Joseph 'scouts' new squad

Edmonton Eskimos' s new quarterback Kerry Joseph makes a pass during Wednesday's practice at...

Edmonton Eskimos' s new quarterback Kerry Joseph makes a pass during Wednesday's practice at Commonwealth Stadium. (Perry Mah, Edmonton Sun)

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:38 AM ET

EDMONTON - Itís his first time ever on a professional football teamís practice roster, but Kerry Joseph will take it.

The eight-year CFL veteran quarterback and former Seattle Seahawks safety ran the Edmonton Eskimos scout-team offence and shadowed Ricky Ray in his first practice with his new team Wednesday.

Remembering back, Joseph thought at first he might have been on the practice squad of the Cincinnati Bengals in 1996 ó his first professional stop after graduating from McNeese State.

ďNo, no,Ē Joseph corrected himself. ďIt wasnít even 1996 because I was activated. I was the third quarterback in í96, so I never was on a practice roster.Ē

And considering he is just three seasons removed from winning the Grey Cup and earning the CFL Most Outstanding Player award, it didnít look like he would ever have to be on one.

ďSometimes life finds a way of humbling you and seeing if youíre humble enough to take certain experiences,Ē Joseph said. ďSometimes as an athlete, youíre up here the whole time and sometimes you get knocked down but itís life. And you have to humble yourself and keep walking.Ē

His path carried him to his fourth CFL city, where he hopes to fit in with whatever plan the team has in store for him.

His first job is becoming familiar with their offensive schemes, terminology and lingo.

ďI donít think it will take me long,Ē said Joseph, who sat in on morning meetings prior to Wednesdayís practice. ďJust watching film and listening to them call the routes out in different formations, they make it easy for you.

ďItís just getting the terminology down. A lot of it is stuff Iíve already done. Iím just going to digest it. I donít have anything else to do. Itís cold, so Iím not going out anywhere.Ē

Heís been around the league long enough to know the barely freezing temperature he experienced at practice Wednesday can hardly be referred to as Ďcold.í

ďAh, I know what youíre going to say: Big difference,Ē said Joseph, who flew in from Louisiana Tuesday evening. ďIt was mid-80 degrees Farenheit out there in New Orleans. Itís a big adjustment, of course itís going to take your body a little bit to get acclimated to it.

ďWhat outweighs it all and blocks that out is, man, Iím back out here with a uniform on. Iím out here with a helmet on so you donít feel the cold. I got the joy and everything in my body, the adrenalineís going. So Iím just happy to be back out.Ē

As enthusiastic as he is to return to pro football, Joseph isnít taking anything for granted.

ďI just want to take it one day at a time, one week at a time and help this team get to the playoffs, make a run at that Grey Cup and then go from there,Ē he said. ďI donít look at this as being a temporary thing. I look at coming back into this league and make this ó what I guess you could call this ó last phase of my career.Ē

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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