Joseph's honeymoon is over

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:43 AM ET

EDMONTON -- Kerry Joseph still has the itch.

So when the Edmonton Eskimos offered the veteran quarterback another chance to strap on the pads, Joseph was quick to jump at the opportunity.

He just had something personal to take care of first.

“I was actually on my honeymoon, having a good time when I got the call,” Joseph said. “We talked about a few things and they asked me to come and join the team and I was open to it.

“The wife was happy about it, too. So it was one of the best wedding gifts we could have gotten.”

Joseph practised with the Eskimos for the first time on Thursday. He’s one of four quarterbacks in camp currently battling to back up starter Ricky Ray.

“I knew that I still had the desire to play football,” Joseph said. “To come here and see the things that they’re doing here and the team that they’re putting together, I wanted to be part of it.”

This will be Joseph’s second stint with the Eskimos, brought in late last year to be part of the practice roster.

A former Grey Cup champion with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Joseph had been out of football since getting cut by the Toronto Argonauts in February 2010.

“He provides stability and someone that can serve as a mentor to the guys in the meeting rooms and on the playing field,” said Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed. “And if, God forbid, something were to happen to Ricky, we know we have a veteran quarterback behind him that can stabilize things, even if we choose to go with one of the younger guys.”

Joseph is expected to be the No. 3 quarterback on the depth chart behind Ray and probably Matt Nichols.

The Eskimos have also brought in Eric Ward who should end up on the practice roster, while Marc Mueller will return to play with the Regina Rams this season.

“I know Ricky is their guy,” Joseph said. “I want to come here and support him and help the younger guys around to be better.

“As quarterbacks, you’re only as good as the people around us. A lot of the offence I’m familiar with. I can help putting guys into place and getting guys on the same page and be ready if need be, that’s my role. I understand my role and that’s what I’m here to do.”

Joseph has not played a down of football since 2009. The Louisiana native began his CFL career with the Ottawa Renegades before being selected by the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the 2006 dispersal draft following the Renegades’ demise.

Joseph led the Roughriders to the Grey Cup title in 2007, winning league MVP honours in the process.

However, he was traded to the Argonauts that off-season, where he struggled and was eventually released.

“I think I still got it,” Joseph said. “I feel good, I don’t feel like I’m 37 years old. I’ve always kept myself in good shape. I continued to train in the off-season, continued to throw, so I still feel good.

“My body actually feels really good, not taking any hits last year. I’m not complaining now.”

Joseph admits not playing last season was tough, but he’s looking forward to getting enjoyment out of football again.

“To get back out here really gives me some peace of mind,” Joseph said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to be part of this team. I’m very glad to be here.”


Videos

Photos