John Chick did not mince words when asked what it will be like to play Saskatchewan for the first time since being cut in the offseason.
“I get to show them how they messed up,” he said Friday in Hamilton.
In a shocking move last January, Roughrider general manager and head coach Chris Jones held a press conference to announce that he had released two of Saskatchewan’s most popular players: receiver Weston Dressler and Chick.
Chick had just opted to return to Saskatchewan after a stint in the NFL and recently opened a business, showing his intentions to stay in Riderville for a long time.
“There’s a right way and wrong way to handle things. It’s just not the one case, there was a lot of things,” Chick said.
“You can tell the circus that’s been going on in the media this year with Riderville,.I don’t know that most people would agree with what’s going on,” he continued before adding he should probably bite his tongue.
Chick is happy now with his new team in Hamilton. He’s amassed five sacks so far this year – half as many as the entire Roughrider team – and said after years of not being able to touch Darian Durant in practice, he’s ready to show him he can during a game.
“(I was) never allowed to hit the guy in practice, so it’ll be different tomorrow night, he always made it sound like he could get away,” Chick said of his friend Durant.
Of course, Durant had something to say about that too, adding they’ve spent a lot of time chirping at each other in practice over the years about if a play would have been a sack or not.
“It’s a whole other ball game trying to sack me opposed to someone else,” Durant said. “So it’s going to be fun and hopefully he doesn’t get too close to me.”
Chief in ensuring Chick doesn’t get too close to Durant is the Roughrider offensive line, who despite getting Dan Clark back still has a lot of new guys.
Veteran Thaddeus Coleman said they the whole offensive line will have to be in top form to play a player like Chick, who he calls one of the best defensive ends in the league.
“You just got to be mentally prepared for a war, it’s going to be a physical all game,” Coleman said.
“We know they’re coming, we’re up for the task though,” he added.
Durant, too, thinks that despite its youth, his offensive line matches up well against any defensive line in the league- including John Chick’s. The Roughriders currently sit in fourth league wide for sacks allowed with 17.
“I think he’ll definitely come out fired up, given what happened this past off season,” Durant said.” Any competitor will want to show their old organization or old boss that they still have it. I know he’s going to come out all fired up, but that’s why it’s a team game, he can’t do it all by himself.”
And Chick doesn’t plan to, saying he’d be just as happy to see his teammates bring down Durant.
“I told some of my teammates that as long as I don’t sack him and the other guys get 10 sacks in (Durant’s) mind, he wins,” he said with a laugh.
“It’s going to be a fun game.”