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Monday, May 29, 2006

Ricky: CFL, NFL talent 'comparable'

Add Mississauga, Ontario to the outposts Ricky Williams has visited the past three years. That is where the Toronto Argonauts are going through their training camp and it is where Williams on Monday said a really dumb thing.

"As far as talent ... the talent here is comparable to the NFL, it's just consistency," Williams said. "From what I saw out there, these guys can run, these guys can hit, these guys know what they're doing.

"Football is football. There are a couple of differences in the game but for the most part it's just terminology."

Now, I don't want to rehatch my old rip on the CFL. But even the biggest CFL fans -- whom I have grown to respect during my stewardship over this blog -- would admit that league simply doesn't have the caliber of talent the NFL has.

Right? Is there anyone up there who believes the talent is truly comparable?

Anyway, why would Ricky say stuff like that? Was he being nice? Did he have a blood rush to his head after practice? Or was he just saying it for the sake of saying something?

Amazing.

One last thing: Assuming the talent is comparable, Ricky shouldn't just go nuts with the stats. But the talent is NOT comparable so methinks Ricky will be in the 1,500-yard orbit by the time the season closes. Understand the Argos gained 1,494 yards rushing as a TEAM in 2005, so I think Ricky will surpass that by himself, assuming he avoids injuries.

What do you think he'll do stat-wise, assuming he avoids injury?

Yes, I know I repeated the injury phrase. I can't get it out of my mind because the possibility of it should very much worry Dolphins fans.

41 Comments:

Anonymous Kris said...

Armando - I think you're letting your dislike of this move (and, seemingly, of the CFL and all things Canadian) drive you to irrationality.

You ask, "why would Ricky say stuff like that?" Are you serious? How about: to be polite, to be encouraging, to avoid coming across as a jerk, because that's what any normal human being would say in that situation, etc.

Obviously the NFL has more talent than the CFL. But this is a similar situation to one in which a player gets traded from a superior team to an inferior one. You can bet the house that the player will say that his new team has just as much talent, he expects them to compete and make the playoffs, etc. I presume you would take such comments with a grain of salt - why are Ricky's comments here any different?

You've been at this job a long time, and you're good at it. Can it really be that after all these years you're confused by the most benign and predictable comments made by an athlete?

1:24 AM  
Blogger gessier said...

You are blowing what he said WAAAAY out of proportion. The man was simply being diplomatic, shut the door and turn out the lights, case closed. What was he supposed to say, these guys suck? I could make the argument that you just want to have a reason to attack Ricky and though that is a wild assertion, it's not as groundless as what you had to say about Williams.

4:14 AM  
Anonymous RICKY-DON'T LOSE-DAT-# said...

ENOUGH ON RICKY...WHO CARES WHAT HE DOES...PEOPLE IN SOCIETY DESERVE SECOND AND EVEN THIRD CHANCES...BUT HE'S HAD WAY 2 MANY MORE...HE WILL GAIN OVER 1,500 YARD, BUT NICK SABAN NEEDS TO STOP KISSING WILLIAMS' BUTT...PHINS PLAYERS MUST BE UNHAPPY WITH THE WAY SABAN BABIES REFERHEAD...

CARY

5:05 AM  
Blogger CubanCulebra said...

Kris and Gessier are right Mando. You're reachin brother. I'm starting to think something personal is going on. Why else would you continue to go out of your way for a zing? From a guy who really appreciates what you do but won't kiss your ass, the tone of this blog is oozing venom and spite bro. Maybe that's the whole point, I dunno. Eitherway, hateful, controversial, or down right wrong, I enjoy the blog immensely. HERE WE GO DOLPHINS! HERE WE GO! (clap, clap)

6:41 AM  
Anonymous wl97 said...

Ditto to all comments so far ... what did you expect him to say? "CFL players are clearly inferior to those in the NFL." It's called diplomacy.

As I've been saying for years, leave Ricky alone! Stop picking on the man because he walks to the beat of his own drum.

9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, maybe you'd like Ricky to insult the league and the players? Hint: To avoid injury, try not to insult your blockers and the guys who will be tackling you. It was the smartest thing Ricky could say. They pay you for your insight?

9:13 AM  
Anonymous dolphin80 said...

When you're saying that the level of talent in the CFL is nowhere near the talent in the NFL, you're stating the obvious. For example:

The Pope is Catholic
Camels pee in the desert
Planes fly in the sky
If you're a Fins fan, you hate the Bills....

