Newcomers to the Roughriders starting lineup expected to bring a physical edge

The Saskatchewan Roughriders hope a dose of physicality will be the difference in their matchup against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

There will be some new faces on the defensive side of the ball for the green and white, with LB T.J. Brunson, DB Deontai Williams and DB William Poole III will get the start for the Roughriders on Saturday.

Poole III will get his first look after joining the team on September 18. Even though the former Georgia Bulldog hasn’t been in Saskatchewan for long, Head Coach Craig Dickenson feels Poole III is a physical player who has shown enough to be inserted into the starting lineup.

“He’s got some length, he’s healthy, and eager and we’re excited to see him play.”

With the playoff race heating up in the Canadian Football League, Dickenson wants the Roughriders to have a physical edge tomorrow.

“We got to get more physical on offence, we got to get more physical on defence, we got to get more physical on special teams, so dressing bigger, stronger, more physical players across the board is going to help us I think.”

T.J. Brunson

Brunson last suited up for the Roughriders at Mosaic Stadium on August 20, when he created a couple of earth-shaking collisions on special teams that sparked a 34-29 victory against the BC Lions.

The linebacker said he wants to maximize his opportunity after not playing over the last two seasons.

“It was just the perfect moment for everything to mesh together, that(the hits) was the result.”

The former South Carolina Gamecock will be lining up at weakside linebacker, replacing Canadian Micah Teitz. Brunson seeks opportunities to make a play, whether it’s on special teams or defense.

“It’s really see the ball, get the ball, play my part, do my part.”

He added there are a few mental hurdles that he has to clear with his first start at linebacker on Saturday.

“Where your help is, just the spacing on the field, understanding how we’ll be attacking it.”

Being a physical player on the field has been important to Brunson as a football player since he was in Pop Warner Football.

“Just how I like to attack tackling in general. “

Deontai Williams Photo: Blaine Weyland

Williams returns to the field for Saskatchewan after sitting out the last three games with a hamstring injury.

It was disappointing for the defensive back that he couldn’t help the green and white during their recent losing skid.

“When they go away, I can’t motivate them, I can’t talk to them.”

The former Nebraska Cornhusker noted that he likes to use his physical play on the field to do his talking.

“I like to show what I got on the field instead of talking,” said Williams. “Between these lines, that’s my words.”

On Saturday, with emotions flowing at kickoff following the pre-game ceremony honouring George Reed, the Roughriders defensive back wants to feed off the energy inside of Mosaic Stadium.

“That’s why we come out here, we come out to give them a show, and that show is we got to get a win tomorrow.”

Another change on defence, Anthony Lanier II will make his first start at DT after playing the majority at DE.

On offence, right tackle Brandon Council will be a game-time decision. If the Auburn product can’t play, it will be Jordan Tucker making his debut for the Roughriders.

Roster Notes

The Roughriders announced they have released DL Cody Roscoe. He had a sack for Saskatchewan in their loss against Ottawa on September 22.

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