Realty One

Tuesday, November 13, 2018


Saskatchewan Roughriders Assistant V.P. of Player Personnel John Murphy joined 620 CKRM's SportsCage on Monday to discuss Sunday's 23-18 season-ending loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the 2018 CFL Western Semifinal.

However Murphy was more interested in leading off the interview by discussing the headshot by Winnipeg's Jackson Jeffcoat which knocked Rider QB Brandon Bridge out of the game with 0:08 left and the Riders attempting a comeback.

Murphy said headshots on Rider QBs have become the thing-to-do late in CFL seasons.

"Don't wanna beat on what's already been beaten over several times but to hear the person who's in charge of the entire league say that a hit like yesterday needs to be closer evaluated, that something needs to be done about it, well I'm going to go one step further and say something should've been done about it after last year's playoff game (East Final)," Murphy said. "A turnaround play in the game should've been reversed when Kevin Glenn got hit in the head.

"So now I go to a preseason game against Calgary (this year) and Zach gets hit in the head, no flag. In the first half of the Ottawa game, Collaros gets clipped, unintentionally, in the facemask, no penalty. Two weeks ago, it takes us throwing the flag to get hit-to-the-head (Odell Willis on Zach Collaros) penalized, and then, yesterday, at the end of the game, there's another clear hit, that's clear to everybody but the people working the game. So for me, I'm saying clearly this is a league-wide scenario.

"But what am I supposed to tell anybody who wants to play that position, anybody that is a free agent from the NFL, looking at playing QB for us? Who has now seen five times in less than a calendar year a Roughrider quarterback get hit in the head, intentionally or unintentionally? Whatever you want to pretend you led with, the result is the same: hit to the head, hit to the head, hit to the head, hit to the head, hit to the head.

"And I'm gonna tell you if the math (punishment) of that equation is half-a-game cheque and a meeting with the Commissioner versus winning a game on the field? It's not exactly difficult to decipher why it continues to happen.

"The major thing is, that takes nothing away from an amazing play that Terrence Plummer made last year or nothing away from the end result (on Sunday). But why are we even having to discuss this issue again? We discussed it for two weeks after a great West playoff-type game and now 15 hours after the game, it's still one of the discussion points rather than it was a great game that was decided on the field.

"It's a blemish for every team."

The Roughriders will clean out their lockers on Tueday and hold one final media availability before officially beginning the off-season.



SWC said...

I find it amazing that Ambrosie could change the celebration rule after one beer was chugged yet the headshot thing goes on and on. Then I remember that he represents the same group that can't fathom giving each team one challenge to LOSE! If you're successful you still have a challenge.

Enigma said...

Ambrosie is no different than the rest of the BS Commissioners I can recall. If he doesn't want to lead meaningful change, then the owners etc will have to do it. First off this nonsense we hear about "I didn't mean to hit the head" or "I was aiming for his upper chest" has to be viewed as just that. If it's a head shot on a QB, it's a severe penalty. The last two playoff games where Rider QB's took head shots that weren't call? Just coincidence?

I they really wanted to stop it they could;

-immediate player ejection
-40 yard penalty
- loss of 3 points from your point total. If you have zero, none are applied until penalty is accounted for.
- 2 games suspension without pay for offending player.
- Offending team pays the salary of injured QB until he's ready to play, to a maximum of 18 games.

Any combination of these things would end this "head hunting" quickly. It doesn't matter what your salary is, it's all relative and shouldn't make any difference or excuse for goon behaviour. If the league doesn't have elite healthy QB's, nobody will come to games and teams will regress.

If the league won't get real serious about this then then is only one option for the Riders. That is they have to adapt to the new standard as it's applied today, and perhaps adopt the same style of play that's being inflicted on them.

Rudyman said...

At the beginning of the year, I asked the league why the video official is not just part of the officiating team. He would then have the same ability to call penalties like any other official. Make him responsible for player safety and this issue would be addressed easily.

Darrell Pomarenski said...

Great points; so very true.

Mike said...

The CFL is behind every other major league when it comes to head shots and concussions. It's 2018 - get with the program.

Football Canada punishes High School kids more than the CFL punishes its players. Amature rules have players ejected with an automatic 1 game suspension for headshots. CFL has nothing.

It is completely embarrassing the CFL continues to do nothing in regards to player safety.

Morgan said...

Something definitely needs to be done about the late hits and hits to heads of all players. Either they need to make a better system and make sure that every call gets made or just drop the entire initiative and go back to the old days where nothing was called. It's not fair to only call them sometimes. The CFL needs to consider hiring some new officials that can call games with some consistency.

LF said...

I was once wrong saying contact hockey couldn't prevent unintentional head contact, but it is looking like it may be possible. The players are becoming intentional about avoiding these situations. Just like the workplace where there is no such thing as an accident, the CFL needs to get to the point where there is no such thing as an unintentional head shot.

Birddog said...

I don’t see how the ‘eye in sky’ official can call down to correct an offside or procedure call but they can’t correct a call that could end a players career. What’s the priority?

Football Fan said...

Excellent comments by Murphy.