Axe falls and Malbrough loses a digit

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:22 AM ET

How often have you heard football training camp is a numbers game?

Players can be shipped out on a moment's notice, the victims of cutdowns even though they might show some promise.

Stampeders camp is a numbers game too, just that it often involves swapping jerseys when another player is sent packing.

Last week, halfback Anthony Malbrough threw his No. 31 in the wastebasket to slip into the No. 3 worn the past couple of seasons by Terrence Moore, released earlier this week.

Malbrough, acquired from Ottawa as a free agent in the off-season, first put on No. 31 last year after his trade from Calgary to Ottawa as a tribute to an NFL colleague, Aaron Glenn. Glenn, an 11-year NFL veteran, showed Malbrough the tricks of the trade in Houston Texans camp a couple of years ago and the lesson stuck, along with the number.

Now Malbrough is back sweating in No. 3, just as in his formative years, symbolizing his determination to become a leader among the Stampeders defensive backs.

"No. 3 is really my number because when I was younger I used to wear it in middle school and in high school," explains Malbrough, who wore No. 26 his first two seasons in Calgary before being traded to Ottawa last off-season.

"When I was drafted in Cleveland (in 2000), they just gave me 26, so I had been wearing 26. When I went to the Texans camp (in 2002), I started wearing 21 but I met a guy who played corner over there -- Aaron Glenn -- and he wore 31. I gained a lot of knowledge from him in his approach to the game and how to be a leader. Now it's my time to be put in a position like he was in at Houston.

"So when No. 3 became available, I thought it was the perfect situation. I feel like I'm a leader, I feel like I'm going to lead the guys in the secondary and No. 3 became available so it all just fell into place."


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