If the CFL’s coach-of-the-year voting is tied, I’m warning the Football Reporters of Canada right now, I’m voting for Chris Jones.
My executive post with the FRC puts me in the unenviable position this year of casting tie-breaking votes. It happened three times in the first round of awards balloting and it might again when the Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach gets pitted against the Ottawa Redblacks’ Rick Campbell. Ottawa finished first in the East with an 11-7 record, including two wins against 12-6 Saskatchewan, which placed second in the West and Sunday hosts its first playoff game since 2013.
Jones’ team has improved in each of his three seasons in Saskatchewan. This year’s team was characterized by a game-turning defence coupled with a non-descript offence. Jones isn’t a warm and fuzzy guy, but his players seem to like and believe in him. This isn’t a personality contest, it’s deciding which coach did the best job with his team. Jones was missing a few pieces, but he did the better job.