Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach Chris Jones was pretty blunt in his post-game press conference after his team’s 39-12 pre-season loss to the Calgary Stampeders on Friday night and there were plenty of interesting tidbits. Here are five quotes from that session and what they mean.
1. “You could have blocked better than what we did in the third quarter and I didn’t want to risk our A-group and B-group quarterbacks going out there. The other guys have a little bit more mobility so I put them in there.”
Jones was responding to a question from Regina radio reporter Arielle Zerr (who, in her defence, is probably a decent blocker) who was asking why the Riders went away from their planned quarterback rotation in which Zach Collaros was supposed to play the first and third quarters, Brandon Bridge the second and fourth.
Instead, Collaros had two drives in the third and was replaced by David Watford and B.J. Daniels, who went the rest of the way.
2. “I saw Bridge all last year, I’m good with him… Collaros looks a little bit rusty. The ball didn’t come out of his hands the way I would liked, and he missed two deep throws… I have the luxury of having a guy who helped us win 10 football games last year (Bridge), so if a guy is struggling then Brandon Bridge will play, or it’ll be the opposite… Collaros has started a lot of games and has been a good football player for a long time. He has won too many football games to be rusty forever.”
This is essentially all of Jones’ quotes about his quarterbacking situation strung together (the questions were sprinkled throughout the press conference.) Jones first said the quarterbacks hadn’t decided anything with their play on Friday, then said he’s already decided on a starting quarterback for week one but he wasn’t telling the media – but he was smirking as he said it so it’s hard to know if he was joking or not. Read what you will into this expression…
3. “Emanuel Adusei is at guard and he had three or four busts in a row. He’s trying to make our football team and earn a living doing that job. That’s what you get paid to do. We get paid to play not just football, we get paid to play winning football. When you get our quarterback hit, your opportunities are limited.”
The Riders only surrendered two sacks on the night but Collaros took some hard shots and the protection wasn’t good all night. Adusei probably didn’t sleep great last night: never good when your coach calls you out by name in the post-game presser for the bad things you did.
4. “You can probably tell by the way I’m feeling right now that I’m not very pleased with the way we played in the first and second quarter. They had their backups in there, their B-group against our A-group offence in the second quarter and we didn’t do anything.”
That’s a pretty blunt assessment of how his team played. The Riders managed three first downs in the first 30 minutes, went two for 11 on second down conversions and were outscored 23-3. So, yeah.
5. “We’re not going to win or lose the Grey Cup off a pre-season game that still doesn’t count on the record but we’ve got to improve on some things in order to get where we’re going and I’m a little perturbed that we’re not farther along than we are.”
“Perturbed” in one word for it.