Q&A: Riders head coach Chris Jones on fight gone bad

Chris Jones met the media on Tuesday in Regina and there was one storyline on everyone’s minds: the fight that broke out at practice Monday.

Reporter: Can you tell us what happened at practice Monday?

Jones: “That’s football, we had a little altercation yesterday.”

Reporter: What is the situation with Duron Carter?

Jones: “He’s a football player on our football team and he’s still exactly where he was.”

Reporter: Will he be playing on Friday?

Jones: “Our roster will be decided later in the week.”

Reporter: What preceded the altercation?

Jones: “We don’t give details on that. We come out here and we compete hard every day and sometimes – we had an altercation today. I’m not going to give you details on it.”

Reporter: There was a report a coach was involved…

Jones: “We’re not going to mention anything else other than what we just got through saying, that there is altercations at football practices and that’s what happened. It’s a violent sport and that’s what went on. That’s all the details we’re giving about it.”

Reporter: Does it concern you when fights break out at practice?

Jones: “No, not really. There have been fights broke out everywhere I’ve ever been, in fact, some of the better teams that we had – I can remember Dwight Anderson and Brandon Browner fighting four times on day four and we won the Grey Cup, so no it doesn’t concern me in the least.”

Reporter: Is there going to be any disciplinary action as a result?

Jones: “See, again, we’re not going to sit here and harp on something that was blown up quite honestly on Twitter. Football is a violent sport, we practice it hard, there’s going to be altercations, and that’s the end of the story. That’s it.”

Reporter: Are you going to have a chat with him about his Tweets?

Jones: “No, I’m not. Duron’s a grown man, he can do the things that he needs to do as long as it doesn’t affect this team in a negative way. We’re a team, we do everything as a team, we practice as a team, we travel as a team, we work as a team, we work in the weight room as a team, so there are no individuals, I can tell you that.”

Reporter: Is that boys being boys maybe letting some frustration out?

Jones: “Like I told ya, there was an altercation today in practice, but it’s not uncommon when you put people against each other in a competitive environment. I can assure you that if our coaches go and play backyard basketball or pickup basketball down at the YMCA, there will be an altercation.”

Reporter: When stuff like this does happen is there a policy or a code of conduct that you have in place to do with it?

Jones: “Code of conduct…as long as it doesn’t hurt our football team – we’re a family and we work hard together, we play hard together and we do things together. As long as it’s not something that’s going to tear our football team apart, then we’re fine.”

Reporter: You’re not concerned that players could get injured when they’re scrapping each other?

Jones: “It’s part of it. Would it be an unfortunate situation at this time? Absolutely. But it wouldn’t be the first time. It’s not something that we just absolutely condone, but it’s going to be something that happens. So, if you got a team that’s not willing to go after one another and play aggressive, then you probably got the wrong guys.”

Reporter: There’s a story out there that says you’re going to send these guys home…

Jones: “Again, we won’t expand on anything behind – in our locker room or in our organization, this is all within our walls.”