New imports pick up CFL style at Riders' training camp
As the second week of Riders’ training camp gets underway, two players from south of the border are adjusting to Canadian-style football.
Receiver Ricardo Louis and defensive lineman Tim Williams are learning the ropes of the CFL, including the bigger field, bigger ball and 12-man teams.
“I think the third day of camp, I was coming down I just seen two guys, two extra guys, and I’m like which way do I go? And I just quickly thought about what my coaches said and I had to go a different way” said Louis.
He said ultimately football is football, but getting the new style of play under wraps comes down to repetition, watching film and adjusting.
Coming off a neck and knee injuries in the NFL, Louis said he is here in Saskatchewan to do what he does best.
“I’m here to make plays, I’m here to show that I can still play at a high level, even with the injuries I’ve dealt with in the past.”
Riders’ head coach Craig Dickenson said it’s a big learning curve for guys coming up from the U.S., and Louis’ progress is coming along.
“Once he figures out the motions and figures out the waggle, how to time it up, he’s gonna be a good football player.”
Today, at day nine of camp, Dickenson was approached by Williams, who is also making the shift from NFL to CFL.
Williams told Dickenson he’s starting to get in to the groove.
“I think he’s really starting to excel, he’s a good football player and he’s starting to get his legs under him,” said Dickenson, referring to Williams.
Williams has friends who have played in the league and said he has heard about the style of play.
“I’m just excited to be out there, running sideline to sideline cause I’m a pass rusher and this is a passing league, so I’m just excited to get after the quarterbacks here,” said Williams.
To get himself adjusted, he said he has been spending a lot of time educating himself on the league’s rules.
“The only motivation you need is to be the best version of yourself.”