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'I'm excited': Riders' defensive back prepares to face former team

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Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive back, Marcus Sayles, will face the very team that released him this year when the Riders head to B.C. to take on the Lions this week.

Sayles, a former CFL all-star, was released by the Lions in early June following training camp.

“It caught me off guard but that’s part of it. This isn’t the first time I’ve been cut, you know? I’ve been cut multiple times throughout my professional journey. At the same time, I’m still here. God blessed me with another opportunity to play football,” Sayles said reflecting on the moment he found out he was no longer a Lion.

Saskatchewan immediately signed Sayles and added him to the active roster.

“I think I’m a pretty resilient guy and all of my teammates and these coaches have given me time to adjust to being here, and being ready to go every single week. I’m a professional here too so I’m going to make sure I’m prepared,” Sayles said.

“He’s a vet. He’s been in different situations with different teams. He understands the game. That’s the guy that helped me be better every single day at practice,” said his teammate and fellow defensive back, Deontai Williams.

In his three games with the Riders this season, Sayles has recorded 11 defensive tackles and one interception that lead to a touchdown in last week’s matchup against the Argos.

“A lot of the things that I’ve seen here and there, with me playing corner now, getting a different perspective a little bit up further from the box. It’s just tailoring to my game and me just locking in the best way that I can,” Sayles shared.

This week, he is elated about the opportunity to face his former team on the road.

“I’m excited just to be able to go against them. They have a lot of great players, a lot of them I still talk to. It’s two good teams battling it out in the West. It’s just competitive nature in me, especially that team. But at the same time we’re building here and we have a good team here,” Sayles said.

Williams said while he understands it’s probably going to be an emotional game for Sayles, he has to have a little motivation.

“We brothers now and he on the Saskatchewan Roughriders now so we have his back and I’m riding with him,” he said.

Now Sayles will have to go against his former quarterback and the current league leader in passing yards.

“He’s a great quarterback. He’s good at doing everything, he can run, he can throw, he can make every throw on the field. It’s going to have to be a team effort. All 12 of us doing it and everyone trusting what the coaches are telling us,” Sayles stated.

He also shared that since he has experience with the Lions, the team is using him as an asset this week.

“The guys, they just want to ask questions. They just want to know you know what some tendencies that I may have seen or what some running styles, or what’s something I can look out for. But at the end of the day we’re going to focus on our defence and what we need to do,” he shared.

Sayles also added he likes facing his former team on the road first as he would like to go in there and get the win in their stadium.

The Riders will face-off against the Lions on Saturday at BC Place.

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