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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

DURANT'S RETURN: "I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH CHRIS JONES"

Peter McCabe/CFL.ca
MONTREAL - It will be a special day for a pair of 35-year-old Montreal Alouettes when they face the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Friday night.

Quarterback Darian Durant will play his first game in Regina since his bitter parting with the Roughriders and coach Chris Jones in January. And it may be the final game in the 14-year career of receiving great Nik Lewis, although he's ready to keep playing if the Alouettes want him.

It will not be the triumphant homecoming that Durant hoped for when he was traded to Montreal after 11 seasons in Roughriders' green and white.

The Alouettes are 3-13 and last in the nine-team Canadian Football League. Durant has struggled to move the offence, while the 9-7 Roughriders have clinched a playoff spot using two of the quarterbacks Montreal jettisoned last season - Kevin Glenn and Brandon Bridge.

"We're just trying to get a win and go out there and play some good football, something we haven't been doing,'' Durant said Tuesday. "Of course it's an environment that has been a part of my past, but we need this game and that's how I'm approaching it.''

All looked promising for Durant when he faced the Riders in the opening game of the regular season and threw a pair of touchdown passes in a 17-16 win, but the season quickly went downhill. The Alouettes have lost nine games in a row, including five straight since general manager Kavis Reed replaced Jacques Chapdelaine as head coach.

Durant, who Montreal hoped would be a veteran presence to stabilize its quarterback position, ranks seventh in the league with 3,107 passing yards, with 15 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He returned after missing two games and completed only eight passes for 92 yards in a 43-16 loss at home to Hamilton on Saturday before giving way to rookie Matt Shiltz.

Reed has not guaranteed he will return next season.

"No, I haven't played my best football this year,'' said Durant. "I can't do it alone, that's why football's the ultimate team sport.

"It's not about proving points any more. What's done is done. It's about us trying to get a win. Who knows what next year holds, but my job is to try to help this team win and show I still have a lot of football left in me.''

Jones seemed to pin a lot of the blame for Saskatchewan's five-win 2016 campaign on Durant. Many fans were furious when Jones traded the 11-year Roughrider who led them to a Grey Cup on home turf in 2013, but the team looks to have turned the corner without him.

"I'm happy for my friends on that team, I'm happy for the community,'' said Durant, who will play in the new Mosiac Stadium for the first time. "They deserve a winning situation there.

"I have no problem with Chris Jones. I just have a problem with what he said. It could have been handled in a better way. I've always respected him as a coach. It's just when you start pointing fingers and you have a lot to do with what you're pointing fingers at, that's my only problem.''

Reed could have used the Alouettes' two remaining regular season games to give Shiltz more playing time, but didn't want to deprive his veteran pivot of a special moment.

"Darian is going back to Saskatchewan, the place he was traded from and where he's a legend,'' said Reed. "When you look at where we are in the standings and what the end of our season looks like, why not give this young man an opportunity?''

Lewis is set to return after missing three games with a right leg injury. The long-time Calgary Stampeder who joined Montreal in 2015 reached the 1,000 career catch mark this season and sits fourth all-time in that category.

"I came in today, they wanted me to play and here I am,'' said Lewis, his voice trembling with emotion. "I could play the last game probably of my career in front of a lot of family, some new friends I've made, and get an opportunity to walk off the field the way I want to, hopefully healthy, happy and just feeling blessed.''

He feels he can keep playing, but Reed wants a younger squad next season and there may not be a place for him, despite his 70 catches this season for 619 yards. The Alouettes will have a new coach in place in 2018 who may have his own ideas on Lewis's worth.

"It all depends on who comes in next,'' said Lewis, who is slated to sit out the season finale next week in Hamilton. "If they want me around as a player, then I'll be ready to go.

"I feel like I have a lot left, but I'm also ready to transition. I'm at peace with this being it, if it is.''

(Canadian Press)

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

You're a bigger man than I am Darian. I still haven't forgiven him for how he treated you.

