Writer's cramp a hazard of the job

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:51 AM ET

On the field, Kelly Campbell is already proving he has great hands.

The Edmonton Eskimos receiver had eight catches for 158 yards and two touchdowns last week against the Calgary Stampeders in his second CFL regular-season game.

But behind the scenes in team meetings, those soft hands are busy scribbling a stunning number of notes - which partially explains his success under the lights on game nights.

"I take millions of notes (in meetings)," said the rookie receiver. "I feel like you can't ever know enough.

"It is important to know your opponent, each and every defender - so come game day it's very easy because you know what to expect."

TAPE RECORDER

During his time in the NFL, Campbell brought a tape recorder to meetings.

Without one in Edmonton, the 27-year-old import is taking so many notes he is thinking of buying a recording device.

"My hand is getting a little tired trying to keep up," he chuckled.

That is no surprise considering the offensive meetings last 90 minutes and Campbell is scribbling up to five pages of notes.

"I try to write down everything that comes out of the coach's mouth (in offensive meetings) - as fast as I can," said Campbell, who sits at the front of the room.

"Taking notes is like being in school. You take good notes you do well on the test. So, you take good notes in a football meeting you prepare yourself well enough to be ready for game day.

"As I am watching the defenders (in meetings on the video screen) I am writing down different tips for myself - how can I beat this defender."

90 MORE MINUTES

Once he leaves Commonwealth Stadium and heads home, Campbell reviews the notes at night for up to 90 more minutes.

"No family, no girlfriend, nobody to be around - so do nothing but concentrate on football," he said of his time in his Edmonton apartment.

Leading the Eskimos in receiving entering tonight's game against the Toronto Argos (8 p.m., CHED, Commonwealth Stadium), Campbell is second in the league with 198 receiving yards in two games.

It has been quite a CFL debut through two weeks of the regular-season - but he impressed the Edmonton coaching staff from Day 1 of training camp.

"When you got the whole group in there, you are going to decide what kind of players you are going to keep," said receivers coach Mike Kelly, who noticed Campbell taking notes from Day 1.

"How are these guys? Are they conscientious? Are they taking this as a profession, not just: 'I am a football player.'

"There is a difference there. From Day 1, (Campbell) came in as a professional."

Kelly has seen other players in the NFL - running back Brian Westbrook, cornerback Shawn Springs, linebacker Jeremiah Trotter - take significant notes like Campbell.

He hopes it catches on in the Edmonton locker-room.

"Knowledge is a very powerful tool," said Kelly.


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