Riders Chris Jones on Duron: ‘He’s trying to figure out who he is as an individual’

Chris Jones is expecting big things from Duron Carter this year – on both sides of the football – but says his star player faces some important life decisions as well.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders general manager and head coach confirmed on Thursday’s CFL conference call that Carter will play both receiver and get a long look at the boundary corner spot when Riders’ training camp gets underway in just over one week’s time.

“I’m going to keep him very busy,” Jones said.

But Jones also addressed his personal relationship with Carter, which has likely seen its ups and downs through the various controversies – including two arrests for marijuana possession this off-season.

“I’m hoping that we make strides. Willie Jefferson was an outspoken guy just like Duron and as we got to know each other better, and he got to know me better, our working relationship got even stronger,” Jones said. “You can ask some of the guys we coached in the past, we’re not bad guys, we’re there for the players. So hopefully Duron, like I said, we want him to make plays for us, help us win football games but we want to bring him along in other ways as well.”

Jones met with Carter in Florida last January, before he signed a contract extension with the club and seems to understand the uniqueness of his player’s colourful personality.

“I’ve had a lot of guys during my career that are very outspoken, they don’t necessarily fit the mould that everybody would like them to be in. So really that’s going to be Duron’s decision as to how he wants to develop,” Jones said.

“All I can do is offer my experience and be a support for him as he’s trying to figure out who he is as an individual.”