Riders Quarterback Cody Fajardo sums up Willie Jefferson well: “He’s a freak athlete.”
Add in a what must be a high football IQ and the creativity to invent ways to ruin plays, and you’ve got the Bombers star defensive end.
Jefferson is first in the CFL in QB pressures (35), first in forced fumbles (5), first in passes batted at the line (7) and tied for 2nd in sacks (8).
At 6-foot-7, 248 pounds he affects games in ways that fans might never have thought of.
“There’s a lot of times on tape that I’ve been watching where he just covers the entire quarterback’s view, and you can’t see around him,” says Fajardo. “You can’t see over him. And it makes it tough. So I think my pocket movement is going to be big this week just being able to move around and get a little bit more vision.”
Head Coach Craig Dickenson knows Jefferson well from their three years together with the Riders.
“He’s disruptive. He really is. He’s got such length and he’s so disruptive and so fast that we know about him and we’re certainly going to be aware of where he’s at. But they’ve got a 11 other good guys on that field too.”
To hammer home the point that the 8-2 Bombers aren’t all about Jefferson, Dickenson showed the team a highlight reel. It comprised Bombers players that aren’t Jefferson, suspended running back Andrew Harris or injured quarterback Matt Nichols. It sounds like it was long.
“I pointed out Lucky Whitehead, he made about three plays. Janarion Grant made about four plays. Darvin Adams made a couple plays, Lawler scored on a long one, Demski had two, and I think they had three or four defensive touchdowns. They’ve got ballplayers over there.”
A reminder that the Riders have to be worried about all 45 guys on the Bombers roster, not just the ultra-long, lightning quick, crafty defensive end.