CALGARY - Adrian Davis is battling about a dozen other players for a job in Calgary, but he was due to get compared with a guy in Toronto.
When you get traded for a player at the same position, comparisons inevitably happen.
So when Miguel Robede was released by the Toronto Argonauts Wednesday, didn’t it feel like a victory for the new Calgary Stampeders defensive tackle?
Not so much.
“I was shocked to hear that,” Davis said. “He’s a resilient guy, he’s driven, a family guy, so I’m sure he will land somewhere.”
Davis, who’s entering his fifth CFL season, came to Calgary this off-season with receiver Reggie McNeal in exchange for Robede and receiver P.K. Sam
It was a swap of import receivers and Canadian defensive tackles that didn’t fit with their former teams.
Turns out neither Sam nor Robede fit with the Argos.
While McNeal is still on the bubble with the Stamps, Davis will likely be getting a roster spot to start the season.
With Corey Mace as the starter, Davis will likely see regular time in the rotation and play a key role.
Clearly, the Stamps come out ahead on the deal.
“I don’t want to think about it as winning or losing,” said Davis, who has played in 21 career CFL games. “I’m here to do my job. I have a lot of respect for Miguel and what he did in his career. When you get traded for a guy of his calibre, you see it as respect. They wanted me here.
“I wasn’t happy to leave Toronto but I’m happy to be in Calgary. I really enjoyed my time in Toronto and I appreciate everything that organization did for me.
“I feel this is a new chapter for me with more creativity for what I can do. I’m glad to bring my skillset to Calgary.”
Robede was the first overall pick by the Stamps in 2005 but he had a rocky start with the team under former defensive co-ordinator Denny Creehan.
He started to blossom in the 2008 season and was a productive player for a couple of seasons before suffering a season-ending concussion last year. While not really a draft bust, this release doesn’t help his legacy.
With the Stamps committed to having a non-import on the defensive line, Stamps GM-head coach John Hufnagel didn’t rule out giving Robede another chance.
“Not at this time,” Hufnagel said. “I’m still trying to formulate our team. I have a lot of respect for Miguel’s ability.
“You don’t know what will happen down the road. I don’t have a slot for him right now.
I have to release people.”
Although Davis doesn’t have a huge resume from his time with the Argos, he was backing up veteran Adriano Belli, who hardly took a snap off.
When Belli was suspended to start last season, Davis stepped in for one game and had a doozy.
He recorded a sack and had four tackles in a loss at Calgary but the Stamps took notice.
“Hank (Burris) said I was in his face all game,” Davis said.
“When you have a chance to down someone who’s had so much success in this league it doesn’t get much better than that.”