‘They can’t cover us man-to-man’: Duke Williams doesn’t think Calgary can handle him in West Semi-Final

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

Saskatchewan receiver Duke Williams doesn’t think the Calgary Stampeders can handle the Roughriders in Sunday’s West Semi-Final.

“They think they just going to come in here and run over us, they might as well put that in the trash can. They’re going to have to come in here and take it from us,” Williams said.

“They don’t like us, we don’t like them, that’s what it’s going to be. We know it’s going to be a physical game.”

Williams went down awkwardly in the Riders’ Week 15 win over the Edmonton Elks and initially, it looked like a disastrous injury. However, he was back out on the field just a few plays later. When Derek Taylor asked him how, the six-foot-three, 225-pound pass catcher responded: “Not everyone has that dog in them.”

The 28-year-old has played in four games with Saskatchewan since signing with the Green and White near the end of the regular season. He has 17 receptions for 285 yards and one touchdown, with his best game coming against his former team, making eight catches for 146 yards and one major versus Edmonton.

The former Auburn University Tiger played his first game with the Riders against the Stamps in their Week 12 win over Calgary. He told the media what he’s noticed from the horses and why he is so confident.

“They’re not going to play man-to-man, they can’t cover us man-to-man so why would they even play us man to man? We know they’re going to play zone, we just got to be where we at,” Williams explained.

“They’re a disciplined team, I respect them, but all they do is play zone, drop back, rush four, nothing more than that. There’s always one door open in a zone, you can’t cover every window, you just got to be there at the right time — I love playing zone teams.”

It is Williams’ third season in the CFL after spending the 2017 and 2018 campaigns with Edmonton. In 2017 he was part of the squad that lost to Calgary in the West Final, so he grasps the urgency of this weekend’s game.

“We got to understand this is a big game, it’s not just another game for us. People be like: ‘This is just another game.’ It’s not another game, ’cause if you lose you going home.”

Williams caught 88 passes during the 2018 season for a league-leading 1,579 yards and 11 touchdowns in 18 games. He says the Riders have to believe in themselves if they are going to get by Calgary.

“You gotta have a swagger, and yeah I feel like we have that. If you don’t have a swagger then the game going to be dead. You gotta enjoy the game, you put in all that work during the week. Why not enjoy it on a game day?”

Saskatchewan (9-5) hosts the Calgary Stampeders (8-6) in the West Semi-Final Sunday afternoon at Mosaic Stadium.