Joseph recalls championship year

Kerry Joseph and Ricky Ray could end up rubbing shoulders a lot this season. (DAVID BLOOM/QMI...

Kerry Joseph and Ricky Ray could end up rubbing shoulders a lot this season. (DAVID BLOOM/QMI Agency)

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:53 AM ET

EDMONTON - Kerry Joseph is four seasons removed from being the CFL's Most Outstanding Player, but it's still a title the quarterback wears as a badge of honour.

It came in 2007, at the peak of the then-33-year-old's career, along with a Grey Cup with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

"That was a blessing and an honour, to be voted by my peers and by the media and fans, but at the same time when you get that nomination, it takes a lot of other people to help you get there," said Joseph. "I'm more proud of that championship trophy, to being a part of a team you helped to win the Grey Cup.

"That's the thing you really hold onto, you hold onto those moments."

Memories were all Joseph had after falling into free agency, until the Eskimos picked him up as a backup late in the season.

"That was the toughest part, having to watch football and not being a part of it and you can't walk away on your own time always makes it tough. Especially when you have that love and desire to play," said Joseph, who ended up falling from the top and landing in Toronto, where he missed the playoffs two years in a row before finding himself without a job.

"I never looked for the credit from what I did on the field, but I feel at times I was kind of stepped upon like I didn't get anything accomplished my years (in Regina)" said Joseph.

While he won't be in a position to earn MOP honours in his current position as a backup, Joseph said there are still ways he can help his team.

"The biggest thing is the championship," said Joseph. "That's the thing you want to get back to, having what it takes, that feeling to see the guys hold that trophy up."

That means doing whatever it takes far from the spotlight he once stood in.

"I'm here to do my work and to play my role, and also to help mentor these younger guys," Joseph said. "You've got guys here that are just starting their career, I know I'm at the back end of mine. But I know I can still get some things done and I can still play the game.

"I can just take everything I have learned over my career on both sides of the ball 1/3 as a defensive guy and an offensive guy 1/3 to help these young guys develop into good players."

Deja vu: Joseph didn't have to look too hard to notice similarities between this year's Eskimos team and his '07 Roughriders.

The first was being reunited with Eric Tillman, who was his general manager in Saskatchewan after coming in midseason 1/3 much like he did here last year.

"You see that fire. This coaching staff, Eric, the talent that he's brought in here along with that department," said Joseph. "And then the head coach, and Kavis (Reed's) attitude that he's bringing. You see that work in progress because in '07 we had a new coach in Kent Austin. Now we have a new coach in Kavis and our O.C. Marcus (Crandell) is bringing in some similarities from that offence.

"You see something building and that was another reason why I was really excited about joining this club because of that. "You hear about d j5/8 vu? Hey, I definitely want to be a part of it, that's for sure."

Camp Notes

Day 16

Who's hot

SB Adarius Bowman has some brand new cleats to go with his new position in the slot. His old ones with the holes in the toes must still be waterlogged from last Friday's game.

Who's not

DB C.J. Bailey, DL Walter Curry, WR Jonathan Holland and non-import QB Marc Mueller were released Monday, bringing the training camp numbers to 76.

Big catch

Making it look routine, QB Ricky Ray found SB Fred Stamps on a deep toss that required the receiver to get behind the coverage. The two will have their first opportunity to hook up in a game situation Friday against the Calgary Stampeders, after sitting out last week's preseason opener.

Take two

DL Julius Williams went down in Monday's practice and left the field with his left elbow in a splint, but not until team staff brought in a second car that was actually big enough to fit the six-foot-two, 260-pounder.

In and out

LB Quinton Culberson (undetermined), FB Samuel Fournier (shoulder), OL Gord Hinse (thumb), OL Brian Ramsay (knee), WR Brad Smith (ankle), OT Cliff Washburn (finger), RB Arkee Whitlock (hamstring). New arrival OL Junius Coston remained on the sidelines following his trade from Calgary Saturday, while RB Jerome Messam participated in his first practice.

Up next

The team practises from 8:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Clarke Park.


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