February 20, 2013

Sheets setting the bar high heading into new season


Mitchell Blair | Riderville.com

REGINA — Kory Sheets makes no doubt about it. He wants to be the best running back in the CFL and he wants to have one of the best ever seasons that a running back has ever had in this league.

“If you follow me on Twitter, you know I have already dubbed this season “Mission2K”, “ Sheets said. “Anytime I’m working out, that is what I’m aiming for. “

If there was an award for the best first year player in the CFL, Sheets would have been the runaway winner as he made the most of his debut rushing for just under 1300 yards and 11 touchdowns while adding another 500 yards and two touchdowns catching the ball to give the Riders a breakaway threat for the first time since Kenton Keith was a Rider. Despite the fine season, Sheets labeled it as a failure because he didn’t do what he wanted.

“I know I had some good numbers last year, but personally, last season was a disappointment to me,” Sheets, who admits he’s his own worst critic, said. “I wanted to be the league’s top runner and I wanted to be on a championship team. Neither of those happened so the season to me was a disappointment.  I know I can get both so I know I have to take my game to another level.“

Sheets says the Canadian game did present him with some problems when he first came to training camp, but he really credits Coach Corey Chamblin for giving him some solid advice in the first couple of days of camp that really helped him as the year came along.

“When I got up here and saw the wider field and the extra man, I had a lot of questions,” Sheets said. “Coach Chamblin took me aside and said once the ball is snapped, its football.  I really appreciated that and I took it to heart because he is right and I stopped worrying about it and started playing the game that I am familiar of. There are some rule changes and some things you have to adjust to, but at the end of the day it is still football.”

As Sheets enters his second year, he is very excited at what the future may hold. The only question he has is how everyone is supposed to get a piece of the football.

“I know we have a new offensive coordinator and I know he has a game-plan. In football, you need a running back and you need a running back in the Canadian game that can not only run the football, but catch the football.  I have had some conversations with George (Cortez) and he says that while we might be a little pass-heavy that there will still be a lot of time for me to do my thing.  As I said, I’ve set a goal for myself and I know that I will have to make the most out of every opportunity I am given to get there.”

While he is concentrating on the 2013 season, Sheets has also had an opportunity to play a sport in the off-season that he wanted to play when he was a kid but couldn’t. That sport is hockey as he has been a part of the Roughriders team that has travelled throughout Saskatchewan playing some charity games.

“If you want to know the truth,” Sheets said “I wanted to play hockey when I was growing up, but we couldn’t afford the cost of the equipment so I never did.  I will admit that being on skates isn’t exactly my strongest asset, but I know all about hockey and how much fun it is and I’ve enjoyed playing it with the guys. “

Safe to say Sheets will be more comfortable with football shoes under his feet than skates and that he will be able to be just as big a part of the offense in 2013 as he was when he barged onto the scene in 2012. While his goals may be lofty, they can be achieved and one would have to think that if Sheets can somehow put together a 2,000-yard season that not only will he have achieved one goal, but likely his second as well, as he will be on a championship team.