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Riders LB CJ Avery Enjoying His Time in CFL, Wants to Win for the Saskatchewan Fanbase

Published: Saturday, Jun 22nd 2024, 10:06am

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)


When it comes to clutch players in the CFL so far this season, there may be no one that has made more of a direct timely impact on their team than Riders rookie linebacker C.J. Avery. He had the game sealing interception in week 1 against Edmonton with 33 seconds left on the clock and of course last week, also with 33 seconds left on the clock, intercepted a tipped ball against Hamilton that led to Brett Lauther‘s game winning field goal.


I had the chance to chat with “Mr. Clutch” (sorry, all my years of listening to Rod Black call CFL games has me giving out nicknames like this) on Friday afternoon after practice and we got to talk about those interceptions and what it is about his game that allows him to make those big plays.

“It’s the little things in practice, we work on drills like that (tipped balls) that carry over to the game. But in game, I’m just doing my job and as a defense, you gotta get those tipped balls (in Hamilton) and that’s what I did.”


CJ Avery and the Riders celebrate post game – photo courtesy Saskatchewan Roughriders


Avery is in his first year in the CFL after playing in the XFL last year with the Vegas Vipers. On how the CFL game is different than any other football he’s played so far: “Obviously the rules (are different), the field is wider, so as a linebacker you have to change your departure angles and things like that. You have more space to cover. But I’m enjoying the experience, I’m loving the CFL. It’s been amazing so far, I just want to continue to enjoy this game and come out victorious in everything we do.”


Avery also credits Linebackers Coach J.C. Sherritt for what he’s been tought over the first few games of the season. “He’s been in our shoes, so he tells me little details like where you can attack your leverage or things in coverage. I give him a lot of credit to the success that I’ve had from these past two games because he’s the one that’s drilling me daily, he coaches extremely hard, so he’s one of the best.”


CJ Avery – photo courtesy Saskatchewan Roughriders


As for the team’s 2-0 start so far? “All I care about is the win. I just want to win for this province, this fan base, this organization and just want to continue this success.”


You can catch the full interview wherever you get your podcasts or watch on YouTube!


Avery and the Riders take on Hamilton tomorrow afternoon in the back half of the home-and-home set in the team’s home opener at 5pm at Mosaic Stadium.


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