Roberts; Bring it on Ricky

By KIRK PENTON, STAFF REPORTER (Winnipeg Sun)

Bombers running back Charles Roberts
Charles Roberts has no problem with Ricky Williams playing for the Toronto Argonauts.

The way the Winnipeg Blue Bombers running back sees it, winning another CFL rushing title this season will be even more impressive with Williams as competition.

"I like the fact that he came. I can show people that it don't matter where they come from ... I'm the best running back in this league," Roberts stated yesterday after Day 9 of training camp.

Williams boasts a resume that includes four 1,000-yard rushing seasons in the NFL and a Heisman Trophy from his time at the University of Texas. He automatically became the highest paid running back in the CFL when he signed a reported $240,000 contract on Sunday.

It's believed Roberts, who earns between $160,000 and $180,000 per season, had been the league's highest earning tailback until Sunday.

He said marching into GM Brendan Taman's office to demand a raise "crossed his mind," but he decided against it.

He was joking ... we think.

"That is Toronto over there, and they seem to be able to do things that other teams can't," said Roberts. "But it's all good. He is a quality running back, and perhaps if he had been up here for the last three or four years like myself, he would have probably been getting that money anyway.

"... That's shocking that they would give up that amount of money for one year. I've been here six years and I still ain't got that type of money, but I'm working towards it."

Roberts always keeps a close eye on the rushing title race, and this year's should be a hotly contested one. Roberts is worried he won't get as many touches now that Onterrio Smith, another suspended NFL tailback, is with the Bombers, but he plans to find a way to lead the loop once again.

"I don't know if I'm going to get 270 carries to myself this year," said Roberts. "I could get my average per carry up and show people that way that I'm still the dominant running back in this league, but it's going to be tough.

"Ricky obviously is a great running back, and you can't forget about Joffrey Reynolds over there (in Calgary). There's a lot of good backs in the league.

"... It's probably anybody's title, but it's mine to lose."

Roberts believes Williams' style is similar to his own, so it shouldn't hamper his chances of success north of the border.

"He's a big back, a powerful back who likes to punish people, but he is fast," said Roberts. "... He's a lot bigger than me, but we kind of run like each other in the fact that we like to just gash and try to jump outside when we can."

The two will go head to head on June 23, when the Bombers host the Argos in Winnipeg's home opener at Canad Inns Stadium.

Roberts knows the media might hype the game as him versus Williams, but he said he won't be buying into that. Instead, he prefers to look at the bigger picture.

"It's good for the league," he said. "It's going to give the CFL some more exposure. We were on the uprise as it was."

What if Renyolds or Keith win the rushing title? or Ranek, Holmes or Edwards? I believe that title is wide open this year, Ricky or no Ricky

This is probably a stupid question, but has a rushing title ever been won by a QB? (in any league)

....what do you mean 'what if'?.....Roberts' big mouth comments are going to land him in the Land o' Embarrassment when he can't back up his claim to the title.....

yah seriously Roberts or any other Rb in this league cant even hold Rickys jock.im an skies fan not an argo fan but Ricky is head and shoulders the best

the Argos are not a running football team....not even ricky is gonna set any records getting 10 - 12 touches a game....

he'll get more when yuo see his 8 yards a carry

How can anyone who has not played a down in this league be the best?

wont that just thrill the egos on the argos.....complete meltdown by the mid point of the season.....

haha..thats pretty funny..cuz he wont een get 5.5

because rawnotsorookierickeyray (ray sucks by the way) thinks that an nfl running back that comes into the league will get the rushing title just cuz his rb wets the bed...sorry but davis wont get to far this year

ummmm ok ray has won 2 grey cups in 3 years and has been to 3 grey cups in 3 years...ummm davis has a grey cup rings. charles roberts has none, and well your QB is laughable..but yah Ricky Williams is the best in the league and he will prove it

if it werent for maas ray wouldnt have 2 grey cups and he wouldnt have been to 3 grey cups..and as for davis i do take back what i said about him cuz he is a respectable back

Before they play is always their glorious moment. Then, they start to play and realize they're no Gods.

this is nice to see other players are taking this as a challege!

this will only make every game more competitive.

I do not know what the fuss is all about. He is just another american running back from the USA. Big deal!

He was the NFL rushing champ in 2002 with 1853 yards. In any league that is amazing. Last year, if he would have had the same # of carries as in 2002, he would have had 1685 yards rushing.

Ricky Williams is a special talent in pro football and that is what the big deal is. That is what is selling tickets in Toronto (and everywhere else for Toronto games), that is what the media is all hyped for, and that is why we continue to talk about Ricky Williams on the cfl.ca forum.

Again he is just another running back coming to play a game in the CFL. Those stats are what 2002 ha ha ha

Red...read what Roberts said in its entirety and then take a deep breath and then perhaps a less reactive opinon will follow.
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The thing is when you're on the dolphins chances are you're going to run... a lot. Because you have no passing game.

So it's not really surprising.

In 2003 he had a 3.5 yard rushing average.... but 1300 yards...

So... yeah...