It’s not exactly a break up, but it’s something you have to move on from.
Darian Durant came back to Regina, not just for CFL Week, but also because he needed to pack up his home and get ready to move out east.
The Grey Cup-winning quarterback was traded to the Montreal Alouettes in January, rocking the Rider Nation in the process. But now Durant said he is really not surprised with how things turned out, adding he doesn’t believe he was ever one of head coach Chris Jones’ guys.
“That’s one of the main reasons I signed a one-year deal,” Durant said on Wednesday afternoon. “I wanted to see how it went and how I felt at the end of the year and even if I wanted to stay. I just wanted it to be in my hands.”
But that didn’t make leaving any easier.
“I just think that they way it was handled was very unprofessional,” he said. “(It) could have just been a simple ‘we want to go in another direction thank you for everything goodbye.’ I would have much rather had that go down … then to take personal shots.”
Durant had spent all 11 years in the CFL with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He bought a home in Regina and he thought he’d be able to finish his career here – not unlike some of his past teammates Weston Dressler and John Chick, who Durant said he leaned on for support.
“Just always keep in the back of your mind what happened, how it happened and use that as a little bit of fuel going forward,” he said of the advice he received.
That’s all part of the moving on process that he’s been going through over the last few months. Durant said he’s come around to the idea that he’s an Alouette now and he has to pack away much of his old life.
But he said CFL Week has made the transition easier. When he put on the Alouettes jersey for the first time on Wednesday, he said it felt good because he was surrounded by his new family and new teammates like S.J. Green and Nik Lewis.
Durant added it was refreshing to settle in Montreal, where he was obviously wanted and where general manager Kavis Reed spoke so highly of him, after spending part of the off-season in a battle with the Roughriders.
“I don’t think Chris Jones was ever a big fan of mine from way back in the day,” he admitted. “But Kavis, just speaking on his belief in me and my abilities and what he thinks I can do for this franchise, I really appreciate.”
It’ll still be bittersweet for Durant to open the stadium at the beginning of the season.
“Of course, it’s sad … but I’m happy, happy for the organization, the fans, they deserve it and the players, they deserve a place to call home that feels like home.”
For Durant, his new home will be in Montreal. And his French? Well, it’s coming along.
“Don’t put me to the test just yet,” he laughed. “Give me until June and I’ll be a lot better.”