Stamps well aware of Jones' unpredictability

Argos defensive coordinator Chris Jones (left) left Calgary to join Scott Milanovich's staff in...

Argos defensive coordinator Chris Jones (left) left Calgary to join Scott Milanovich's staff in Toronto this season. (QMI Agency)

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:17 PM ET

His football mind was always racing, so it was often tough to keep up with Jones.

Even after hours, long away from the field, Chris Jones is thinking about the game, devising game plans and new formations.

It can get exhausting for his players, even when they admire the passion of the defensive guru.

Keon Raymond owes a lot to Jones for making him a CFL starter, but there were times over the four years they were together with the Calgary Stampeders that it got annoying.

Maybe an idea would strike Jones, and he would call Raymond to run it by him at 9 p.m.

"I'm in bed at 9:30. Some of those, you just let go to voicemail and check the message in the morning," said the Stamps cornerback, who is a father of four. "He always let you know the next morning anyway.

"I would sometimes tell him, 'I'm off work.' You never really are with him. He's the type of co-ordinator that is always trying to be better the next play. That's what I always admired about him."

When Jones left the Stamps this off-season to join friend Scott Milanovich's staff in Toronto, Calgary lost a passionate football coach.

Certainly, he left a mark with the Stamps.

If not for several years with Jones and getting a job as a player first in Montreal and then with the Stamps, DeVone Claybrooks wouldn't be where he is now.

Working in the Jones defence, where creativity is king and no system is simple, is something that prepared Claybrooks for his current job as the defensive line coach for the Stamps.

"As a coach now, I would have to say thank-you Jonesy," Claybrooks said. "The mental IQ and telepathy it takes to play in that defence is one the reasons I'm able to be a successful coach.

"As a player, it can get tiring. He might give you five new defences about two hours before the game. With those things, you have to be on your toes. If you are athlete, you can make up for mistakes with athleticism."

It would seem the normal practice is for the coaches to dissect film following a game for the next week's opponent, then devise a game plan according to what they see.

When the team hits the field for the start of the practice week, they start installing plays for their opponents and work on them for three or four days.

There might be a few adjustments, but not major changes.

Not Jones. He's the type of guy who would be thinking about different things right up until kickoff.

"Every game, we would get to the stadium on game day and there was a new call," said Stamps safety Eric Fraser. "There was a new deal we were doing he would spring on us.

"He always did a good job of adjusting. We would talk about it before the game and we usually ran them. We were for the most part successful. It's a testament to him that he's always looking for something.

"I told (offensive co-ordinator Dave Dickenson) this week that you can't really game-plan for Jones because he models his plan around your tendencies. It's different week to week.

"At halftime, he used to make some drastic adjustments. It's not the only way to do things, but it works for him."

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter @SUNIanBusby


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