Riders' new offensive coordinator bringing change of pace
REGINA -- The Saskatchewan Roughriders have a new offensive style after hiring former Edmonton head coach Jason Maas as the team’s offensive coordinator for the 2021 season.
Following the 2019 season, the Riders felt it was time for a change and decided not to renew the contract of former offensive coordinator Stephen McaDoo.
The Riders announced the hiring of Maas in December 2019.
“I believe in multiplicity, I believe in changing formations, using your personnel groupings,” Maas said. “Moving people around, not making the defence ever feel comfortable.”
Maas admitted that during the 18 month CFL hiatus, he was a victim of overthinking the offense.
The season was cancelled in 2020, however, Maas prepared like there was going to be action. The offensive coordinator said it was hard to evaluate plays in the off-season without a testing ground.
“Some of this in camp is going to be things we thought of way long ago and we just need to see it executed or not executed to make it better,” Maas said. “Or maybe we did something that’s made it worse.”
The receivers all agree it’s going to be a quick offence.
“The pace, I think it’s a lot, lot faster and a lot more moving parts,” receiver Brayden Lenius said. “Guys are moving around constantly, which gets the defence on their toes and makes them guess right?”
Receiver Kyran Moore, who notched 996 yards in 2019, loves the ever changing formats and how it showcases his versatility.
“He gets everybody in a lot of different positions,” Moore said. “Going against different DBs whether that’s in the boundary or I could be in the field, I could be the outside receiver, I feel like it opens up a lot for me just showcase all I can do.”
The Riders are holding their cards close to their chest and aren’t revealing too many details ahead of the season opener on Aug. 6. However, quarterback Isaac Harker said it’s a wide open offense.
“Without going into too much detail, there’s a lot of full field progressions in this offense,” Harker, the Riders’ backup in 2019, said. “No matter what the coverage is you can always get to answer.”
Maas has helped pivots like Ricky Ray and Mike Reilly improve their game, as he’s worked with both as a quarterbacks coach. Riders’ starter Cody Fajardo could be next in line to benefit from the Maas effect.
“He’s got some ideas from coordinating and being a head coach from the years he’s done that, that I think you’re going to see some different tempos,” Riders head coach Craig Dickenson said. “I think you’re going to see some different plays in the run game.”