Big target receives advice

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:20 AM ET

The meeting, thought Greg Hetherington at the time, would simply be about the gridiron.

Turns out, it's become so much more for the Calgary Stampeders receiver.

Last summer, offensive co-ordinator George Cortez recommended Hetherington meet former Stampeders receiver Vince Danielsen.

Hetherington assumed it was because they're similar in size and played the same position.

Turns out the second-year Stamps receiver has found something of a mentor.

"We went out for a coffee and started talking about football, and then he mentioned how he's in the fitness business," Hetherington said. "I'd just finished a kinesiology degree. It's quite a coincidence we both shared similar goals as far as the fitness and the football world. We had a lot in common."

Hetherington, a sixth-round draft choice in 2007 who spent almost all of last season on the practice roster, continues to moonlight for Danielsen's business -- Innovative Health Group -- as a personal trainer.

The job proved not only a boon for Hetherington's long-term goal of owning a personal fitness business but also for his current career with the Stampeders.

After all, there's nothing like picking the brain of a two-time Grey Cup champ who retired with 468 career receptions for 6,068 yards and 34 touchdowns.

"He has taught me a lot -- going over routes, telling me what I should do here, what I should do there ..." said Hetherington, 25. "There is always room for improvement. He's been touching on everything for me. Not just on running routes, but body position to when to be more physical or use more finesse. I know he took a lot of hits down the middle. That's one thing I need to prove I can do in the pre-season -- catch the ball over the middle, get my head knocked off and get back up to do it again."

You can see the impact on the practice field. The second-year slotback is much more confident so far in training camp, using his 6-ft.-4, 200-lb. frame to make the kind of catches needed to become a reliable receiver.

EXTRA POINTS

WR Brett Ralph and OL Derek Armstrong didn't practice fully in either session yesterday, while RB Demetris Summers and CB Willie Byrd got injured in the morning. They join WR Tyrone Calico (calf), RB Ken Simonton (hamstring) and OL Jesse Newman (knee) on the sidelines ... DB Chijioke Onyenegecha, who spent last season with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and failed his physical with the Montreal Alouettes, joined the Stamps ... OL Cody Kennedy, out with a knee injury, and DB Dwight Ellick were released.


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