We introduced you to new Blue Bombers receiver Chris Givens earlier this week — now it’s Givens’ turn to introduce himself to the CFL.
Based on practice, the former NFL starter will line up at inside receiver, along with Weston Dressler, when the Bombers visit the Toronto Argonauts, Saturday.
The hope is Givens picks up some of the slack left by leading receiver Darvin Adams, lost indefinitely to a shoulder injury.
“I’m a lot better prepared, just from being out there and getting those live reps,” Givens said, Thursday. “You just get way more feel for what’s going on than just watching it. I just want to gain everybody’s trust.”
Earlier this week, Givens was telling reporters about the transformation he undergoes on game days, from “humble Christopher” to the intense “CG,” who “never shuts up.”
Thursday, Givens provided a little more insight to his alter-ego.
The transformation begins in the locker-room, just before he pulls his helmet on.
“I wear one eye-black,” Givens explained. “I go to the bathroom, put it on – once I come out of the bathroom it’s CG. It’s a completely different attitude, a completely different mojo.”
OK, we’ll play along.
So, Christopher, what’s this CG guy like?
“He’s fiery,” Givens said. “He’s not gonna make any bad decisions. He’s competitive. He loves to win. He’s just always gonna give you everything he has.
“And if you’re talkin’, then I’m gonna let you know this isn’t the best thing for you to do, and we gonna go from there.”
Keeping his alter ego around, Givens says, isn’t hard at all.
“Not when the helmet’s on. The hardest part is getting away from CG. It depends on how the game went. If it was a chippy game, it might take me an hour.”
Givens, 27, was a fourth-round NFL draft pick who played 60 games over four seasons for the Rams and Ravens, starting 31 and grabbing 107 passes for 1,779 yards and five touchdowns.
His 16.6-yard average suggests he could be a deep threat.
He’s learning to play inside, here, with veterans Dressler and Clarence Denmark showing him the ropes of the Canadian game.
“He’s very capable of being a very good player in this league, or any league for that matter,” Dressler said. “We’ll try and guide him as much as we can.”
Head coach Mike O’Shea and offensive co-ordinator Paul LaPolice have gone out of their way to undersell Givens’ potential.
“Seems to know what he’s doing,” were the first words out of O’Shea’s mouth when asked about him, Thursday.
“Decent player,” was what LaPolice called him a day earlier.
Having waited patiently on the practice roster for a month, Givens says he hasn’t had to drop any arrogance about joining the CFL.
“No, because I didn’t play football for a year,” he said. “That shed everything for me. That was my humble pie.”
The Argos defence will, presumably, see the other side of him, Saturday.
This marks defensive back T.J. Heath’s first trip back to Toronto since the one-sided trade that sent quarterback Drew Willy to the Argos, last September.
“It’s worked out very, very well,” Heath said. “It sucked to have to leave, when things were going good. But I got here and things went good, too.”
The biggest difference between playing in Winnipeg compared to Toronto?
“Oh, man, the fans,” Heath said. “I’ve ate at so many different people’s houses just in this month, alone, random fans, ‘Hey, you wanna come eat with us?’ Yeah, I’ll come. I’ve met so many people here and they take care of us.”
People actually invite Heath over to their homes?
“Listen, I was just as shocked as you are,” he said. “Fans have ways of contacting you… sometimes they stay after the games and wait for you to come out. That’s the least I can do.
“It was tough trying to get a little love from (Toronto). You’ve got so many teams and so many professionals out there, working. And I get it. It’s a big city. This is more like home for me, anyway. I’m a small-town guy from the country.”
Heath, born in Alexandria, Ala., says he keeps in touch with his former teammates, mostly the defensive backs.
“We were a tight-knit group. But this week I haven’t spoke to any of them. I did that on purpose, too, by the way.”
Heath, tied for the team lead with five interceptions, one of which he took 63 yards for a touchdown last week, says the coaches have given him a hard time about the balls he’s dropped.
“They mess with me always, saying I was in my own head,” he said. “I’m just glad I caught that one.”
The Bomber defence, which ran away with the interception lead last year (30), leads the CFL again, with 20, two more than Calgary.
“A year ago, we caught everything,” O’Shea said. “If it was up in the air, we’d catch it. This year it’s just been a little different. We’re in position, which is good.”
HIT IN THE POCKETBOOK
Centre Matthias Goossen will give up part of his next paycheque for a hit he delivered in the last game.
The CFL has fined Goossen an undisclosed amount for “an unnecessary hit to a vulnerable player” in Friday’s win over B.C.
The player in question was Lions linebacker Micah Awe.
Published at Thu, 19 Oct 2017 21:47:49 -0400