Esks Throwback: Jason Tucker
by Terry Jones, PostMedia
In this first of three special features, we throwback to Eskimos receiving legend Jason Tucker.
When you are a big time Texas rancher with a thousand head of cattle, it’s tough to combine a career as a professional football coach.
Jason Tucker managed to do it with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2013-14. But with the opportunity to be a receiver coach with the Tennessee Titans, the ranch had to go for the former Edmonton Eskimo.
“It just got to be too much.”
The Tucker Ranch was located near Gatesville, Texas and was run by his dad when he’s away coaching football. “I enjoyed it. When I was up there it was all football. But when I get back to Texas, I enjoyed being out in the open air, hunting and fishing and my herd of cattle.”
Tennessee had a position open and gave Tucker an interview. His coaching career and ranching career took a detour.
“I enjoyed my time in the CFL and now I’m enjoying my time in Tennessee. It’s no different. Coaching is coaching no matter where you go. Football doesn’t change.”
Tucker, in giving up the ranch, was making a move eventually aimed at becoming a head coach.
“I’m interested in being a head coach anywhere. I’m just going to keep working my skills and learn as much as I can and grow as much as I can in the business.”
Tucker won his first Grey Cup in Regina as an Eskimos player in 2003.
“It was a great game that year and I managed to get open quite a bit. I managed to parlay that into a cup and a Grey Cup MVP.”
He won his last championship 10 years later in Regina as a Roughriders coach.
The four-time CFL All-Star had a Hall of Fame tracking when his playing career ended prematurely with an injury with his having caught 7,045 yards of passes. Tucker has moved on from his broken neck.
“I have no regrets about my playing career. I was never much into records or stuff like that. I had a nice playing career. I won two championships.”
He began his coaching career in Edmonton.
“If I could have stayed in Edmonton that would have been great. But this is where I am and I’m quite happy here,” he said of his job in the NFL.
“I enjoyed every bit of my career in Edmonton. It’s a great city. The fans are great. It was a great time. I really enjoyed it. Along the way came championships. And it started my coaching career as well.
“I keep in touch with everybody. I tell [Esks VP of Football Operations and General Manager] Ed Hervey that he’s doing a great job. He turned that team around. I keep in touch with [Esks Head Coach] Jason Maas, too. He did a great job in Ottawa last year as an offensive coordinator. I think he was a good hire for Ed.”