Duron Carter is trying so hard to do and say the right things.
With the Saskatchewan Roughriders, coming to town on Saturday, the receiver has done a couple of interviews this week and tried his best to steer clear of saying anything that his old team can use as bulletin board material and – more importantly – upset his current head coach.
Argo boss Marc Trestman is notorious in his attention to detail, a believer in the “everything matters” school of management. Trestman seems to read or monitor everything – including social media – and isn’t shy about letting his charges know when he thinks they’ve crossed the line. It’s not a coincidence that Carter deleted his Twitter account – one of the league’s most active and entertaining – just before joining the Argos.
To his credit, Carter has said all the right things up to this point. He’s toed the Trestman line, even when he was held out of the Labour Day matchup against Hamilton and saw limited targets in the re-match. He’s been downright deferential, even boring.
This week has largely followed that script. In his interview with Saskatchewan-based radio host Jamie Nye on Wednesday, Carter channelled his inner Ricky Ray and showed little of his usual personality.
Check out his thoughts on playing the Riders:
“I’m looking forward to a good time. I haven’t seen them since the last time I played so that will be great. I have a lot of respect for a lot of the guys on that team and they have some respect for me. So I think it will be a fun game.”
On his integration into the Argo locker room:
“I don’t think the players read too many articles from the media in the first place. I’d played against a lot of these guys throughout my years in the CFL. They were all welcoming and it’s been fun. I haven’t felt like an outsider at all.”
On whether he was a scapegoat in Saskatchewan:
“Nah. It happens in football, I’m happy that my guys are winning and I’m glad that both ends can end up happy.”
That isn’t to say that the real Duron isn’t lurking in there, somewhere. He did say he was looking forward to going up against the Saskatchewan secondary, given that he played with them the last couple of seasons and he gets to “welcome Nick Marshall into the league.” But then he said nice things about Marshall, too.
“He beat me out for the starting corner spot so I definitely have a lot of respect for him, coming in as a rookie, playing well, and being asked to guard the number one receiver on a lot of these teams. I think I have a few tricks up my sleeve, though,” Carter said.
And he couldn’t help but take a veiled shot at Riders general manager and head coach Chris Jones, the man who released him, when he was asked to compare his old coach to his new one.
“It’s very different. It’s quite the opposite. There’s a whole bunch of different ways to win in football. Coach Trestman, he takes the more organized, I would say planned approach,” Carter said.
The implication is that Jones isn’t organized and doesn’t plan but even that’s pretty tame (and less than explicit.) He even ended on a cliche.
“To get a win, that’s what matters most,” he said. “That will gratify me, a win against my former team.”
Duron Carter used to be fun. He used to be entertaining. He generated interest in the league. While it’s perfectly understandable that he’s decided to tone it down – he wouldn’t be playing in Toronto if he hadn’t – it’s still kind of sad.
Unless they win on Saturday. Then all bets are off.