Riders’ Ricardo Louis drawing on learning from Pro Bowler Jarvis Landry to ‘make special plays’ in CFL

Six-time NFL Pro Bowl receiver Jarvis Landry continues to help his friend Ricardo Louis even though he’s north of the border.

Louis and Landry were teammates with the Browns, the two men and their families remain close despite playing in different leagues. When Landry arrived in Cleveland, Louis gave him his No. 80.

“We train in the off-season together. He’s definitely a master of his craft. He talks a lot about being present and staying in the moment. That sticks with me, now I’m going out and applying that same learning into the game,” Louis said.

“You see everything he’s accomplished and watching him as person, you would never know that he was the guy that everybody sees. He doesn’t talk much about himself, he’s always putting everybody before himself, he doesn’t think he’s better than anyone.”

The first-year CFLer has taken the three-down league seriously and will make his debut in Canada with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the Labour Day Classic. Louis has not played in a professional football game since 2017. He missed the entire 2018 season due to a neck injury and a major knee setback kept him off the field in 2019. During the 2020 NFL season, Louis was a free agent.

“It’s been a while. It’s just a matter of getting out there, getting a feel for the game — game speed — and once I’m able to adjust, I’ll be able to play fast and make special plays. Just showing what I can do, that’s what it comes down to,” Louis, who signed with the Riders in June, said.

“A lot of speed, a lot of play-making ability — I love to have the ball in my hands, making guys miss, big plays down the field, touchdowns. I love to attack defences, make big plays, take the top off, move the ball and score.”

Louis was adjusting to the three-down style of football while dealing with a hamstring injury the first few weeks of the season, which was the main reason his start in the CFL was delayed. Head coach Craig Dickenson and his coaching staff felt Louis deserved a shot and he was inserted into the lineup in place of Paul McRoberts at the short-side slotback position.

“It’s one thing when you see guys in practice, the last piece of the puzzle is can he go out and perform in games? But from what I’ve seen in practice I like my chances throwing up 50-50 balls with Louis,” quarterback Cody Fajardo said.

“From what I’ve seen, he’s a great route runner, he does a great job elevating and making a play when the ball is in his area — tremendous hands. Timing-wise we gotta find it in the game, that’s going to be the hardest thing with having Louis up.”

Fajardo has seen flashes of his athletic traits since Louis arrived in Regina. At the 2016 NFL Combine, the six-foot-two, 215-pound pass catcher ran a 4.43 forty-yard time and recorded a 38-inch vertical jump. The Riders believe he’s “really explosive” and can convert his physical abilities into game-changing plays.

Must Read