The Canadian Football League plays their games a little differently from the National Football League. The field is wider and longer. The rules allow receivers to get a head start on the snap by allowing them to move in motion towards the line-of-scrimmage instead of parallel to it, à la Arena Football.
For this reason, two former West Virginia Mountaineers who are scary when they ‘get out in space’ began their first CFL training camps on Sunday. Noel Devine is a member of the Montreal Alouettes, and Jock Sanders is trying to make the roster for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
We contacted Murray McCormick who covers the Roughriders for the Regina Leader-Post to ask how Sanders might fit on the team.
WVUPros: At WVU, Sanders primarily played wideout after converting from running back. What position(s) might Sanders fill with Saskatchewan?
McCormick: Jock Sanders may be the boost the Riders need at receiver and returner.
WVUPros: Sanders signed late last season with the B.C. Lions and appeared in one game. How did that lead to him signing with Saskatchewan?
McCormick: He has proven he can play at the CFL level, at least in one game. The small CFL rosters (42 on game day) place an emphasize on versatility and players like Jock are valuable due to that.
WVUPros: With Sanders new to the team, where could we see him line up first?
McCormick: Training camp is just starting, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he saw some repetitions at running back. Mind you, the Riders are looking for more size than Sanders offers at that spot.
WVUPros: You mentioned Sanders’ size, or lack thereof. How can he make up for that?
McCormick: His small size appears to be Sanders’ lone drawback, but many smaller players have flourished in the CFL, so don’t write him off yet. Still, speed is always a good thing and Sanders showed some of that flash while playing against the rookies at rookie camp. We’ll see what happens against the veterans.
We would like to that Murray McCormick for taking a few minutes to answer our questions about Jock Sanders. We hope to catch up with him later on this season for a report card about the former Mountaineer favorite. You can read his articles about the Roughriders to stay up-to-date at the Leader-Post.