Restelli ready to roll

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:16 AM ET

EDMONTON - You can call him a big fish in a small pond, or you can just call him Mark Restelli.

Fresh off a dip with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, the Edmonton Eskimos linebacker has been preparing this week to play his first game since rejoining the Edmonton Eskimos on Sept. 12.

A final cut at Fins training camp, Restelli is playing catchup after missing the first half of the CFL season and spent the last two games on the reserve list.

“I’m out there taking every single rep I can, every rep they’ll give me. It’s fun,” said the six-foot-two, 215-pound Cal-Poly product whose southern tryout was at safety. “I’m even taking reps on scout team.”

With a new head coach, Restelli has found himself in the position of working his way back into the lineup and these past two weeks were the first games he sat out as a healthy scratch since starting 17 games as a rookie in 2009.

“It’s always tough to watch games,” he said. “You always want to be playing the games but I’ve been playing this game as long as I can remember and there have been situations where I’ve had to do that.

“It’s not strange at all. I’ve been fighting an uphill battle since I’ve left college.”

It’s that ingrained fight for the right to play that gave Restelli the opportunity to pursue his dream to play in the NFL. And it’s the same thing that keeps him coming back up north.

“When I came in here my first year, I had to compete as hard as I could to get a starting spot and I had it for a year and then I got injured and then I had to do the same thing last year,” he said. “I had to fight my way back on special teams and then play on defence again.

“So it’s nothing new.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca

Twitter@SunModddejonge


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