Old home has Stamp rarin'

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:54 AM ET

Twice the Stampeders have travelled to Montreal and left Quebec native Miguel Robede in Calgary healthy and ready to play.

Both times, the former first-overall draft pick from Laval was hugely disappointed.

Now, Robede will make his first appearance in his home province as a pro football player when the Stamps take on the Montreal Alouettes tomorrow at McGill Stadium (5 p.m., TSN).

The defensive lineman is bouncing off the walls, which is disturbing his landlord, fellow defensive lineman Randy Chevrier.

"I know he's excited because that's all he's been talking about lately," said Chevrier.

"It's special to go home and play in front of friends and family."

For the past couple of years, it appeared if Robede was going to play back in Quebec, it was going to be with another team.

After the Stamps took him with the first pick in the 2005 draft, Robede returned for his final year of schooling.

He joined the team in 2006 and played nine games, mostly on special teams, as he tried learning Denny Creehan's defensive system.

The following year, it seemed Creehan wasn't going to play Robede, and the 27-year-old spent time on the bench. Even when the team suffered some injuries to defensive lineman -- a week before heading to Montreal -- the Stamps instead brought Demetrious Maxie out of retirement to cover the loss.

To Robede, it hurt bad.

But he bit his tongue, and when the Stamps fired Creehan, Robede played a bit at the end of last season under replacement Tim Burke.

Although his first two years didn't go well, he re-signed this off-season back with the Stamps with the promise he would get a chance to play.

He rewarded the team with a sack in his first game, and was solid in his second outing, as well.

"He's done everything we've asked him to do," said new defensive co-ordinator Chris Jones.

"I've told him from the start that I just wanted him to execute the plan, nothing more or less. He's done that, and he's letting the game come to him now."

During his first two seasons as a pro, people who watched him perform at Laval kept asking what happened to him when he would return to Quebec City in the off-seasons.

He expects those same questions this week in Montreal, but now Robede has some answers.

"People always ask me why I'm not playing," Robede said.

"When you don't know the answer, it's tough. You get tired of repeating the same stuff.

"Some people try to find the reason and talk too much about it. I have to deal with it. Sometimes it makes you mad, but you have to be polite and give them the same answer.

"The first year, I didn't go and it was understandable.

"Then the second year, guys got hurt and I was supposed to go, but they left me home.

"It was frustrating. This year, I was hoping so much I wouldn't get hurt and everything would be fine and I would play."

Robede has had a great mentor in Chevrier, a Montreal native who is one of the most-polished veterans on the Stamps.

Chevrier has been there working with Robede through those lean times when he was on the bench and kept telling him to work hard.

The words hit home.

"Every athlete will get his due, whether it takes three years or whatever," Robede said.

"Sometimes stuff happens but if you don't quit, good things will happen."

This is Robede's first trip to Montreal, but he certainly hopes it won't be his last.

"I want to play the Grey Cup in Montreal. That would be the biggest reward after three years. And this team has the potential."


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