CFL Pass

They Said It: A look back at some off-season ramblings across the CFL

Sticks and stones can break bones, but words … well, words can sometimes be just as painful. But they also have the power to be uplifting. And quite often, they can change their meaning after time passes compared to when they were initially uttered. With that in mind, here is a look back at 20 off-season quotes from across the Canadian Football League, which may turn out to be purely prophetic, or just plain pathetic:

1. “When we talk about winning games and winning championships, we envision building a dynasty. It’s not about hoping we’re going to get it done. I don’t live in hope. I live in getting it done.”
– B.C. Lions GM Ed Hervey

2. “I felt like coming to B.C. was going to give me the best chance to win as many championships as I could for the remainder of my career.”
– B.C. Lions quarterback Mike Reilly

3. “The thing about Trevor is he understands putting people around him. He deserved more (money) and could have asked for more, but Trevor has the football acumen and understands the value of all of the moving parts. He took a little less to help us do what we did today (in free agency.)”
– Edmonton Eskimos GM Brock Sunderland

4. “My philosophy? Here’s the simple version: I don’t like to see the quarterback standing around too long.”
– Edmonton Eskimos defensive co-ordinator Phillip Lolley, whose team leads the league with 26 sacks in seven games

5. “I don’t know if rebuild is the right word, but it will be different.”
– Ottawa Redblacks GM Marcel Desjardins, who lost the likes of Trevor Harris, Greg Ellingson, William Powell and SirVincent Rogers in free agency

6. “We just thought he (Willie Jefferson) was the most dynamic and best defensive lineman out there. His ability to make big plays, unfortunately, we saw him doing it against us.”
– Winnipeg Blue Bombers GM Kyle Walters

7. “If (Eric Tillman) hadn’t traded Kerry Joseph, Darian Durant might have never been who he was. Sometimes there’s a risk, a little bit of a gamble with an unproven guy, and in this case, ultimately we decided to go with (Cody Fajardo) in free agency. We like the small sample size we’ve seen and, if needed, we think Cody will do well in what we do offensively.”
– Saskatchewan Roughriders GM Jeremy O’Day

8. “I feel very good about this season. It’s been a process, but we now have the ingredients to be a very competitive football team.”
– Kavis Reed, who has since been fired as Montreal Alouettes GM

9. “Knowing our situation here, his relationship with our players from the previous season and knowing his leadership, at the end of the day, he (Corey Chamblin) was the best candidate to get us back to where we want to be.”
– Toronto Argonauts GM Jim Popp

10. “I would think he’s (Corey Chamblin) very motivated to prove that he’s still a very good coach. I’m sure Cory wants to win now more than ever.”
– Former Saskatchewan Roughriders GM Brendan Taman, who was fired midseason in Saskatchewan alongside Chamblin in 2015

11. “Whether it’s to the NFL, or retirement, or them wanting to play for other teams, there’s always going to be change. This year, though, is the most we’ve ever had as a football team. You can’t allow it to paralyze you. You just have to move forward and keep plugging away.”
– Stamps president and GM John Hufnagel

12. “After working closely with Orlondo (Steinauer) last year, it was obvious to me that he was ready to take the next step and become the head coach here.”
– Former Ticats head coach June Jones

13. “They’re (June Jones and Tommy Condell) two different people. You could write a book on how different they are.”
– Ticats quarterback Jeremiah Masoli

14. “We’ve got to adjust on the fly. There was no indication this was coming. We’re only five or six weeks from training camp, and he kind of sprung it on me on Friday afternoon at the end of the day. ”
– Ottawa Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell, after offensive co-ordinator Jaime Elizondo resigned to go to the XFL

15. “I would have liked for this to occur under different circumstances, but I am ready to take on this new challenge.”
– Montreal Alouettes head coach Khari Jones, on being named head coach after Mike Sherman’s unexpected termination

16. “You have to be strong up front to be successful. We have good players who are great men. It’s going to be fun coaching this group.”
– Ticats offensive line coach Dennis McKnight

17. “Growing up in Regina, as a seven-year-old, I wasn’t dreaming of playing in the NFL or going to the Super Bowl. I was dreaming of playing for the Riders. Even though my career kind of went in a different direction, I never forgot that dream and it’s coming true today.”
– Jon Ryan, on signing with Saskatchewan after 13 years in the NFL

18. “We are fortunate to have many quality coaches on our staff. We will evaluate and fill the vacancy quickly.”
– Saskatchewan Roughriders president Craig Reynolds, on the departure of head coach and GM Chris Jones

19. “He was one of the best teammates I ever had. It feels like I’m playing for my first cousin.”
– B.C. Lions defensive end Odell Willis, on head coach DeVone Claybrooks

20. “I’ve never touched a Grey Cup and I’ll never touch it until we win it.”
– Winnipeg Blue Bombers president Wade Miller


On Twitter: @GerryModdejonge