Anonymous said...

Sybolic that they knock old Mosaic down Friday at 1pm before Darian takes on the Riders at new Mosaic hours later.

Anonymous said...

Darian Durant's return: " I have no problem with Chris Jones" - CAPITAL LETTERS.
Huh? Why the immature taunting clown antic celebrations directed Mr. Jones way at games end early in the season Montreal when Roughrider kicker Crapigna's missed field goal gave the game to your Alouettes, no problem? You have major problems, losing! 6 - 30 record past two years says so. Eat some humble pie dude! Your done! Past mediocre! Just as Mr. Jones had evaluated, surmised, opined. Now go away already!

Alex Zeller

Anonymous said...

Translation : I am about to be cut, and I need a job. Are you hiring Saskatchewan?

Anonymous said...

I hope fans don't miss a chance to show their appreciation for the past success prior to 2014 season. This could be his last start ever.
LF

Anonymous said...

Durant has problems...sounds like you may have a few also, WOW. Mr.Jones Mr.Jones...his name is Chris Jones and he is a coach not a doctor.

Anonymous said...

Glad Durant is gone. Look forward to showing him what's up after his actions in the last game they played.

Anonymous said...

Darian???? Symbolic???? Lot more men who doned the Roughriders green and white more symbolic than Darian Durant to that old stadium. Mr. Ron Lancaster (RIP) being first and foremost.That's a little bit overboard to suggest Darien Durant symbolic. Get a life pal. Darian Durant symbolic? Not!

Stadium; was and always will be remembered as Tayor Fied.Stadium, "Lest We Forget"

Anonymous said...

Jones's record in the last two years is only 12 wins in 34 games. Durant won a Grey Cup here and took them to the playoffs several times and, in fact, would have won two Grey Cups here if not for Kavis Reed. He did it all with class and was very respectful of everyone. He will always be one of my favorite Riders. If you can't treat him with the respect that he deserves, then perhaps it is you who should go away.

Scott Thompson said...

That was a bit harsh. The one thing that stroud out for me was.”I can’t do it alone.” He’s always had a problem with personal responsibility, I’m sorry but it comes with the position and paycheck. That being said: thank you Darian for the years you put in here. We’ll see you in the plaza! Go Riders.

Anonymous said...

Durant is yesterday's news. Technically what Jones said has a vein of truth to it. I have said before, and will say again, I cheer for the Riders, not a player, or coach, or legend. The Riders. I like the team and believe they are poised to win it all. A GC victory will look great on KG's resume. Hope he gets to hoist the Grey lady.

Anonymous said...

Duron Carter gets a player of the week for a pick six...well guess anyone making a pick six gets a player of the week from now on...brutal. Cfl picks there players of the week like the refs...absolutely horrible.

Morgan said...

Remember when that genius said that Darian Durant would be playing in the grey cup this year... good Lord! You must feel foolish these days!

Anonymous said...

Translation: - we all make mistakes, we get humbled, we learn gratitude, our past doesn't define us, it's all about progress not perfection, cleaning up your side of the street, once a Roughrider always a Roughrider.

Thank you to Kavis Reed for being classy and letting us give this guy a proper send off standing ovation when he steps on the field.

He was the greatest QB on the greatest team and he's legend.

Y'er Welcome

Anonymous said...

Durant has been in a very bad situation for about 3 years ever since he dislocated his elbow in that devastating after the whistle hit in 2014. Not a pretty way to finish a moderately successful career.

Anonymous said...

Darian must think "I give up"! He says something very reasonable and no one keys in it.

His problem with jones was that jones put the blame on darian for the 2016 record. IMHO, jones was more responsible for that pitiful record than darian.

Jones did have a plan but part of the process was to rebuild in 2016. That meant it was a write-off year. That was part of Jones's plan.

Darians issue (as he states) is that Jones seemed to blame darian for the record.

