Playing defence under new pass interference rules ‘difficult’ Riders DB says

By Arielle Zerr/CJME News Staff
September 7, 2016 - 6:27am

A few days removed and Roughrider fans are still talking about the Justin Cox pass interference call at the end of the Labour Day Classic.

At the end of the game on Sunday, Cox was insistent that he did not touch Weston Dressler and the referees got it wrong.

“(The ref) couldn’t tell me anything, because I knew it, I mean, I didn’t touch him at the five and he just made a bad call.”

But it’s a call the team has to live with, along with the 28-25 loss that came with it.

“If we think that’s the only thing that cost us to lose the game – that’s inaccurate,” Jones said after practice on Tuesday. “The things that we can control are how we coach it and how we play and that’s what we’re going to concentrate on.”

Jones said the team does need to do a better job of coaching it, but also mentioned that he hasn’t really changed the way they’ve coached it from last year.

“You just teach them what the rule is and then you’re hoping that you get the consistency (in the calls) we talk about as a league,” he said.

Defensive back Jeff Hecht, who’s in his sixth year in the CFL, said officials in the league are kind of like umpires in baseball, calls are all in the eye of the beholder.

“It’s like calling balls and strikes in baseball; it’s not always going to be the same. You have to get a feel for how certain officials call certain rules across the entire game,” he said.

But he also stressed that the rules haven’t changed all of the sudden and that players have had time to adjust to what is expected of them.

“Timely penalties, whether or not it’s a defensive penalty, pass interference or hold or whatever, suck,” he said. “Whether or not they were justified, it just doesn’t matter to the player it’s called against – in a situation like that, they’re going to think it’s a bad call.”

“It can make you feel like the world is against you, when it’s not always the case and you just have to move on from it,” he added.

Teammate and fellow defensive back Fred Bennett did say, however, that it is tough to be a defensive back under the new rules.

“It’s very difficult, but you know, those are the rules and you got to play by the rules,” Bennett said, adding “it’s out of your hands.”

Bennett did see one positive out of the interference call. He said it showed him what Justin Cox is made of.

“He was beat up about it, I just let him know that it let me know that he has a passion for the game … for a young guy like that to have that mentality, to see him so hurt after that, it just let me know what I got in him as a player and we can live with that.”


  • Curtis Steele returned to practice for the first time since being moved to the six-game injury list.
  • Chris Jones confirmed fullback Spencer Moore has a lower leg break and he’ll be out for quite a while. “He’s certainly one of our better players … it’s tough to replace a guy like that,” Jones said.
  • Chris Best and Brendon LaBatte still haven't practiced.


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