Jeff Hecht says his highlight reel is still a work in progress – one that he’ll get to expand on with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Hecht was part of a trade earlier this week that brought him and teammate Fred Bennett from Calgary to Saskatchewan for two negotiation list players.
Hecht was refreshingly candid in his interview after arriving in Saskatchewan and said he knew something was up before the trade happened, but he wasn’t expecting to join the Riders.
“I thought I was going to get cut, to tell you the truth. Situationally, I thought that was the scenario,” he admitted on Wednesday.
Hecht has been in the league for six years, and he said that when you’ve been around as long as he has you begin to see the writing on the wall before it happens. He also said he had some contract guarantees coming up and knew Calgary was carrying a heavy roster.
“I start becoming a casualty of the salary cap, more or less,” he explained. “When you see your name falling on the depth chart everyday, you’d be naïve not to prepare yourself for something like this.”
Hecht is an undrafted Canadian, but he’s made himself a nice career in special teams, starting in Montreal his rookie year before joining the Stampeders in 2012 where he remained until now.
“This is the only football I know,” Hecht said. “I’m somewhere between the 42 and 44 on the 44 man roster, that’s the way I play the game, and that’s the approach I take in my preparation. It’s the only familiarity I have in football.”
His approach and preparation had Chris Jones take notice, and you’ll likely see him in the game against Hamilton on Saturday.
“We got him because of his special teams value,” Jones said after the trade. “He’s a guy that’s physical and up to this point one of the things that’s been most disappointing is our physicality in the special teams game.”
For his part, Hecht is grateful for his opportunity in Saskatchewan – even though it means he’s had to go from the first place team to the last place team.
“It’s unfortunate that this didn’t happen two weeks ago, because (then) Saskatchewan wins both those games,” he said with a laugh. “It’s very smart of them to wait two weeks to deal me.”