I'm definitely not a huge Durant fan. I believe he was just above mediocre.

But I can see his point

Anonymous said...

"It's just when you start pointing fingers and you have a lot to do with what you're pointing fingers at, that's my only problem.''

Sounds reasonable to me.

Anonymous said...

All the teams making the play-offs are looking good to have a chance at the cup...except Calgary right now, they seem to be struggling but managing sane way to win

Anonymous said...

Nobody cares about you or your feelings.

Anonymous said...

DARIAN,
Most fans appreciate what you have done for the Riders in the past. I wish you could have finished your career with the Riders, but it wasn’t to be. I will be in the stands on Friday giving you a standing O, which you deserve. Best of luck in the future.

Anonymous said...

Without Kavis Reed, Darian would be the Riders only two-time winning Grey Cup starting QB. Three if you count being #3 in the '07 GC. This is payback as insufficient as it is. Thanks for the memories Darian, you were the key to the greatest decade the Riders ever had.

Anonymous said...

I wish that he could have been successful in Montreal. But, you only look as good as the team around you. Too bad.

IMAGIRL

@mrt_man said...

Nothing but love for DD. In my semi younger Rider fan life, the 13 grey cup was by far my favourite rider moment.

The supposed anger/animosity toward DD is ridiculous. He took us to the cup multiple times, got us a cup, and was dramatically better than any of our other qbs while he was playing. All he did was play his @$$ off for us. Not sure what team the rest of you jack wagons were watching.

He wasn't at the top of his game anymore when we chose not the re sign him, but Jones didn't have to put a knife on his back on the way out. Had the Montreal game been on Regina to start the year, it would have been EPIC! Who wouldn't be excited about beating the folks who told u you couldn't do it any more and insulted your whole career?!

As a side note... Aren't most of those quotes like a year old? That's kinda weak sauce.

Anonymous said...

Despite cooler weather I hope that the stadium is full Friday night. I look forward to seeing Chad Owens in action and the return of Durant.

GangGreen said...

Darian Durant was always the hardest working, and the smartest guy on the field. There were times that he took the whole team on his back.

Not only did he lead the team to winning seasons, home playoff games, a grey cup victory at home -- he also played a major leadership role in the '07 team -- a team that was riddled with injuries and pulling players off the practice squad all year long. A practice squad led by Darian.

Looking back, I wish injury hadn't cut into Darian's best years.

Anonymous said...

People at the end of their careers need to be recognized for the job they have done in the past .Of course Darian will get a standing ovation because he did a lot for our team and we as the Rider faithful will give him the thanks he deserves. He wore his heart on his sleeve and did all that was asked of him to promote the team and help win a Grey Cup. Can't fault the guy for looking out for his best interests. I hope he has a good game but I hope we pull off a big win to keep the momentum going.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree. Durant is a Rider icon and should be given all due respect. Jones is not an icon in Rider nation at this point and has no right to put a knife in Durant's back with his comments. Durant has earned my respect with his play here and his class. Jones has not earned my respect.

Anonymous said...

If Durant comes in & wins again, you can all console yourselves at Brad Wall's tofu stand & cry into your spilt almond milk

Anonymous said...

Jones didn't put a knife in DD's back! His agent did and DD allowed him to do it. Jones spoke the truth that DD had been moderately successful . The problem was DD's agent tried to play on past performance which would not work on a rebuilding team. DD did a wonderful job when he had been younger and in better shape but Jones recognized DD would only be effective as a backup at best

Anonymous said...

I really hope Darian sticks it to Chris Jones and the Riders. He was treated unfairly and basically run out of town by the dictator Chris. No wonder nobody wants to play for the Riders anymore.

Anonymous said...

Shut your mouth Rod.

Anonymous said...

No wonder nobody wants to play for the Riders anymore? What kind of nonsensical comment is that?

Many free agent signings ( Derek Dennis Last year's lineman of the year, The flying Hawaiian, Duron Carter come to mind)

As well as players coming back from NFL tryouts. If they hated Chris Jones and playing here these people never would have signed with the Riders.

