CALGARY — Free to go anywhere he wanted, Tearrius George didn’t even consider joining another team other than the Calgary Stampeders.
The defensive end went on a tour through the NFL over the past 17 months and is back now where he started in the CFL.
When he left, the Stamps were 7-10-1 and struggling to find an identity, although George was a promising rookie who led the team with eight sacks.
Since he left, the Stamps went on to win the Grey Cup without him, so now the 26-year-old is hoping to pick up right where he left off, but he’s fighting for a job just as he was in the U.S.
“I come back to the defending Grey Cup champions and I’m trying to fit wherever I can,” said George, who signed a free-agent deal yesterday.
“If that’s as a couple-plays-a-game guy or as a starter, I will do to help them have the same success they did before. I have to work for it.”
Two days after beating up on their provincial rivals, the Stamps have added their two biggest defensive-line prospects from the past two seasons back to the roster.
Charleston Hughes also returned from the Philadelphia Eagles and he and George were in their first practice yesterday.
Although neither player will suit up tomorrow in Edmonton, the newcomers give the Stamps much more flexibility in the weeks to come.
George’s signing was a surprise to many, and a pleasant one indeed.
After his rookie season with the Stamps, he signed with the Dallas Cowboys and spent nearly the entire 2008 campaign on their practice roster.
With four games remaining in the regular season, the New Orleans Saints came calling with an emergency situation as some of their players were facing drug suspensions.
George joined the Saints, but was never activated for a game as the case was delayed through the courts. He requested his release at the end of the season and tried going back to Dallas, but he was claimed by the Miami Dolphins.
After spending the entire off-season with Miami and then going through training camp, he was cut in late August. He signed with Dallas again to try to get his old job back, but they let him go this weekend.
Despite getting cut, George doesn’t regret the journey.
“It was excellent choice on my part,” said the Kansas State product, who was an outside linebacker in the NFL. “I was just in the wrong places.
“In Miami, they brought Jason Taylor back. Against a 13-year veteran, I can’t say I had no chance, but I had NO chance. I could see it coming there.
“In Dallas, I was behind DeMarcus Ware. That guy played in the past 66 games. He has no backup.
“It was one of those situations that I was good enough, but the person in front of you is great.
“I learned a lot from those guys. There is a lot of things they passed on me I hope to use here.”
After nearly two years of practicing without playing a meaningful game, George is itching to be in some real action.
“There are so many tackles you can make in practice,” George said.
“In Miami, they call you a practice Pro Bowler. You make all the tackles you can to show the coaches what you can do.
“It will feel good to make a tackle in a game again.”