Chris Jones was not impressed.
So much so that in the middle of Tuesday’s practice, just hours before the team was boarding a plane to Hamilton, he stopped practice and read his team the riot act.
“We can’t put two days together. We’re two and two and there’s a reason,” the frustrated head coach told the media after practice.
“It’s frustrating as a coach and … I can assure you if you go ask Brendon LaBatte he’s just as frustrated as I am.”
Turns out LaBatte may have been more frustrated.
“It’s been a long time coming,” LaBatte said of his coach’s mid-practice lecture. “We go out there and we watch our walk-throughs and pre-practice stuff and it’s garbage. There are missed assignments, balls on the ground and I think it’s been a little overdue.”
LaBatte said there’s been a lack of effort not just on the field, but off the field in the film room and in studying the plays.
“We’re busting day one plays still and if you’re doing that it’s tough to get further on down the line and become a good offence when we can’t get out of our own way right now.”
LaBatte makes a strong point about the struggling Roughrider offence, who has been able to score just four touchdowns in four games. Quarterback Zach Collaros is out with a concussion after a hit in the club’s week two matchup against the Redblacks and Brandon Bridge and David Watford have been unable to get the offence going in his stead – in part because they are constantly scrambling.
Jones said the coaches and team leaders are working to figure out solutions to the team’s lack of consistency in practice – but also said he knows they’ll struggle until then.
“We’re not in any position to where we’re good enough to take them off the practice field. We’ve got to line up and throw and catch and know our blocking assignments,” the coach said firmly.
Something reiterated by LaBatte not long after.
“This is professional football. If you don’t do your job you’re going to not have a job so I mean to go out there and not even come to practice with the intent of getting better, I don’t understand.” LaBatte indicated.
“It shouldn’t really have to be said.”
The Roughriders will need to figure it out quickly, as they play Thursday night in Hamilton. The Green Zone pre-game show begins at 3 p.m.