Frankie Williams

I think Frankie Williams deserves his own thread. I expect we will have reason to add to it over the course of the season.

I would rate Frankie as one of the two most pleasant surprises of 2019, along with STE. (I thought about starting a “Most Pleasant Surprise” poll, but it would be hard to imagine anyone else getting votes. Guys like Banks and Breaux are not surprises, and we had high hopes for FA signings like J.Davis and R.Murray.)

At DB Frankie was a backup most of last year. Still saw some playing time, and made an impact with a pick-6 against BC in the playoffs. This year he unseated Rolle for a starting job in the backfield, and as far as I can tell he has not disappointed.

As a returner he was decent last year, with one TD and one or two others called back, I think. Season totals: 383 yards and 1 TD on 40 punt returns (9.6 avg), and 407 yard on 18 KO returns (22.6 avg).

This year after three games: 281 yards and 1 TD on 16 punt returns (17.6 avg), 180 yards on 7 KO returns (25.7 avg). Averaging over 150 total yards per game, and turning the momentum around a number of times.

My only questions:

  1. Are we asking too much of FW to be the primary returner and a starting defender? Should there be more rotating in both spots?
  2. How much of the improvement on returns can be attributed to Reinebold’s coaching and schemes?

Same guys.different coach

I love Frankie William’s and him playing Corner but to do both Corner and kick returns in a 18 game season is asking too much I believe. I think we have a few options for the backfield.

I was even thinking with Erlington being the main running back, why not put Maleek Irons on kick returns or Jalin Marshall or something.

Banks has been back to return kicks on a couple of occasions and I remember Adeleke returning a kick or two for Calgary last year and doing a good job. I think that there are at least three - if not more - players who can spell off Frankie. I’m sure they’ll make sure he’s not overworked in his dual role.

The newest Ticat receiver to dress last week, Jalin Marshall #7, was a receiver as well as a punt and kick returner with the New York Jets in 2016. I thought he might spell Williams on a couple of occasions for punt returns but he didn’t and if Williams can handle the load than so be it.

Loved how Frankie has performed so far under Reinbolt/Washington.

I would still give it few more games…we will be playing tougher competition with much better coaching. (All 3 rookie coaches so far…yeah, yeah Chamberlin got lucky in 2013?)
Question for me becomes how do we respond when other teams figure out how to stop the return and/or learn to penetrate our defence.

In the meantime, the ring of 3-0 sounds awesome; now all we need to do is show up to the next game.

A Blue Bomber fan and league observer gives Williams a #1 ranking, among CFL DBs, so far in 2019:

And, he also tops the list of the league's punt and kickoff returners:

After such a great start to the season, unfortunately as I mentioned in another thread, it sounds like he may be out, with some injury, for tomorrow's game vs. Calgary.

I don’t recall seeing him hurt in the last game.

Answer: no. Frankie has not only played the full season as both our primary returner and full-time starting DB, but he has excelled at both roles.

At DB he has been an integral part of the best defence in the league. By the nature of his position, if he was the weak link in the backfield he would have been picked on and burned throughout the season. And I don’t think he has. Stats are not spectacular, but it’s hard to measure a DB by the stats we have access to.

As a returner he has to be a contender for special teams player of the year, in what was once called “the year of the return” before all the TDs dried up. First in punt return yardage with 842, more than 200 ahead of the next guy. And his 12.6 yard average is higher than most of the other leaders.

On kick-off returns his 905 yards ranks him fifth, but he had the disadvantage of playing on a team that does not allow as many kickoffs as everyone else. Again, his average of 25.1 yards is among the leaders out of the guys with a high number of returns. And he is one of just two players to score a TD on both a punt and kick-off return. (The other fellow from OTT basically achieved all his stats in one game and has only appeared in 5 games this season.)

With nearly 1,750 yards, Frankie has a shot at 2,000 for the season, and a chance of overtaking Speedy (currently at 1,828 combined yards) for the team lead, depending in part on coaching decisions in the final two games.

It’s hard not to love this guy!

He has a great shot at the ST award. Last year he would have lost to Lewis Ward but I don’t think there are any “feel good” kicker stories in the league this year. It should end up being all about stats.