..all obvious statements

Stellar reporting, Señor Salguero. What everybody else is saying is CORRECT, Ricky is not going to alienate his new teammates...period.

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You asked, so I will share my opinion. Ricky is going to tear up the CFL and probably be the league's rushing leader, as you said, barring injury.

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Ram said...

To answer your final question, an Argonaut is a Canadian Football League player in Toronto. As far as the talent comments, of course he gonna say that. If he didn't someone in the league (maybe even Toronto) would try to break his leg or something just to prove how tough they are.
Remember also its Ricky not T.O.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Steve said...

armando i have to 2nd cuban's post in all aspects of it - both negative and positive. also "comparable" doesn't mean "equal". a lot of those guys played in the league or have been in nfl camps, they couldn't stick for one reason or another but the fact that they were in camps and some in the league for a while does mean that the talent is "comparable". Its not the same level of talent but there is plenty of talent there. Plus there are always guys coming from the CFL to play in the NFL.

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The old adage is: If you can't say something nice, say nothing at all. Ricky's adage: If you can't say something nice, then lie. And his fans who have excused all his positive drug tests and leaving the team high and dry twice, are excusing his lying as well.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree completly, I don´t think the talent in the CFL is comparable but did you really expect Riky to say that in his first meeting with the press? It´s called common sense.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armando, you mentioned the possibility of Ricky getting injured several times during your post. Are you predicting he will be injured?

12:10 PM  
Blogger Armando Salguero said...

What are you nuts? I would never predict someone's injury unless his name is Yatil Green, in which case an injury is predictable.

But seriously, I would never want any player to get hurt. And I would never root for any Dolphins player to do anything but play well, play long, and stay strong.

You guys don't realize that when Miami players do well, when the team wins, it's good for business. My stories are more important, more people read the stuff, and everyone is happy. I root for happy. Happy people give good interviews, happy people play better, happy people go to Super Bowls. And I get to cover that!

So for you guys who think I have some agenda when I'm critical, you are wrong. I want the Dolphins and the players to do great and I definitely don't want anybody to get hurt.

12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armando,

I think you just don't get it. You're coming across as way too defensive. People aren't criticizing you for rooting against the Dolphins, they are just pointing out that Ricky's quote is a cookie cutter response to a typical media question, and yes, it looks like in this case you're just fishing for something to be critical of.

There's nothing wrong with that in a blog; in fact it makes it more interesting to read. What you need to be careful about, however, is defending your blog comment the same way you would your integrity as a beat writer.

A casual reader has made this observation: Ricky is one of your favorite topics to write about, and you invariably write about him in a negative way. In fact in one posting you came across as opposing his way of looking at the world as if you had a conservative Christian bias that is at odds with Ricky's point of view (I'm not sure if that is how you really feel or if your text was just misleading). In any case, if you don't like the guy or disapprove of his actions, why not just own that? If you're giving your opinion, why don't you be more forceful in the way you give it rather than cloaking it in some passive aggressive way?

Or maybe it's just that the small things you seem to be nitpicking at about Ricky make it that your argument about Ricky (not your merits as a beat reporter) are not credible, due to an apparent bias (regarding your views on Ricky). For example, if you're yelling at your partner for not putting the top back on the toothpaste, your credibility lacks when yelling about something else that may be more important.

It seems that you yourself are bringing the issue of your integrity up and blurring your role as a blogger with your role as a beat reporter.

This begs another question: How is writing on this blog different than writing an informational article based on a press interview? Maybe you or someone else could address that or give an opinion. I think that would be interesting to discuss.

My view and the views of others on this blog is that you do a good, serviceable job reporting about the team. Isn't it fine to have your own opinions here on the blog? Isn't that what a blog is about? Why do you need to be so defensive?

Kris made a great comment at the opening. He praised your work. He challenged you on the question you pose in your blog. I think most readers would agree with the way the he (or she) eloquently put it.

However, based on your 12:16 pm response, it's like you're waiting for someone to say something silly (like "anonymous 12:10 pm") and then pounce on it, without addressing the more serious blog entries. Your response seems overly defensive and angry. Rather than responding to Kris and the many that agree with that point, all you seem to see is that someone may be suggesting that you're making a prediction of injury.

