Dwayne Jarrett wasn’t the only former NFL player trying to revive his career with the Saskatchewan RoughRiders. Former NFL cornerback Karl Paymah, a six-year veteran, is trying to win a job with the CFL team. (So is quarterback J.T. O’Sullivan.)
“It puts everything into perspective because I took a lot of things for granted,’’ Paymah tells the Regina Leader-Post. “It’s keeping me humble and working on the little things that I did take for granted in the past. [The Riders] are probably one of the best coaching staffs that I’ve been around. In the NFL, they don’t have time to coach you because it’s all about schemes. These guys have played the game before and they know when your body hurts. They are going to take care of you. I’m learning and I haven’t learned in a long time.’’
Paymah, who played for the Broncos, Vikings, and Texans, also talks about a serious concussion he suffered in 2007, but that hasn’t deterred him from playing football.
“I remember that his knee hit my head,’’ Paymah said of the running back who knocked him out cold. “The next thing I remember was waking up in the ambulance and I was all strapped down. I wanted them to get it off me because I had to get back into the game. They calmed me down, and after I started to move my limbs, I realized that I was fine. . . . My hearing and my sight was affected for four weeks after it.’’
But Paymah was back in a week. “I didn’t feel like I was ready, but I didn’t want to let my team down and I felt there was a lot of pressure,” Paymah said. “It wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but I had to do what I had to do.’’
And he’s now doing what he has to do by continuing to play football in Canada. It remains to be seen whether, like Jarrett, Paymah eventually “retires.” Or whether the things Paymah eventually has to do include suing the NFL.