Duron Carter has Riders regrets but sees Lions as a new lease on CFL life

Duron Carter has regrets about how things played out with the Riders last season.

“I had a whole lot of fun, I played seven games at DB, I never thought I would be playing corner in my life, I got two interceptions for two touchdowns. But I’ve done things in Regina that I would take back,” Carter said on 620 CKRM The SportsCage.

“It was very frustrating. I was poised to come into the season to be playing both ways and have a break out season that nobody’s had in a few decades in the CFL and it just didn’t turn out that way.”

Carter put up career highs in yards (1,043) and touchdowns (8) on the way to being named a CFL all-star in 2017. After Carter re-signed for the 2018 season, the 27-year-old was released by Saskatchewan after seven games, a move that caught him by surprise.

“Game plan-wise it wasn’t up to me at all, coach Jones had his full reigns on whether I played offence or defence. Going into the season I thought I would be playing both, at first I was playing only offence and then I was playing defence. Me being on both sides of the ball during the game would help both sides, but me being on defence it obviously left the offence handicapped,” Carter said.

“Being a part of such a great defence we were going out there and pretty much shutting teams down. Me being the calibre of receiver that I am – that was my first time watching an offence ever and not being able to participate it was very frustrating. I think I showed my displeasure plenty of times.”

After his release, Carter signed with the Toronto Argonauts. He deleted his Twitter account prior to inking his deal with the Argos, likely to try and appease then-head coach Marc Trestman.

“Going into Toronto I knew coach Trestman had his whole system as far as what he wanted to do on the field and off the field. My whole job and my main goal was to integrate into the team and football was second. I knew the football would always come,” Carter said.

“It just got to a point where we were struggling and me being a new guy coming into the offence and into the locker room, I don’t think coach Trestman felt comfortable using me. And he just stuck with what he knows and you can’t blame him because we were losing game after game.”

Carter suited up for 15 games in 2018, eight in double blue, catching 18 balls for 230 yards and two touchdowns, by far the lowest single-season totals of his career. The son of NFL Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter has played in 73 career CFL games making 276 catches for 4,150 yards with 27 touchdowns.

“I can definitely say yes I do sometimes get bored with the game when I’m not in the game. It more comes from being able to be a game changer and what I think I could do, why would I not be involved? I want to be that game changer,” Carter said.

B.C. Lions general manager Ed Hervey had conversations with Carter prior to him joining the Argos last year, so the foundation was laid for the sides to come together when free agency opened in February. Carter and the Lions agreed to a one-year deal, which was announced following the signing of quarterback Mike Reilly to a four-year $2.9 million contract.

“This is literally the best move I’ve ever made in my career, I’ve always wanted to play with Mike Reilly,” Carter said.

“I used to watch him on film all the time and I used to be very jealous of Adarius Bowman and Duke Williams and Derel Walker and Brandon Zylstra, all these different guys that Mike Reilly has been throwing to they all went at least 1,500 yards every single one of them. I’m ready to be that guy.”

Reilly called Carter soon after the two-time CFL all-star pass catcher signed on with B.C. The 34-year-old franchise QB believes Carter has a colourful personality.

“One of the first things Mike Reilly said to me is that he wanted me to remain the same and be the type of player that I am because he is going to be dependant on me and I’m ready for that,” Carter said.

“I know what I want from the game of football and for me it’s wanting to be known when I’m done as one of the greatest to play. I have to start making decisions in my career on how to get there. It’s being part of a team and winning. Me joining alongside with Mike Reilly I think will be a great mesh.’