Ricky says it's tough running in the CFL

DEAN MCNULTY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:58 AM ET

The reasons why Ricky Williams hasn't set the Canadian Football League on fire are as simple as 1-2-3, he said yesterday.

Williams -- who is under a one-season suspension with the NFL Miami Dolphins after he tested positive for a banned substance for the third time -- said that three-down football as played in Canada is not a game where a running back can be a star, especially on a Argonauts team that emphasizes passing.

Williams said a running back coming from the NFL can't be expected to have the same impact in the CFL as he would have in a game with four downs.

"It's marginal what a running back can do in this game," he said. "It's not a running league."

And he said that the Argonauts offence has keyed on getting the ball into the hands of receivers.

"We are not a running team," he said. "We haven't had a running back rush for a 100 yards yet this season."

NOT A RUNNING TEAM

Answering a question about why he hasn't turned out to be the premier running back fans thought they were getting when he signed his one-year deal with the Argos, Williams insisted he never thought he would be a star in the CFL game.

"That's all in people's imagination," he said at the Argos final workout before today's game at Rogers Centre against the Calgary Stampeders. "There is no reality in that."

Williams -- who had his best game of an injury-shortened season last week against the Calgary Stampeders -- said he didn't like being compared to Calgary's Joffrey Reynolds, who is considered the best back in the league.

"I'm not in competition with any other back in the league," he said. "It's a team game."

Besides, he said, with just three downs to move the sticks most CFL teams hardly make use of the running game.

"In this league the running game doesn't translate into winning," Williams said. "The teams in this league that are winning are the ones with the best receivers and the best quarterbacks."


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