Parquet aiming for three-peat

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:04 AM ET

EDMONTON - He’s been in three different leagues in as many years, but can Jeremy Parquet make it three consecutive championships?

The well-travelled offensive tackle won the Super Bowl with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2008 and claimed the UFL championship in 2009.

Whether or not the Eskimos can with the Grey Cup in 2010 will be decided later. For now, Parquet has to survive training camp.

One thing’s certain, he takes up the most room on the field. At six-foot-seven, 335 pounds, Parquet may be a CFL rookie but he’s no stranger to football.

Since being drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2005, Parquet went overseas to play with the Hamburg Sea Devils of NFL Europe for one season before returning to the NFL in 2007 with the St. Louis Rams.

Edmonton is his sixth stop in as many seasons.

“It’s a blessing to be involved in this league and this team and I really appreciate it,” Parquet said, who began adjusting to the fourth different league of his career as Eskimos rookie camp opened Wednesday at Clarke Park.

But Parquet already got the inside scoop on all things CFL from his cousin, Hamilton Tiger-cats linebacker Jamall Johnson.

‘We talk all the time, he told me about the rules and the ins and outs,” Parquet said. “I’m not saying I’m the best right now, but I have a pretty good understanding for it so far. Just like anything, it takes work everyday of studying, getting with the coach, getting with the teammates who have been here longer than me.”

Having someone with a Super Bowl ring in attendance at rookie camp is a rarity, to say the least. But just how does something like that happen?

“I don’t know, I try not to figure it out,” said the 28-year-old, who dressed for the Super Bowl game but did not see any game action in the championship. “When I was younger, I used to try to figure everything out: why did this happen? Why did that happen? I made myself sick.

“So now, I just try to go out there and perform as best I can every day.”

Parquet was waived by the Steelers in their final round of cuts last September, before turning his focus to the UFL and helping the Las Vegas Locomotives to a championship.

“What I learned from football is all you can do is control what you can, everything else is going to happen,” he said. “When you’re going through the hurt, you don’t understand why, but when you look back on it you appreciate it.”

He also appreciates the position he will be in should he make it through training camp with the Eskimos, who didn’t miss a single down in the 2009 regular season from any of their offensive lineman. And they are all returning for another run at the playoffs this year.

“All I can do is go out there and do my best. If it’s for me, I’ll be here. I’ll be starting, I’ll be whatever,” said Parquet, whose family lives in Georgia. “Canada’s different, it’s hard having a wife and two kids back home.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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