Debut time for Davis

GERRY MODDEJONGE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:31 AM ET

The loss of one player is another's gain.

With Maurice Lloyd going down in last week's loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, rookie import middle linebacker Rod Davis will get his first CFL start against the Calgary Stampeders tonight.

"It's unfortunate how the opportunity came about, but I'm loving the chance, the opportunity to show what I can do," said the six-foot-two, 240-pound Davis.

"It's a big game for us with Calgary, I guess -- it's my first year up here -- it's kind of a rivalry game. They're the closest team to us."

Davis is coming off a championship season in the arena league with the Philadelphia Soul.

Prior to that, he played three seasons in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings and Carolina Panthers.

"Hopefully I can continue to have success in the CFL," said Davis.

"It's a great opportunity to showcase my talent in front of a great home crowd."

And he'll be relying on his instincts to do it.

"Every level I've played at, that's what coaches always harped on, believe in your instincts and just do what you do," he said.

"I've been playing football for a long time -- since the second grade -- so I've been accustomed to a lot of football.

"There's a change with the bigger field up here, but I'm adjusting well and hopefully I can learn what (linebackers) coach (Danny) Kepley and (defensive co-ordinator) coach (Jim) Daley have taught me through training camp and through this season so far to help us."

His new league is a bit different than anywhere he's played before.

"The most difficult thing is the (three) downs and the 20-second clock, that was a big difference for me. It's a quicker pace than what I'm used to.

"I knew that I had to come up here in good shape and that's what I did," said Davis.

"I know (tonight) will be kind of rough at the start because I'm going to have a lot of adrenaline and it's my first game."

But it's also what he's been preparing for all season.

"I've been running every day after practice. I've been training throughout the season for this opportunity," he said.

"So I think I'm well prepared to make the adjustment. I'm ready and able."


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