ON HOW THE VINCE YOUNG SIGNING CAME ABOUT
CJ: Once it became evident that we weren't going to be able to re-sign Darian, I looked long and hard at a lot of different quarterbacks who had NFL experience, because even if they didn't have CFL experience, at least they had NFL experience.
(Vince) had been on Montreal's neg list for years but he'd popped off of it a few years ago. I had a scout friend in Texas who had his number and I called Vince on the phone. He sounded like a really good dude and I told him I was gonna be in Texas and we could meet up and have dinner. Me, him, Jarious Jackson and Stephen McAdoo. We created a friendship and it just went from there.
ON THIS YEAR'S FREE AGENT MOVES
CJ: You sign these guys for a reason. There's a lotta conversations, a lotta film work and a lot of thought goes into signing these guys. You feel very good about it and it's kinda like Signing Day in the NCAA. You feel very good about what you've got, (but) the guys still have to come in and #1 stay healthy and #2 come in and compete and make plays.
Quite honestly we felt very good about last year's free agent class and it didn't go very good for us. We're staying realistic with it. We do remain positive and optimistic that we made the right decisions. Character is something that we weighed very heavily this year.
WHAT HE LEARNED IN YEAR 1 IN SASK
CJ: The common catchphrase is 'You're gonna be under the microscope' or 'You're gonna be in a fishbowl'. I grew up right here on the Tennessee-Alabama line and in my hometown, right now, it doesn't matter that I'm coaching pro football. It's 'How good were you as a high school football player for the South Pittsburgh Pirates?'
So I've been under scrutiny since I've been a kid when it came to football. The thing I think most is you have to dot your I's and cross your T's as far as some of the fines we got this year. Some of the things we did was no different than what's done everywhere else but unfortunately for us it became a negative and a little bit of a distraction from time-to-time.
I learned that we've got to play exactly by those rules because that's the way we'll be governed. If everybody else doesn't get governed like that, then so be it. The Saskatchewan Roughriders are going to be (governed) exactly by the CFL book, in everything that we do. If we lose a ball game, I don't want to be because of anything we do off the field that's causing distractions.
If there's one regret, that's probably my biggest regret of the year. I'm referencing they fined us $60,000 for throwing our 6-game quarterbacks post-practice. If that's the way it's going to be and they're going to govern it by the Letter of the Law, that's the way we'll live. Unfortunately we were on the wrong end of that fine.
That's something I really, really regret.
*You can listen to the entire interview here: http://www.cfl.ca/thewaggle/.