Here, you're actually the one that suggests that you may "want" Ricky to get injured. I didn't gather that from anonymous 12:10 pm, but you seemed to do that.

In any case, I feel your original blog entry may just be "lazy" blogging or just not very well thought out. But your 12:16 pm response just seemed way out of line with what people are actually writing about. Like you're not taking time to really read, or are just really defensive. What's going on man?

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with all the others that Ricky was being diplomatic. At the same time I believe that the CFL requires somewhat different skills at certain positions than the NFL.

Though the NFL has better talent, you can't beat the CFL team names.

Argonauts,
Stampeders,
Tiger-Cats,
Blue Bombers, and
Roughriders (a name so cool that it was used by two teams)

James from Ottawa

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Stampeders seasons ticket holder and huge football fan, I must say that I agree that NFL defensive players in particular are better than their CFL counter parts the NFL. However the CFL game is so wide open that it's rather hard to compare the talent. Some would say Marcus Allen's brother Damon (41 yr old QB of the Argo's) could play both leagues, however it took Damon about 10 years to be a truly top-end quarterback probaly acheiving this when he won the Grey Cup with the Eskimos in 1993 or 94. He still runs like the wind even as a grandfather. Literally he has grandkids. The NFL's salary structure demands that these players perform at the highest level early on or their contracts are nor renewed and they become just a little bit more expensive option that a new rookie project. Some of the guys get hurt in NFL camps rehab and get a chance up here. The talent isn't that much lower though, some roving linebackers are often converted safeties weighing a few bucks over 200 lbs which is different for sure. The leading tackler in the CFL last year was Kevin Eiben of the Argos he's about a 210lb MLB, now moved outside with Lee Woodall in Argos camp. Most teams use screen passes and of course the infamous shovel pass which was developed here basically as running plays. There are alot of trick plays in the CFL as well, if NFL fans can get over the ego temptations to stomp our league then they will enjoy a truly unique game filled with offensive and special teams highlights every night.

4:23 PM  
Blogger Armando Salguero said...

Defensive? Who's defensive? I'm not defensive. Why do you say I'm defensive? I don't have a defensive bone in my body. So stop attacking me for being defensive. I'M NOT DEFENSIVE, dammit!!!! LOL.

4:28 PM  
Blogger Lorne Goldenberg said...

Armando...

Why are you so surprised by Ricky's comment about the talent in the CFL? Sure he is being diplomatic, but he must have seen more talent than he might have thought he would have.

I train a number of CFL players in the off-season. Some who have been on NFL rosters and some who could be on NFL rosters. There is no doubt in my mind anyway, that there is at least 10-15 players on every CFL roster who could play in the NFL. Who dont they? Because they do not fit the profile, that being size, how much they can bench press, or how they look in equipment. If you are not an NFL draft pick, or come from a big NCAA school you do not get any attention.

The CFL provides a great venue for some very talented players, who would dearly love to play an NFL team. But that will never happen, you remember what happend last time it did? Oh come on August 1962 the Hamilton Tiger Cats beat the Buffalo Bills 35-21 in Hamilton. Ever since then the NFL has just not wanted to play anymore! LOL...Let us know when they are ready.

Lorne Goldenberg
Pro Strength Coach
Self Proclaimed CFL Expert

10:18 PM  
Blogger DOUBLE BLUE said...

lORNE AND ANONYMOUS ARE RIGHT- THERE IS A LOT OF TALENT BUT SOME GUYS ARE TOO SMALL (5'9' CORNERBACKS ) -BUT ITS ENTERTAINING-WHERE ELSE CAN A 42 YR.OLD GRANDFATHER (RICKY'S qb ) PASS FOR 5,000 YDS AND WIN THE MVP.

11:59 PM  
Anonymous Jason Mississauga said...

The NFL is better than the CFL, our guys are more talented then your guys, my dad can beat up your dad, my d*ck is bigger than yours....get a life, why are you so insecure about the NFL? whether you are right or not, truth is we love our league up here and take pride in our own game, where the players actually play for love of the sport.

You do have more murderers, drug users, and sexual assault cases in your league though -- there's something to take pride in!

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armando....you're right....Ricky's HIGH!!!!!

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1 Ricky was being diplomatic and polite. What's wrong with good manners?

