When Zach Collaros came north in 2012, the current Riders head coach and general manager was a defensive coordinator in Toronto.
“I’ve known Chris Jones now for about six years. He’s one of the guys who was instrumental in getting me into the CFL,” Collaros told TSN‘s Matthew Scianitti.
“So having that familiarity with him, some guys on the staff, coach [Stephen] McAdoo, it’s definitely encouraging for me and I couldn’t be more excited to work with those guys. They’re about winning the right way and I’m very, very excited to get out in Regina.”
Collaros spoke with Jones on Wednesday after the deal was consummated, but did he anoint the 29-year-old as the Riders starting quarterback?
“It wasn’t a question that I asked and it wasn’t something that he brought up,” Collaros said.
“But in this business, you always have to be ready to compete, so whatever the deal is I’m ready to compete, if you’re not in this business you’re not going to have a job. I’ve been doing that my whole life, nothing has been handed to me. I know the kind of guy that Chris Jones is, he’s a blue-collar guy and wants competition.”
On the current terms of Collaros’ contract, he is set to make over $500,000 and be the highest paid player in the league in 2018, but his focus is not on renegotiating the deal.
“What I want is to play good football, I want to be given every opportunity I can to play the game the right way, to learn the game every single day and I just want to play at a high level. That’s more for my agent to comment on,” Collaros said.
“From last year, from my perspective, all I care about is playing good football and winning and that’s what I want to bring to Saskatchewan.”
One thing Collaros is certain about: being excited to play in Riderville.
“I understand the history of this league and how much football means to the people of Saskatchewan, it really is the province’s team. When I first came in this league in 2012 I was able to play a game for Toronto out there in Saskatchewan, during a long road stretch, I remember thinking to myself this is how the game should be, this is what I’m used to, that kind of an atmosphere whatever the day might be,” Collaros said.
“I’m just really looking forward to getting into that environment. From an organizational standpoint, they have a lot of resources out there, they want to win badly for the fanbase.”