Cutolo talks a good game

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:30 AM ET

It was only a matter of time before Frankie The Mouth was busted.

Sooner rather than later, the Renegades newest receiver was bound to draw a objectionable conduct flag for yapping.

It is, after all, his trademark.

Along with catching four passes for 56 yards as Kerry Joseph's second most productive target last Saturday, Frank Cutolo took a fourth-quarter penalty for taunting John Grace after he was pushed out of bounds by the Calgary Stampeders linebacker.

Remarkably, it was the first objectionable conduct penalty Cutolo has drawn in his three-year pro career.

"I was having little conversations with him pretty much the whole game," Cutolo said of Grace yesterday. "I'm not sure what I said (to draw the penalty) ... it just kind of flows when I'm out there, in the heat of the moment. They probably couldn't mike me up for a game, unless it was going to be for HBO or something.

"I probably got it because (Grace) was on the ground and I was pointing the ball at him, and the ref was right there. I like the guy as a person, but out there playing, I don't like you at all."

KNOWN FOR SWAGGER

To defences across the CFL, Cutolo is well known for his swagger.

In a column he wrote earlier this month for the Vancouver Sun, Lions receiver Jason Clermont stated of his former teammate and good friend that his "mouth runs almost as fast as his little feet" and that Cutolo "feels it is his duty to say something to everyone in a different coloured uniform," not just the player he is matched up against.

"I like to talk s--t, it keeps me in the game," said Cutolo. "I try to get (opponents) rattled. Get them over aggressive and off their game.

"I'll talk to anybody. The refs. The (opposing) head coach. Players on the sidelines. Everybody. But usually I only talk when we're doing well. I'm a little quieter when we're not winning."

When he played Ottawa, Cutolo would constantly trash talk linebacker Gerald Vaughn. Clermont wrote that Vaughn would retaliate by taking his anger out on him and star receiver Geroy Simon, until Simon finally told Cutolo to shut his mouth.

JAMMED IN FACE

Vaughn didn't remember it quite that way yesterday, but he did recall "jamming Frank in the face" once, and that just made the 5-foot-10, 185-lb. Cutolo crank up the chatter.

"Jammed me in the face? It was more than jamming me in the face," said Cutolo. "He went out of his way to attack me and he got a 15-yard penalty for it. Ask him about that.

"He tried to take my head off."

Cutolo said he's not worried that his chirping will prove risky to his health. He just doesn't want it to to hurt his team.

"Me talking s--t isn't going to make them try and hit me any worse," Cutolo said as he prepared for tomorrow's game vs. Edmonton. "If they're going to try and take me out of the game, they're going to try and take me out of the game.

"My goal is to help the team win. That (penalty Saturday) didn't help us at all, and I'm probably going to get fined for it. I'll know (today) for sure when we get our cheques. But that was the first time I ever had a flag thrown at me for talking. I wouldn't do it if I was getting penalized for it all the time."

Along with talking the talk, Cutolo is trying to walk the walk.

He has had eight catches for 126 yards and a touchdown through four games with a team he joined -- and a system he had to learn -- after training camp had concluded.

"Things are getting a lot better," Cutolo said. "I'm situated in a place now, I've got a car now, I'm starting to feel a lot better.

"Hopefully it will get better as I keep getting used to things."


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