Wednesday, September 12, 2018
RIDERS RETURN TO PRACTICE, STILL TALKING ABOUT WILLIE
REGINA - The Saskatchewan Roughriders returned to practice on Tuesday for the first time since Saturday's 32-27 win in the Banjo Bowl at Winnipeg.
All the talk still centred around Willie Jefferson's 97-yard interception return touchdown in the second quarter. Jefferson took the scenic route on the way to the endzone, romping across the field while waving to fans and high-stepping.
It became the talk of the CFL, and was replayed endlessly on TV sportscasts all weekend.
"Oh for sure I would do it again!" Jefferson smiled. "It wasn't frowned up upon by the team or by anybody in the organization. It was a big play that I ended up scoring on. I understand if I would've got caught or fumbled the football. Everything I did was with good intentions and it was going to the right direction."
Quarterback Zach Collaros agreed it certainly was an unusual play.
"It was very interesting," Collaros laughed. "Willie's a funny guy. I think his justification was he was trying to run the clock out but there was 13 minutes left in the second quarter! He's just an unbelievable player. That group (the defensive line) has been lights-out all year long and it's just fun to watch those guys play."
Head Coach Chris Jones didn't scold Jefferson for the lavish return, but doesn't encourage it either.
"It wasn't what we look for in ball security," Jones advised. "But certainly it was a very athletic play. We looked over it this morning. He needs to tuck the football, get in the endzone. That's what he needs to do. But certainly it was a big play when we needed it to be."
Meanwhile Collaros was back running the first team offense on Tuesday despite leaving Saturday's game with a suspected head injury. He said he suffered no concussion symptoms at the time nor in the days afterwards and he intends to start this week's game.
The Roughriders (7-4) host the Ottawa RedBlacks (6-5) Saturday at 7:30 pm at Mosaic Stadium.