Crysdale returns to camp

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:15 AM ET

For the first time in 14 training camps, Jamie Crysdale won't be crouching down and taking blows from defensive lineman twice a day.

And he couldn't be happier.

"It feels so good," said the retired Calgary Stampeders centre. "Even if I tried to come back, it would have been a struggle for this year. I've had 13 good years so I have nothing to complain about."

However, Crysdale will still have a presence around McMahon Stadium as training camp opens today.

The former Iron Man has agreed to help coach young centres Godrey Ellis and Kyler Jukes and fine-tune their games for the difficult position.

Ellis took over from Crysdale when the veteran suffered through knee injuries last season and did an admirable job. At times, the rookie looked quite polished, so Crysdale wasn't worried about rushing back into action after what was season-ending knee surgery.

"He has a good body style for it and he's quick," said Crysdale. "It's a matter of understanding more about the position. As a young guy, you always try to do more than you probably need to.

"I'll help him not try so hard and to let things happen and he'll be fine."

Even after feeling better a few months after the Stamps lost to the Edmonton Eskimos in the West semifinal, Crysdale wasn't considering a comeback.

CAP AIN'T DEAD: The CFL's new salary management system isn't dead yet. The board of governors voted down implementation of the system this week but Stampeders president Ted Hellard said it is a matter of legal wording that caused the 5-3 vote.

Six votes are needed to put the system in the league constitution but one team, the Edmonton Eskimos, wanted language changed before giving the go-ahead. B.C. and Montreal are dead set against a salary cap.

Other changes that occurred this off-season, such as expanding to a 42-man roster, will not be affected as training camps open today.

JOHNSON MOVING UP: Former Stampeders linebacker Alondra Johnson has taken the next step in his goal to become a pro football coach.

Johnson will be a guest coach at B.C. Lions training camp over the next few weeks, working with his former boss, Wally Buono.

Johnson, who retired after spending the 2004 season with Saskatchewan, will work with the Lions linebackers. He was a defensive coach with the junior Calgary Colts last season and still resides in the city.


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