Czieski tries to crack lineup

JOHN SHORT -- For Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:01 AM ET

For Chris Czieski, this training camp brings a whole new focus.

As a brilliant running back in junior with the Edmonton Huskies and at university with the UBC Thunderbirds, the 220-pound Sherwood Park resident handled the ball for a fair share of every preseason workout.

Now, he sees himself as a possible piece of the most underrated aspect of CFL duty: The special team.

"I've always wanted to be an Eskimo," he said, "and I think I always knew that if I played in this league it would be on special teams.

"This is great for me."

Only during his last two seasons did he get the slightest work on special teams. "At UBC, they gave me the chance. I liked it."

Czieski first stepped on a football field in Sherwood Park as a seven-year-old. Even then, " I wanted to be the best that I could be."

The attitude carried him to the highest levels of junior football and enabled him to earn a B.A. in sociology at UBC.

When he started, Czieski was like most other young players. He saw himself at centre stage, not in the shadows. The Eskimos depth chart lists him third at fullback behind Mathieu Bertrand and Calvin McCarty.

Both are Canadian. Both are more experienced.

For some, the adjustment might be difficult. Not for this guy.

"It's still football," Czieski smiled.


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