and I had some talks and he had a tough time staying healthy.  We talked about some things he had to do in the off-season in order to stay healthy and be consistent in ball games next year.  We had every plan to have him back and he certainly wanted to be back.  He figured very much into our plans.

DO YOU FEEL SAFE IN THE USA?

JONES:  Anytime something like this happens, it's unsettling.  It was over a traffic accident.  It's just unsettling, I guess, is the best way to explain it.

SHOULD YOUR AMERICAN PLAYERS BE ABLE TO STAY IN CANADA IN THE OFF-SEASON?

JONES: That's up to Canada.  I hadn't even thought about that.  Certainly I want our players to feel safe about where they live but a lot of our players came from areas that are crime-ridden and tough spots around the globe.  My heart goes out to them because the players are around each other more than the coaches are and if they feel like I feel, they've got to have a hole in their heart for the family.

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