He wasn't ran out of town either, he was offered fair compensation for his abilities. He chose more money elsewhere, and what has that got him? Playing for his job next year.

That's the problem with many in Saskatchewan, we put these players on a pedestal and don't care how much we pay them, if we even win, as long as we treat the fan favorites preferentially. When in actuality you have to abide by a salary cap, sell the team, the stadium, the coaching staff. Ability to win instead of large sums of money and nothing left to fill out the team.

I won't cheer for a player wearing the other teams colors.

Anonymous said...

And you are?

Anonymous said...

Wow you really don't have a clue do you?

Anonymous said...

Lets face it, Darian WAS moderately successful throughout all the years. Its a fact so separate the emotion. He wasn't consistent, in fact some games it looked like he was taking the night off. His passing accuracy was average at best and he was successful only because of his athletic ability to run earlier in his career. Now that he is one dimensional, his true skill is coming through. Don't get me wrong I was a strong DD fan but he as more so frustrating as our starting qb than he was good.

Anonymous said...

What's all this BS "Manlove" for "Less than Mediocre" Darian Durant? Darian Durant doesn't give a sh*t about the Saskatchewan Roughriders fan base otherwise he would still be with the team. He only cares about himself and the 1.25 million dollar 3 year contract he signed with Kavis Reed and the Montreal Alouettes. Knock it off already gullible dumb a** clowns! Darian Durant signed his name to contract on his own free will to Montreal, end of story.

Anonymous said...

Lets get DD out to the final farewell to the old stadium. He could show up, why not. Its the middle of the day Friday and he would likely be doing nothing at his hotel anyways. Hey Roddy, if you see him invite him out. Why not??

Anonymous said...

Get real! starting Montreal qb Darian Durant has got better things to do with his Alouette team than wasting it looking at a pile of garbage.

Anonymous said...

A major leadership role in '07? He was a rookie

Anonymous said...

You are not a rider fan are you....

Anonymous said...

Friday afternoon old Mosaic Stadium "BRING IT DOWN, Bring it down, Bring it down"..
Friday night New Mosaic Stadium " Bring'em Out, Bring'em out, Bring'em out"

Anonymous said...

Every once in a while you get a clueless individual that makes a comment so disproportionately out of place in not only its content. But it’s ignorance of trying to be a self serving, self gratifying dig at the team and it’s fans.
I would suggest Donkeys attempt at stating no one wants to play for SK. Wins ignorance is bliss comment of the year.
This past off season witnessed just about every team go after a very talented receiver. Some teams even offered more money but the best supported fan base. Combined with the best stadium and a coaching staff on its way to making a championship team for years to come. Was an easy decision on where to sign. It wasn’t Calgary or Edmonton. But right here is Regina.
As for Darian Durant. Well Darian took the negotiations to the media. He then got what he deserved and guess what. His play in Mintreal has proved that Chris Jones was one million percent correct and Darian was sooo wrong! No team is going to overpay for a player who’s talent has never returned post injury and now looks to be long since past.
Darian said the same BS before the 1st game. Then danced around after the last second field goal miss by the Riders and pointed a finger to the Riders sideline like Darian himself had just won the game. He basically acted out like a spoiled juvenile

Keeping it real and in proper perspective

Anonymous said...

I care.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Chris Jones???? Sounds awesome! Didn't see any mention he was a doctor on this blog except from you Anonymous. Here's hoping the U of S/U of R gives Mr. Chris Jones a honorary doctorate degree, he's a genius you know. Dr. Chris Jones... Nice! You deserve it Mr. Jones.

Anonymous said...

Jones comments were classless and unnecessary, and shirked his own accountability as the architect of the 2016 roster. Umbecoming and unnacceptable behaviour from the VP & GM of this organization PERIOD.

Anonymous said...

You are wrong. Thanks.