Back is all business

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:54 AM ET

Calgary Stampeders star Joffrey Reynolds is the kind of player during practice that is seen and not heard.

Think the opposite of Terrell Owens.

Three years later, he still follows the rookie rule written on the locker-room wall.

The star running back just does the drills with his usual proficiency, much as he was yesterday during the first day of training camp. So leave it to quarterback Henry Burris to toot Reynolds' horn a bit.

"He doesn't talk a lot because he's focused on what he has to do," said Burris. "If there is a mistake, he doesn't complain about it. He just goes out there to correct it on the next play."

Although Winnipeg's Charles Roberts has won back-to-back rushing titles, Burris calls Reynolds the most complete running back in the CFL.

Of course, he is biased and numbers don't always tell the whole story.

Reynolds is often mesmerising with his footwork while carrying the ball and arguably the team's best player when the McMahon Stadium lights are turned on.

But the Houston product is the epitome of the Stampeders' new 'One' campaign because you would never hear him say he needs more carries or asking to pad his stats late in games.

"A lot of people could argue Charles Roberts but Joffrey is such an all-around back," Burris said. "Not only does he have the on-field work ethic and attention to detail you need but off the field he's a leader."

Reynolds went into the off-season with a bitter feeling following a second straight playoff defeat in which he turned the ball over by fumbling a pass reception.

So he left focused on fine-tuning the little details and stayed in Calgary to work with strength and conditioning coach Mark Kilam on that aspect of his game.

He comes into this training camp with more competition -- rookie Jon Cornish, returnee Wes Cates and newcomer Ken Simonton -- but with a goal of winning the West Division and getting a first-round playoff bye.

The numbers are irrelevant to him really, although he and Roberts will likely once again be one-two in rushing.

"Charles is a great back," Reynolds said. "But neither of us won the Grey Cup."

The 27-year-old is trying to use those heartbreaking losses to Edmonton in 2005 and Saskatchewan last year as motivation. He still believes there is no reason to give up on the core group the Stamps have assembled because of two setbacks.

"We had some disappointments in the playoffs but everybody can't win it," Reynolds said. "Every team goes through growing pains.

"Look at Peyton Manning and how much pain he went through before winning the big one. If you keep working hard and preparing well, things will go our way too."

Reynolds has heard teammates say he is the best running back in the league but dismisses that talk with an 'aw-shucks' humbleness.


Videos

Photos