'Rookie' QB brings resume

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:15 AM ET

Late in November, Matt D'Orazio and his wife Nicole were flipping down the cable schedule and saw 'football' listed on one of the specialty channels.

Being a quarterback himself and his wife a huge pigskin fan, D'Orazio selected the station and quickly realized the viewing would be interesting.

The Calgary Stampeders vs. the Montreal Alouettes in the 96th Grey Cup.

"We watched it all the way through," said D'Orazio, who learned one of his former coaches, Pete Costanza, was part of the staff in Calgary.

"It was a coincidence. I called Pete and congratulated him, but after the TV went off, we went back to our normal business.

"When I found out there was no Arena League this year, I called Pete again and asked if they were interested. That's how we got the ball rolling."

Now, D'Orazio is with the Stamps, signed as a free agent to compete for the third-string job behind Henry Burris and Barrick Nealy.

The reigning MVP of the Arena Bowl with the Philadelphia Soul, the nine-year veteran of the indoor game is now a rookie again.

The 32-year-old threw passes to fellow Stamps' freshmen yesterday at the opening of rookie camp.

"I approach it just like the other guys," D'Orazio said. "I'm trying to learn and find my role on the team. My ultimate goal is to do well in practice and then have a chance in pre-season. Hopefully, at cut time, I'm part of the club."

When the Arena League went on hiatus this winter, it put roughly 450 players on the street. D'Orazio feels he's one of the lucky ones just to get a training-camp roster spot with someone.

The product of Otterbein College (Westerville, Ohio) didn't really feel he was ready to leave the game behind.

"I want to prove them right for having faith in me," D'Orazio said. "I want to do the best I can so they can say they made the right choice in bringing me up."

There are numerous things D'Orazio will have to adjust to being in the CFL. The Arena field is tight and constrained, and teams would basically throw on every down.

Another challenge will be the size of the ball, but D'Orazio isn't looking for style points.

"I've never thrown a pretty pass my whole life," D'Orazio said. "I'm used to not throwing spirals. It doesn't bother me one bit."

The one thing the Stamps lost in the off-season was a veteran presence at quarterback with the retirement of Dave Dickenson.

After winning the Arena Bowl with the Chicago Rush in 2006 and again with Philadelphia a year ago, D'Orazio fits the bill.


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