Eubanks itching to send ex-teammates home on losing side

WES GILBERTSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 2:47 PM ET

Defensive back John Eubanks figured he'd make his regular-season CFL debut in a Winnipeg Blue Bombers uniform.

Things can change in a hurry.

Eubanks, a training camp casualty in Winnipeg, signed on with the Calgary Stampeders four days ago and could be in the lineup for tonight's game against his former employer.

"We're just trying to get this win -- no personal vendetta or anything like that," he said.

"I'm out here to support my teammates and get a win."

After a crash course with the practice squad, the 26-year-old from Mound Bayou, Miss., was added to the Stampeders' 46-man roster yesterday, although coach John Hufnagel has the final say on whether he'll be in uniform or street clothes.

Eubanks, a former special-teams standout at the University of Southern Mississippi, spent two campaigns with the NFL's Washington Redskins, appearing in seven games and registering seven tackles.

He suited up for one pre-season game with the Blue Bombers, turning in what he considered a solid defensive effort but also getting stripped of the ball on a kickoff return.

He expected to get a second chance to strut his stuff for the coaches at Canad Inns Stadium, but was released the following day.

Eubanks had been hanging out at home for several weeks when the Stampeders called to offer him a tryout.

"I'm always grateful of a team that picks me up," Eubanks said. "I feel like the team that picks me up, the other teams are the ones that are missing out. I feel like I have a lot to offer."

The Stampeders actually contacted Eubanks last season, but he decided to stay put and wait for an NFL offer.

Now plying his trade north of the border after failing to land a job in four-down football, the speedy halfback isn't expecting any special treatment because of his gridiron resume.

"Respect is earned, no matter where you go," he said.

"You can't just come up here and expect to be feared. I have to come out here and earn my respect, amongst my team and amongst the league."


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