A pair of Regina receivers are hoping to catch on in a big way with the Saskatchewan Roughriders this season.
Jordan Sisco and Jade Etienne enter training camp with high expectations. With the departures of Weston Dressler and Geroy Simon, there are holes to be filled in the receiving core.
'There are a couple of spots open so I'm in there everyday competing for a job' - Jordan Sisco, Saskatchewan Roughriders receiver
Sisco, who starred at Regina's Riffel high school and the University of Regina, knows the time to impress is now.
"There are a couple of spots open so I'm in there everyday competing for a job," Sisco said. "Where the coaches put me isn't really up to me. I just have to showcase everytime I get a chance."
The fifth-year receiver has struggled with injuries the past few seasons. He's also been behind some talented Canadian receivers in Chris Getzlaf and Rob Bagg.
But, according to receivers coach Jason Tucker, that does not mean the Riders have given up on Sisco.
"The times he has played, he's done a good job," Tucker said. "He's just had a run of bad luck with injuries. When he's out on the field, he makes plays. He just has to stay healthy."
Cramming for the season
Another Regina receiver is facing a challenge in training camp, but this one involves the mental side of the game.
Jade Etienne was acquired from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the off-season. He spent three seasons with the Bombers, but the fourth overall pick in the 2011 CFL Draft never reached his potential there.
Etienne is hoping a fresh start with the Roughriders will help his football career, but he needs to memorize the playbook.
"The first day of camp was a rough start," Etienne said. "Brand new playbook. A lot of different terms. A lot of different things going everywhere."
Etienne, who played at Regina's Luther College and was a star with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, missed the Riders rookie camp and was given the offensive playbook just hours before the start of training camp.
He is studying hard in the evenings and relying on veterans for support.
"Chris Getzlaf is helping me out a ton," Etienne said. "Just now we were sitting through walk-through and he would get me to tell him what every receiver was doing on the play. He's a vet and a great leader and I'm really looking forward to the rest of the week."
Both Etienne and Sisco will be given lots of opportunities to show their skills during the team's two exhibition games this month. How they perform in game situations will go a long way in determining the role they'll play with the Roughriders this season.