While it was a disappointing draft for University of Regina Rams quarterback Noah Picton, he eventually found his way to the Argonauts and he could be bringing a bit more than just some CFL experience to the U of R this season.
“I think the biggest thing that I took back was the playbook, I don’t want to say that I stole it completely, but I’ve never seen how much structure it had,” Picton said.
He said what he learned was almost an entirely new way to play quarterback and he believes it can work in Canada-West.
“I think we’re going to implement a few things here and there.”
But before Picton got a chance to join the Argos, he had to deal with the disappointment of not hearing his name called during the CFL Draft.
“As a Canadian quarterback, you don’t necessarily expect to get drafted high, towards the later rounds you thought ‘Well maybe someone will give me a call’ and then when the call didn’t come, it was frustrating,” Picton said.
But a few days later, a Toronto area code flashed on his phone screen.
“I was hoping it wasn’t going to be a wrong number or something like that, kind of would’ve been a bad prank,” Picton joked.
He said it worked out great and was probably the best team he could go to with guys like Ricky Ray, Anthony Calvillo and Marc Trestman to learn from.
He said the biggest adjustment for a quarterback going to the pros is getting used to the faster players on defence.
“You watch a guy like (Ray) and you can see he’s been doing it long enough that it’s just a slow game for him.”
He also learned how much work and attention to detail goes into being a pro quarterback.
“Every minute detail, they cross their T’s and dot their I’s, everything is taken into account, nothing is overlooked.”
Now Picton will be looking to take what he’s learned from some of the CFL’s best and bring it to Canada-West.
The Rams are in the middle of their 2018 training camp as they prepare for the upcoming season. Last year ended in heartbreak as they failed to win a playoff game.
Head coach Stephen Bryce said having a consistent starter at quarterback is a key to success in the league.
“If you don’t have a quarterback, you don’t have a chance. Everybody has a quarterback and ours happens to be the most seasoned in Can-West,” Bryce said.
Bryce said Picton has come into the camp looking extremely composed and is looking forward to seeing him on the field — especially with the ideas Picton is bringing over from his time in Toronto.
“I expect to see Noah be better than he was the year before if you can believe that.”
Rams training camp will wrap up following their Aug. 22 exhibition game against the Manitoba Bisons.
They will open the season against the Calgary Dinos on Aug. 31.