Wednesday, May 17, 2017
RIDER CONFERENCE CALL NOTES
The call featured Head Coach & GM Chris Jones and QB Kevin Glenn. Here are some notes from the event:
WHAT'S THE HARDEST POSITION TO SCOUT AT MINICAMPS?
CJ: Anytime you can find a QB who looks like he can be a real guy in our league, that's an oddity. Most times these guys have some kind of glaring deficiency, so those guys are hard to find.
THOUGHTS ON THE OFFENSIVE LINE
CJ: We still have some unanswered questions like, can Brendon Labatte and Dan Clark stay healthy? And who can play Right Guard? We're solid at both tackles so we'll go from there. The plan is for Guard-Centre-Guard to be Canadian but if that changes, we'll be able to adjust.
THOUGHTS ON THE RECEIVERS:
CJ: Our receivers did a great job last year but any time you can add guys like we added this off-season, I don't think you turn your back on that experience. There's 15 guys there so that could be the battle to watch at camp.
WHY SIGN CHAD OWENS AND BAKARI GRANT?
CJ; It's always good to have some type of experience in your group but last year with our injuries, we thought we had ample leaders in the group but it's hard to lead from the sidelines. If that happens again, we'll have at least a couple of guys around who can do that.
I've been around Chad Owens in his career and he's a worker. He didn't get blessed with size or speed but he was blessed with a gigantic heart and we are hoping to lean on that.
HOW READY ARE YOU?
KG: I'm pretty excited for camp. As far as the playbook goes, I'm good with it. We got a headstart in minicamp but I've been in a bunch of different systems. The routes are the same as a lot of teams but the verbiage is different. I've been getting lots of help from the coaches transferring that over.
THOUGHTS ON NEW DB MIKE EDEM
CJ: It's a situation where we picked up a guy with CFL experience and also adjust the ratio. He wanted to restructure his deal and play here for several years so we're real happy to have him.
ANY UPDATE ON 1ST RD PICK CAMERON JUDGE AND THE TEXANS?
CJ: I'll wait for you guys to find the news on him from the news down there. We've had a few draft picks officially agree to terms but no one has officially signed yet.
**It was later reported by 3DownNation.com's Justin Dunk that Judge did not receive an offer after his workout with the Houston Texans, and he's now Sask-bound.**
WHAT ARE THE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF THIS TEAM?
KG: The weaknesses, to me, would only be the team gelling together. But I don't think it's a weakness if we all strive for the goal of working together to help the team win. The strength is the depth. Last year the team struggled with injuries but that's been addressed this off-season. We have the next guy to step up and it's not just rookies, it's guys with experience.
IS THIS A GREY CUP TEAM?
KG: Most definitely. I have a lot of confidence in myself and the coaches have a lot of confidence in me too or else they wouldn't have brought me back to Saskatchewan. Having said that, we have to go out and play. But not one guy is going to do this. It's a team effort.
IS LABATTE HEALTHY?
CJ: Yep. He's healthy and good to go. Any time you can have an all-star guard, you have a better shot at keeping your QB healthy and upright. It helps you get some extra sleep at night.
KG ARE YOU HITTING YOUR PRIME AT 37?
KG: Thank you for asking that question! No, I think things happen for a reason and you just have to take advantage of your opportunities. I'm grateful to be given the chance by this coaching staff, this organization, this market and this city.
39-year old Super Bowl winning quarterbacks says a lot about the player, and coaches believing in QBs who are up in age. This game is focused on the young guys, but to put trust in the old guys, that says a lot. But you have to perform. They don't hand out contracts based on age. You have to perform.
IN 2003 YOU AND BURRIS BACKED-UP HERE AND NOW YOU'RE IN THE TOP 10!
KG; When you say things like that, my longevity presented the opportunity to put up numbers like that but to have actually been on the same team, that says a lot about the staff who had us on that team. And it says a lot about the player to be able to withstand the scrutiny of the position.
It'll be a great chapter in the book I'll write when I'm done.
ARE YOU EXCITED TO OPEN THE NEW STADIUM?
KG: Most definitely! I started my career here so I've seen where the actual stadium came from. Being able to open it up and play in it, I always just to stay in this long enough to play in it. A lot of guys would kill to be in our position and playing for the Roughriders right now. That kind of stadium, a really nice facility to go with everything other positive thing that's going on with the organization, you have to appreciate it.
ANY MESSAGE TO THE FANS WHO ARE GETTING IMPATIENT?
CJ: We're not going to make any bold predictions. That's for others to do. The one promise we'll make is that we're going to work and do everything possible to win as many football games as possible. We'll put our work ethic up against anybody's.