2 the talent level in the CFL is not as high overall as in the NFL, but is still very good, and there are some exceptional players here. Some great NFL players have gone to Canada and their performance was mediocre or terrible. Terry Metcalf and Vince Ferragamo come to mind. Others have been very good. Some NFL Europe/USFL players have done well, others languished as backups or get cut.

3 Canadian football has different rules and dynamics that call for some different skills and attributes at various positions. For example, yes, linebackers are definitely smaller, so are dfensive ends... there's a REASON for that; they have much more territory to cover (the field is half again as large as in the US) and have more pass coverage responsibility.

4 I like the Canadian game much more than the US game... it's faster paced, more pass-oriented, less predictable. That's my personal preference. Feel free to make your own, try experiencing both before you judge.

5 Ricky will do well in the CFL. He'll probably get 1,000 plus yards, maybe 1,500 (it's an 18-game season; per rush averages are higher than in the US generally, because of the larger field and because the D lines up 1 yard off the ball). I doubt he will run roughshod over the entire league.

6 It will be fun to watch how he adapts and performs. The Argos play their first pre-season game Friday night at home to my faves, the Tiger-Cats.

Steve, Toronto

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1 Ricky was being diplomatic and polite. What's wrong with good manners?

2 the talent level in the CFL is not as high overall as in the NFL, but is still very good, and there are some exceptional players here. Some great NFL players have gone to Canada and their performance was mediocre or terrible. Terry Metcalf and Vince Ferragamo come to mind. Others have been very good. Some NFL Europe/USFL players have done well, others languished as backups or get cut.

3 Canadian football has different rules and dynamics that call for some different skills and attributes at various positions. For example, yes, linebackers are definitely smaller, so are dfensive ends... there's a REASON for that; they have much more territory to cover (the field is half again as large as in the US) and have more pass coverage responsibility.

4 I like the Canadian game much more than the US game... it's faster paced, more pass-oriented, less predictable. That's my personal preference. Feel free to make your own, try experiencing both before you judge.

5 Ricky will do well in the CFL. He'll probably get 1,000 plus yards, maybe 1,500 (it's an 18-game season; per rush averages are higher than in the US generally, because of the larger field and because the D lines up 1 yard off the ball). I doubt he will run roughshod over the entire league.

6 It will be fun to watch how he adapts and performs. The Argos play their first pre-season game Friday night at home to my faves, the Tiger-Cats.

Steve, Toronto

12:35 PM  
Blogger stevehvh said...

1 Ricky was being diplomatic and polite. What's wrong with good manners?

2 the talent level in the CFL is not as high overall as in the NFL, but is still very good, and there are some exceptional players here. Some great NFL players have gone to Canada and their performance was mediocre or terrible. Terry Metcalf and Vince Ferragamo come to mind. Others have been very good. Some NFL Europe/USFL players have done well, others languished as backups or got cut. Bottom line? So what, it’s great football.

3 Canadian football has different rules and dynamics that call for some different skills and attributes at various positions. For example, yes, linebackers are definitely smaller, so are defensive ends... there's a REASON for that; they have much more territory to cover (the field is half again as large as in the US) and have more pass coverage responsibility.

4 I like the Canadian game much more than the US game... it's faster paced, more pass-oriented, less predictable with more motion. That's my personal preference. Feel free to make your own. Try experiencing both before you judge.

5 Ricky will do well in the CFL. He'll probably get 1,000 plus yards, maybe 1,500 (it's an 18-game season; per rush averages are higher than in the US generally, because of the larger field and because the D lines up 1 yard off the ball). I doubt he will run roughshod over the entire league. If he does, good for him.

6 It will be fun to watch how he adapts and performs. The Argos play their first pre-season game Friday night at home to my faves, the Tiger-Cats. Tune in if you can.

Steve, Toronto

12:39 PM  
Blogger stevehvh said...

1 Ricky was being diplomatic and polite. What's wrong with good manners?

2 the talent level in the CFL is not as high overall as in the NFL, but is still very good, and there are some exceptional players here. Some great NFL players have gone to Canada and their performance was mediocre or terrible. Terry Metcalf and Vince Ferragamo come to mind. Others have been very good. Some NFL Europe/USFL players have done well, others languished as backups or get cut.

3 Canadian football has different rules and dynamics that call for some different skills and attributes at various positions. For example, yes, linebackers are definitely smaller, so are dfensive ends... there's a REASON for that; they have much more territory to cover (the field is half again as large as in the US) and have more pass coverage responsibility.

