REGINA — The Saskatchewan Roughriders are taking a different approach on defence in 2015, and the first move on Tuesday was announcing that Richie Hall won’t be the team’s defensive coordinator next year.
Hall held the position for four years after re-joining the Riders in 2011, but Head Coach Corey Chamblin cited a split in defensive philosophy as a reason for the move.
“I spoke to Richie and told him the options next year will either be me bringing in a new defensive coordinator or I will do it full-time myself,” Chamblin told Riderville.com on Tuesday. “It will be either of those. The decision hasn’t been totally made yet.”
Chamblin said Hall remains on the coaching staff, but his role for next year hasn’t yet been determined. The move comes on the heels of a disappointing season for the Riders overall, after the defence was third-worst in total yards and fourth-worst in points against in the CFL.
Hall could accept a different role with the Riders or take a job elsewhere, but as of now it’s unclear where he’ll be by the start of next season. Chamblin, a defensive-minded coach and a former defensive coordinator himself, said his influence on the defence grew over the past season.
“I run a more aggressive defence sometimes, so it’s more of a ‘what’s going to be the structure’,” he said. “Sometimes it’s unfair to Richie and sometimes to the players having two philosophies meshing.”
“Sometimes it’s just time to go forward with one.”
The Riders led the CFL with 61 sacks in 2014, with 51 coming from the defensive line alone. Chamblin said his preference, however, is to take more risks.
“Richie has done a good job with this organization,” said Chamblin. “He’s done a good job with our defence over the past couple of years. And he’s done a good job working with me.”
“I’ve had a heavy hand on defence, and it’s one of those to where I’m going to be totally in or totally out and just be more of an over-seer.”
“Just looking forward we need a new structure and a new foundation.”
Chamblin is set to return for his fourth season as the Riders’ head coach, while he now leads the search for a new offensive coordinator and possibly defensive coordinator.