Thurmon plays role in Als' resurgence

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:28 AM ET

MONTREAL -- Usually the first thing a football player does when he changes teams is learn new terminology.

Elijah Thurmon found the hardest thing about joining the Montreal Alouettes is the crash course in French.

"I got my greetings and stuff down. I'm working on some more," said the lanky receiver. "It's tough, so I use a lot of hands to get where I want to go.

"It's cool because some people speak English and French."

As Thurmon gets set to play his fifth game for the Alouettes, he is also preparing for his former team, the Calgary Stampeders.

There are actually four former Stampeders players from the 2006 season suiting up in Montreal tonight when the Stamps visit McGill Stadium (5:30 p.m., TSN).

Thurmon was cut by Stamps this off-season because they had a glut of receiving talent and someone had to go.

The 29-year-old quickly caught on with the Alouettes and has developed into a go-to target for quarterback Anthony Calvillo.

In the past two outings, both against the struggling Toronto Argonauts, Thurmon was the busiest receiver, catching seven passes in each game for a total of 117 yards and a touchdown.

"I'm enjoying the move," Thurmon said. "I'm here with a great quarterback, and now we're starting to gel.

"It started that way in training camp and I know with Kerry (Watkins) and Ben (Cahoon), they draw double coverage and it takes pressure off the other receivers.

"If we hit the defence from all sides of the field, they can't double up those guys all the time. That's what I'm trying to do."

Defensive back Coby Rhinehart was traded from the Stamps to the Als just after training camp finished and has worked his way into the Als lineup as a backup.

He was initially upset to leave Calgary, where he was a West Division all-star last season in leading the team in interceptions.

"It was a surprise to me," said Rhinehart, who was shipped for a conditional draft pick. "I knew we had some good players, but I thought I was one of the best players on the team.

"Sometimes the ball rolls differently, so you have to go with the flow."

The other 2006 Stampeders currently with the Alouettes are linebacker Walter Spencer and defensive back Pascal Masson.

Masson, who is on the nine-game injured list, just returned to practice with the Alouettes this week from a dislocated ankle and should be activated for Game 10 of the season.


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