4 I like the Canadian game much more than the US game... it's faster paced, more pass-oriented, less predictable. That's my personal preference. Feel free to make your own, try experiencing both before you judge.

5 Ricky will do well in the CFL. He'll probably get 1,000 plus yards, maybe 1,500 (it's an 18-game season; per rush averages are higher than in the US generally, because of the larger field and because the D lines up 1 yard off the ball). I doubt he will run roughshod over the entire league.

6 It will be fun to watch how he adapts and performs. The Argos play their first pre-season game Friday night at home to my faves, the Tiger-Cats.

Steve, Toronto

12:40 PM  
Anonymous dnwman said...

I don't understand why nobody seems to understand what Ricky was REALLY trying to say. When he talks about "talent," he's talking about raw talent. Of that there is certainly plenty in the CFL, but as Ricky said, often the execution lacks "consistency." What you get in the CFL are a lot of guys who have all the ability in the world, but haven't been able to put it all together. Lets not go nuts on which league performs at a higher level... it's the NFL hands down... but that isn't to say that there isn't ABILITY in the CFL, or that it isn't an entertaining product.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would say the starters in the CFL (almost all Americans)are comparable in talent to the backups in the NFL...but their advantage is they are battle-hardened in the trenches and not just mainly sitting on the bench. Advantage CFL.

There is little question the starters in the NFL would be of superior talent compared to CFL starters. Advantage NFL.


...Although a 250 lb NFL LB might find it tough in the CFL, while a 210 lb CFL LB likewise in the NFL...

7:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Ricky made his debut in the CFL on Friday night. He had 4 carries for 7 yards in one quarter of play. It was just the first pre-season game, but he hasn't "smoked" the CFL just yet.... though that's what the headlines said the Tiger-Cats did to the Ricky and the Argonauts, 31-3 in Toronto.

9:08 PM  
Blogger armchairjock said...

"As far as talent ... the talent here is comparable to the NFL, it's just consistency," Williams said. "From what I saw out there, these guys can run, these guys can hit, these guys know what they're doing.

"Football is football. There are a couple of differences in the game but for the most part it's just terminology."

Now, I don't want to rehatch my old rip on the CFL. But even the biggest CFL fans -- whom I have grown to respect during my stewardship over this blog -- would admit that league simply doesn't have the caliber of talent the NFL has.

Right? Is there anyone up there who believes the talent is truly comparable?

Have you ever once thought that Williams was being prophetic when he said these words in May? After 4 games here are the "NFL Superstar's" stats: 53 carries
214 yards
4.0 Ave.
1 touchdown.
This puts him 5th in rushing with only two guys in the whole league with lower yards per carry. I am so sick of you NFL guys' arrogance in thinking that the CFL is some minor league. If it were, the past and present NFL superstars who have come to the CFL over the years would have dominated - news for you - they have not. IN fact, if the NFL Super Bowl champs had the balls to play a CFL all-star team, they would be very surpised at the level of talen thewy would be facing. You do not sound like anyone who knows anything about the CFL.

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again...go check this story in the Venice Gondolier on July 26th. Maybe you'll learn something about the CFL.

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone wants to see a CFL game, and too bad Ricky is hurt. You can go to clf.ca and watch the games on the net.

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry...that's cfl.ca

9:01 PM  
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8:21 AM  
Blogger armchairjock said...

What do you think of Ricky William's abysmal failure - that is his inaugral season in the CFL? Even without his getting hurt he would not have come close to gaining 1000 yards let alone the 1500+ you predicted. Although that prediction pales in comparsion with Sean Salisbury's ridiculous claim that Williams would rush for 4000 yards. Where do you guys get these ideas from? Do you still believe that the CFL is inferior to the NFL? I believe that the NFL is such an awesome example of hype not an aswesome display of superior talent.
I still would love to see an all-star team from the CFL take on the Superbowl champs. Do you think such a game would draw excitment from the US as I know it would from Canada? Or, is the NFL deathly afraid that they would not dominate such a game, or heaven forbid, even lose such a game. What do you think?

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the CFL has as much talent as the NFL considering it is a differnt game. The CFL has three downs NFL four,the CFL has 20 seconds to snap the ball the NFL fourty, the CFL's field is 120 yards NFL 100, the CFL is in it's 100th season the NFL 43rd.

4:13 PM  

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