Ain't that a kick ... Williams given the boot

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:59 AM ET

Rodney Williams has been punted off the Edmonton Eskimos.

After being the club's starting punter for opening night of the regular season in Calgary, the Green and Gold cut Williams yesterday, meaning 15-year veteran Sean Fleming has officially survived the battle for his job.

The Esks haven't announced the move yet, but Williams told the Sun he was released yesterday afternoon.

"It's very difficult because I wanted to be here for the long haul and I made a big investment in coming here," he said.

In particular, the former member of the New York Giants left his job as director for the U.S. Dream Academy - an organization helping educate children of prisoners - in Atlanta to try out in Edmonton.

"And after I made the Eskimos, they replaced me (at the Academy)," he continued.

Williams initially took Fleming's punting job by consistently booming 50-yard punts in training camp.

Starting an import punter is very rare in the CFL, but the Eskimo coaching staff was willing to give Williams a coveted American roster spot with the hope he would be able to alter field position.

But he couldn't match his training camp form in the regular-season opener - with a 40.6-yard average - and botched a perfect snap on his first attempt of the game, which led to Calgary points.

To no surprise, Fleming - a non-import - has started the last two contests and has been close to Williams's average from opening night, which officially ended the job battle.

Essentially, with Fleming and Williams being close in performance, Edmonton can better utilize an import spot at another position.

The decision also involved money, as Williams had been earning a full pay cheque the last two weeks by being stashed on reserve lists.

But in the same manner he showed through his six weeks in Edmonton, Williams took the news in stride.

"I'm just disappointed because I was hoping things would work out, but I made a lot of lifelong friends," he said.


Videos

Photos