Ryan Grice-Mullen’s success as a returner resulted in a comparison with Joe Theismann

VS = Vancouver Sun

About the importance of RGM’s role as a returner, B.C. Lions GM and head coach Wally Buono said:
“The punt returner and kick returner is as valuable as any offensive player, maybe more so than any offensive player other than the quarterback. I sense sometimes that the returner is considered the least of all the offensive players when in actuality it’s the opposite.” (VS)

Comparing RGM with Joe Theismann (who was a punt returner first with the Washington Redskins before becoming their QB), Buono said:
“Joe Theismann was a returner before he was an NFL quarterback. Grice-Mullen can be a great returner before he can ever be a great receiver.” (VC)

About why he didn’t return kicks in college, RGM said:
“In college my head coach really didn’t want me back returning kicks and punts because I was too valuable to the offence — I was one of his main guys. But it’s different here. Here, it’s about the best guy to help your team have success.” (VC)

About how RGM could have stayed banished to the inactive roster if it wasn’t for their need for a returner due to Ian Smart’s knee injury, Buono said:
“It could have been a tougher sell if he went from being receiver to returner. I don’t know if it was a tough sell, having taken him off the roster and putting him back on. At the end of the day, they all want to contribute and play.” (VS)

VS Note: “The native of Rialto, Calif., had 82 return yards against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats two weeks ago and followed it up with 160 return yards in Friday’s 35-20 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders at BC Place.”

Not satisfied with his 160 return yards in their last game (his longest rerturn was a 36-yard kick return), RGM said:
“I’m a little mad I didn’t break a couple of them. But I think I helped the offence a little with field position so that’s good. As long as I’m contributing it’s all good.” (VS)

About using RGM as a receiver out of the backfield, Lions starting QB Buck Pierce said:
“Ryan brings speed to the backfield and has a lot of big playability if we use him the right way. Returning punts and kicks as well as receiving — that’s a lot of hits on a guy.” (VS)

VS Note: “Especially when the guy stands 5-11 and 180-pounds. That’s with his cleats on and accounting for all his hair. But first you have to catch him. The dude regularly clocks 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Some reporters cars don’t go that fast.”

About how RGM’s speed is suited to the wider CFL field, Buono said:
“You have to be blind not to see his speed. And one thing about this game is the width of the field can be taken advantage of with speed.” (VS)

About how he hopes to be back from injury in time for next week’s home game, Smart said:
“If I’m not back next week, I’ll definitely be ready for the next one. Ryan’s doing a good job and getting it done. He really brought a spark in the last game.” (VS)

VS Note: “If that’s not enough to convince Grice-Mullen of his worth as a returner, maybe this will. His 10 returns against the Roughriders equalled seven more touches that he had in three games last season.”

About how RGM is happy to be a returner for their team, Buono said:
“I think he’s bought into it. It’s simple really.” (VS)

Praising RGM’s return ability, Buono said:
“One of these games, he [Grice-Mullen] is going to be unbelievable. He had 160 yards in returns and he could have had 400. He was close to going all the way two or three times.” (VS)




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