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Has Christian Wade’s transition from rugby to the NFL worked out? For Wade, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’.
“It has been a success to come across, learn the game, participate in practice at full-speed and to play in preseason.”
The Buffalo Bills running back made an instant impact in preseason, scoring with his first touch which ignited hopes that Wade would be more of a hit than other cross-over athletes have been. Making the full 53-man roster was always extremely unlikely in year one, but are the former winger’s prospects any brighter going into season two?
“I just want to keep improving. I’m going to give it the same energy as I did this year and see where that gets me.”
Wade has formed a close relationship with the Bills’ running back coach Kelly Skipper, who has given the former Wasp extra attention to ensure his fundamental skills are up to speed.
“He feels like that within our running back group we all have the ability to play good football but I’m still the weakest link in the room. That being said, he still has confidence that I’ve got the skills.
“I still have a lot to learn and I’m still making mistakes.”
Watching other players around the league has also been part of the process. Wade name-checked the formidable Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffarey as one inspiration. Interestingly, the other name he mentioned was Tarik Cohen, a quality running back in his own right but far from a superstar of the NFL.
Cohen is 5ft 6in, 181 lbs and has been a success due to his electric footwork, and an ability to run routes and make catches. The Chicago Bear was the smallest running back in his draft class but his consistent performances since entering the league were rewarded by making the Pro Bowl in 2018. Wade is an inch taller and 10 pounds heavier than Cohen. One concern over Wade’s transition was his size for an
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