January 16, 2019 1:54 pm
Updated: January 16, 2019 1:56 pm

Roughriders begin search for Chris Jones’ replacement

Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach Chris Jones talks with his players during first half CFL action against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in Regina on Sunday, Nov 11, 2018.

Matt Smith / CFL Photo-The Canadian Press
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With the dust starting to settle on Chris Jones leaving the Saskatchewan Roughriders and heading to the Cleveland Browns of the NFL, the team has to begin a search for a new head coach and general manager.

The team announced the 2018 CFL coach of the year’s resignation Tuesday.

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According to Justin Dunk from 3 DownNation, John Dorsey of the Cleveland Browns asked the Riders to speak to Chris Jones on Saturday (Jan. 12) and right after the interview on Tuesday (Jan. 15), they offered Jones a job with the club.

READ MORE: Chris Jones leaves Saskatchewan Roughriders for NFL opportunity

“I think you have to take a step back and understand that Chris Jones has wanted to be in the NFL for a long time and that it was going to be hard for him to turn down that opportunity even those he just signed that extension with the Riders,” said Dunk.

With CFL free agency beginning on Feb. 12, it will be important for the team to have their football operations staff in place quickly.

“We are fortunate to have many quality football leaders and coaches on our staff. We will evaluate and will look to fill the vacancy quickly,” said Riders president and CEO Craig Reynolds.

“It does seem like Jeremy O’Day is favourite to take over as General Manager which bodes well for the Riders because he has been with the team for a couple of regimes now but more specifically with Jones and he will know the players that are there just as good as anyone in the organization or the league well,” Dunk added.

Watch Below: Teri Fikowski sits down with Jamie Nye from The Green Zone on 980 CJME to get some insight into Roughriders Head Coach Chris Jones’ resignation.

With the new CFL coaches’ cap being brought into effect this season, it will be interesting to see what the Riders are able to do for a coaching staff.

“I would imagine one of the guy’s at the top of the Riders list will be Paul LaPolice who is a former offensive coordinator with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, has coordinated the top scoring offence in the CFL last season with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers,” Dunk said.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan Roughriders start 2019 CFL season on the road

“I would also look at an internal candidate for the Riders in Craig Dickenson and knows the roster really well and if they go that way they can maybe try to save a little bit of money Dickenson could be one and on a special teams note I’ll throw out another one who is out of Calgary in Mark Kilam who has been with the Stamps for I believe over a decade,”

Dunk added that the first test for the Riders new brass is going to be figuring out who will be the team’s starting quarterback for 2019.

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