Riders return man Jock Sanders looking to build off big game

Sanders racked up 174 yards in returns
Reported by Joel Gasson
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The Roughriders Jock Sanders is their return man in more ways than one.

First there's the obvious one, the fact that he returns kick-offs and punt returns, something he did very well against the Calgary Stampeders. In that game Sanders returned 100 yards worth of kickoffs and another 74 yards in punt returns.

"I expect to raise my game even higher than it is now," said Sanders.

While it may not seem like something Sanders would have to do after a combined 174 yards in returns against the Stampeders, it definitely felt like it could have been a whole lot more. A few times Sanders appeared to be one block, or one yard away from busting one to the house, for Sanders being close is all fine and dandy but...

"Close is not there, so I'm going to keep pushing until I get that first one." he said.

In order for Sanders to get to that point it's going to take a lot more than just his effort, the superb blocking that he's been getting from the special teams unit will have to continue, but even then special teams coordinator Bob Dyce knows it's only a matter of time before we see Sanders in the end zone.

"Jock's an explosive guy, the guys are working hard in front of him," said Dyce.

Sanders is showing quickly that he's over his knee injury that ended his season last year, one which saw him develop into a big part of the offense as the season went on.

"It hasn't taken him that long," said Dyce. "He did a great job breaking tackles and getting vertical in the return, it was outstanding to see."

For his part, Sanders says his knee has been feeling pretty good since the first game against the Eskimos, and his confidence is growing just about every week.

That should mean great things for an already confident Roughriders offense, after they scored on every single possession in the second half against Calgary, as a healthy and effective Sanders means better starting positions for the offense.

"Guys take pride in that, knowing that they contribute to the offense's success," said Dyce.

One thing that could happen should Sanders be too successful on special teams, he might not see as much time on offense.

"He's a valuable player, but we'll have a different style offense than we played last week," said head coach Corey Chamblin. "It's just called for different numbers to be called, he'll find himself back in there as time goes along."

Sanders isn't too worried about where and when he plays, saying it's up to the coaches what he does.

Surprisingly, Dyce is fine with Sanders getting a bigger role on offense.

"I like to see him have success anywhere, if it's offensively or on special teams," he said. "He's a dynamic player, a dynamic personality , I just want to see him have success."