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Saturday, August 12, 2017


Chris Jones says it's time for his team to turn their season around.

At his pregame news conference on Saturday before Sunday's home date with the BC Lions, Saskatchewan's Head Coach & GM delivered a stern message.

"We got a lot of work to do," Jones admitted of his 2-4 club. "It's time to quit talking about it so much and time to start doing it, quite honestly. We had a good week of preparation, especially in our meetings. I thought we had good attention in our meetings.

"We've got to take that to the field."

The frustration in Jones' voice was clear. I asked him if this rebuild is ahead of schedule, behind schedule, or right on track.

"It's been kind of up and down this year," Jones said. "We've played some very good football. Unfortunately against two very good teams (Calgary and BC), we've played sub-par football. Some of it's due to guys trying to do too much. We looked at it this morning; some guys, instead of concentrating on the B-gap, they're trying to make a play all the way over in another gap.

"Or a linebacker, he's responsible for the C-gap, he's peeking in here thinking that the run's coming inside and then it bounces out to the C-gap. You can't do that. You have to play your gap, trust your teammates to do their job, and instead of playing as a bunch of individuals, you have to play as a team. The effort's been there. These guys haven't laid down at all."

Jones knows what it takes to be a championship-calibre football team as evidenced by his four Grey Cup rings. I asked him if this team is anywhere close to being at that level.

"I don't want to say that we're close," Jones concluded. "I want to say that we're tired of talking about it, and we've got to go out and be about it. That's been the message all week; they need to go do it."

As for the 5-2 BC Lions, their Head Coach & GM Wally Buono expects no carry-over from last week's 30-15 Lions home victory over Saskatchewan.

"No, no it's totally a brand new game," Buono offered."First of all, you're in a totally different venue. The mindset of each team is totally different from when you went into the game last week. The strategies are slightly different and the rosters are even different. The way I look at it, it's a brand new football game. It's game eight in a long season."

Former Rider fan favourite Ricky Foley returns to Riderville as a member of the BC Lions after being signed last Sunday. He was stunned by the beauty of New Mosaic Stadium upon his return on Saturday.

"Honestly, it's breathtaking," Foley gushed. "I knew when I went into Winnipeg, I thought 'Wow this is nice'. It reminded me of when I was in Seattle. This is on another level. This is gorgeous. It sets the bar. This is encouraging for the CFL."

NOTES: The Riders have five roster changes from last week. IN are: K Tyler Crapigna, LB Derrick Moncrief, DL Will Ratelle, WR Devon Bailey and DT Nick James. OUT are: DB Chris Lyles, K Quinn van Gylswyk, DB Eric Dargan, C Dan Clark and DT Zach Minter ... Kickoff on Sunday is 6:00 pm Sask Time on TSN and the 620 CKRM Rider Radio Network.