Posted by: Jeremy | August 12, 2009

One-on-one with Jamal Robertson


J-Rob, going to work against the Riders

J-Rob, going to work against the Riders (Photo Credit: Toronto Argonauts)

If there were any questions about the Argos’ running game prior to this season, no one’s asking anymore. Jamal Roberston emerged from training camp as the team’s starting running back, and hasn’t looked back since — through Week 6, he’s third in the CFL in rushing yards (447) and has scored three touchdowns, also good for third in the league. Robertson’s 17 receptions are tops on the Argos, and his 794 combined yards rank fourth in the CFL. I had a chance to talk to Robertson Wednesday afternoon:

Q: What is it like being a running back in a passing-oriented league? Does it ever get frustrating not getting many touches on the ground (Robertson had just six carries in Montreal last Friday), or do you like the opportunity to go out and make plays as a receiver?

Robertson: I’m an all-around running back and I just want to be there for the team wherever they need me. We have a passing offense and when they need you, you need to be able to explode for them.

Q: You came into camp looking to earn a starting spot. Now, six weeks into the season you’re one of the league’s top rushers. What has been the biggest factor in your ability to step up?

Robertson: The biggest difference between this season and last is the playing time. I’m just playing my game, the same way I’ve been playing all my life. Now I’ve just got more of an opportunity to show it.

Q: Coach Andrus has taken a hard line as far as discipline and accountability this season. How does his coaching style suit you as a player?

Robertson: I’m used to it — I’m used to a no tolerance type of situation. It’s a professional league, so you have to do professional things. So far it’s suited me well, and I appreciate the opportunity coach has given me this season.

Q: The big news around the team this week is the promotion of Cody Pickett to starting quarterback. You spent some time in the backfield with him at the helm last season and also played with him in San Francisco (Robertson and Pickett were teammates on the 49ers in 2004). What does he bring to the table as a starter?

Robertson: Cody is going to be a spark for us. He’s a good quarterback. He has a quick release — he can get the ball out of his hands as fast as anyone. He can get out and run if need be. He’s an all-around good quarterback and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do.

Q: The season is one-third of the way complete and the team is sitting at 2-4. What has to be done to get back on track and make the playoffs?

Robertson: We’ve just got to win games. It doesn’t matter how we get it done, we just need to come out with wins. We have a good group of guys and I think we can get it done.

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