For the last two seasons in the Canadian Football League, defensive ends John Chick , 27, and Stevie Baggs , 28, have anchored one of the top defensive units in Saskatchewan Roughriders history.
In 2009 Chick and Baggs dominated nearly every offensive line in the CFL, combining for a staggering 20 sacks and accounting for six turnovers en route to the Roughriders’ second West Division championship in three seasons.
Despite both men drawing heavy attention throughout the last two seasons in the form of constant double-team blocks from opposing offensive lines, Chick and Baggs have consistently brought heavy pressure on quarterbacks while successfully establishing one of the top run defences in the CFL.
After their 2009 campaigns with Saskatchewan concluded, Chick and Baggs signed with the National Football League’s Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals, respectively.
John Chick will look to establish himself in the thick of one of the league’s top defensive lines in the form of reigning Pro Bowl bookends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. The CFL’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year will likely be utilized by head coach Jim Caldwell as a role player with the Colts, where he will look to aid the reigning AFC champion’s defence.
Fortunately Chick inked a three-year contract with the Colts and has the luxury of having time to contribute to a team that does not require immediate help.
With the Arizona Cardinals, Stevie Baggs will transition from an undersized CFL defensive end to a situational linebacker in the NFL. Fourth-year head coach Ken Whisenhunt acquired Baggs to aid a depleted defensive unit that lost several of its most prominent players in the 2009 offseason and to help bolster a run defence that has struggled throughout the last several seasons.
Although Baggs only signed a one-year deal, he will look to establish himself as a force in the Cardinals’ defence during the 2010 season.
In the 2010 season, John Chick and Stevie Baggs will look to follow in the path of former British Columbia Lion and current Miami Dolphin Cameron Wake as players that have successfully transitioned from the Canadian to the National Football League in the last two years.