Saskatchewan Roughriders Head Coach Chris Jones didn't really want to talk about his football team and what they had gone through in 2018 during a 23 minute session with reporters Tuesday afternoon.
While discussing what happened to his football team this year, Jones was more interested in talking about having to reduce the pay of his coaching staff and himself and in some cases eliminating some positions.
It is not something Jones wants to do, but an edict from the CFL means all nine teams will have a salary cap of 2.738 million dollars when it comes to the 11 coaches and 17 other football operations employees they have.
"The unfortunate reality is there are going to be about five or six people who won’t be with our organization anymore and for the rest of them who are here, some of their bonuses and things — the reasons why they came here — are being taken away plus six- to 10-per-cent pay cuts.” Jones said. "These are people that are like your family"
It was one of many things discussed during the 23 minutes. Some of the other highlights
- When asked if offensive co-ordinator Stephen McAdoo would return, Jones said "Absolutely". McAdoo took a lot of blame from fans for the team's efforts on offence this season---one that included the fact the Riders had a league-low 25 touchdowns and did not throw a touchdown pass in their last 23 quarters
- The new American Alliance of Football is creating problems in signing players and that likely won't change when the second version of the XFL begins.
- Quarterbacks need to be protected and that perhaps ejections are needed if a quarterback or any player is guilty of delivering a hit to the head.
Marcus Thigpen, Willie Jefferson and Brandon Bridge also spoke at the last scheduled availability of the season.
Thigpen, who will avoid free agency after signing a one-year contract extension, says he wants to retire as a Rider and that the community, the fan-base and the dressing room under the watch of Jones is amazing.
Jefferson, who is scheduled to be a free agent, says Saskatchewan is a place he would like to call home, but that he has to do what is best for him and his family whether it be the CFL, the AAF or NFL/
Bridge doesn't know if his football future will continue in Saskatchewan, but if he does return he needs to know that the coaches will roll with him through the good times and the bad.