QB brings 'experience'

Richie Williams is happy to be in Winnipeg after being cut by the Ticats in April. (Sun Media/Brian...

Richie Williams is happy to be in Winnipeg after being cut by the Ticats in April. (Sun Media/Brian Donogh)

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:23 AM ET

When it comes to CFL experience, Richie Williams has appeared in more games and has more wins than the other three quarterbacks in Winnipeg Blue Bombers training camp combined.

He finds that quirky stat a little difficult to comprehend.

"Especially when I only have three years under my belt and I'm just turning 26," Williams said yesterday after his first practice with the Bombers. "I'm used to being the youngest out of the group. So yeah, it's different for me."

Williams, who signed with Winnipeg on Monday, spent the last three seasons in Hamilton as the backup to Jason Maas, Casey Printers and Quinton Porter. He was 2-3 as a starter over the last two years (the other Ticat QBs were a combined 4-27), and he appeared in 20 games overall.

He didn't have any allies in Steeltown after Marcel Bellefeuille took over as head coach midway through last season, even though the former Appalachian State pivot threw more touchdowns (11) than interceptions (nine) during his time with the toothless Tabbies.

Bombers head coach Mike Kelly couldn't care less about how little CFL experience Williams -- or any of his quarterbacks, for that matter -- possess. Projected starter Stefan LeFors is 0-5 as a starter, while Bryan Randall and James Kilian have never started north of the 49th.

"That's more a concern with you guys (the media) than it is with me," Kelly said. "We were kind of chuckling out there, saying 'Oh jeez, we don't have a CFL-experienced guy.' I'm not putting a whole lot of emphasis on that.

"We can teach our scheme, and we can teach what the indicators are of the defence over the top, and as long as the guy's intelligent and poised and possesses the physical skill sets, playing quarterback is playing quarterback."

Williams knew Hamilton was going to cut him eventually, and it finally happened on April 28, a few weeks after the Ticats inked former Bomber Kevin Glenn. Williams spent the last month by his phone, waiting for a call.

"I didn't really expect it to be Winnipeg, but I'm happy," he said. "I'm happy to be here, I'm loving the players.

"Coach Kelly and the rest of the coaches are real, real friendly coaches. I'm going to learn some things here and have some fun and win some games."

No one has to convince Williams to move on, as he is none too pleased with how his time in Hamilton came to an end.

"I'm in a better place now, so we're just going to go ahead with a fresh new start," he said.


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