Howell happy with double duties

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:34 AM ET

When Markus Howell shows up to practice with the Red and White, he's not sure if he will be wearing red or white.

The veteran utility man is getting used to finding out when he arrives at McMahon Stadium whether he will put on the offence white jersey or the defence red.

Such is life for the 34-year-old, who proved last season he could be a valuable backup at receiver and defensive back.

When Stamps training camp opened a week ago, Howell was working at cornerback behind projected starter Dwight Anderson.

With a few minor injuries taking out receivers, Howell crossed the line.

"I knew that coming in," said the affable Winnipeg native. "I came in as a defensive back. I'm sure when the numbers get down a bit -- I hope to still be here -- I'm sure this will be what happens."

Howell has a lot on his plate with the Stamps, being that he is defending his job as the punt returner.

But this camp is unique for him in a different way.

It's his first since becoming a father in January to a baby girl named Jada.

With the family back in Winnipeg, Howell is on the web camera as often as possible to keep in touch.

The family is planning on relocating to Calgary in August, but Howell gets a break with the schedule in that the Stamps visit Winnipeg in the second week of the season.

"They keep me ticking," Howell said.

"When they aren't around, I get into the mode that football is everything. In the big picture, it's not. Family matters just as much."

The defensive players are calling Howell a mole, believing he's giving away defensive formations in full-team drills.

Howell just laughs at that notion, although when he first went over to defence, he found it hard not to hear what the offensive play-calls were and just go to where the ball was headed.

"I would have to just pretend I didn't hear and play it straight up."


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