Edmonton journalist weighs in on Riders new bench boss Chris Jones

CBC Radio’s Saskatoon Morning invited Min Dhariwal to the program to offer his thoughts on the hiring of Chris Jones.

"He's a no BS guy," says CBC reporter

Chris Jones was introduced as the Saskatchewan Roughriders new head coach and general manager on Dec. 7. (Glenn Reid/CBC)

The courtship between Rider Nation and Chris Jones, the team's new head coach and general manager, has moved the idle chit-chat, and onto the big important questions.

He's a no BS guy. What you see is what you get.- Min Dhariwal

Among them, is Jones ready to be under the microscope? No problem, said the new bench boss.

"You know I was born in Alabama," said Jones. "And you know, the first thing people think about when they wake up is football."

Jones is saying all the right things. But remember, it was just a little more than a week ago that he was leading the Edmonton Eskimos to Grey Cup victory.

That's why CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning invited Min Dhariwal to the program today to offer his thoughts on the hiring of Chris Jones. Dhariwal is a sports journalist for CBC Edmonton. Here are some highlights of the conversation he had with Saskatoon Morning host Leisha Grebinski.

 So there had been lots of speculation about Chris Jones leaving Edmonton to lead Saskatchewan. Any surprises that he was the man chosen?

You know, the joke around here in Edmonton was that it was kind of one of the worst kept secrets that he was going. I mean, the speculation started during Grey Cup week in Winnipeg. The rumbling started then and Jones and the rest of the team did as much as they could to downplay it, and then yes. Last week, I think it was on the last day he had his availability scrum with the media, and I think after about the twelfth question towards Jones about the possibility of going to Saskatchewan he said, yes, there is an opportunity.

Why do you think he decided to come to Saskatchewan?

I think throughout his career, slowly, each job has come with more responsibility. I mean, here in Edmonton, he had to turn this franchise around within two years. You know, he's done quite a job to do that, and the General Manager in Edmonton is firmly planted in that position and Jones wanted control and wanted to be able to bring in his own players.

How would you describe his style and the way he works with players?

He's a no BS guy. What you see is what you get and he expects everything. He expects a lot from his players and we got a glimpse of it right away when he came to Edmonton. For years and years the locker room in Edmonton was open to media and that's where you would go after practice to get your interviews and what-not and one of the things he did right away was he shut that down.

How do you think he'll handle the pressure of Saskatchewan?

He comes from a place where the situation is the same as it is in Saskatchewan; he comes from Tennessee which is football crazy, people eat, drink, sleep and they think about football all the time. He relishes I think and I'm sure he's ready for it when he goes to gas up or goes to the corner store, when he's having breakfast and people will be coming up to talk football. But that's him. He thinks about football all the time too, so it sounds like a perfect relationship.


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