Gifford happy to help out

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:58 AM ET

The Renegades have added a coach to their practice roster. That would be offensive lineman Shawn Gifford, a 6-foot-4, 285-pounder with five years of CFL experience but only a portion of that as a starter.

Gifford, an Ottawa native, was coaching at Sir Robert Borden high school with broadcaster/former Rough Rider Jeff Avery when the Renegades called.

"For me, there are no preconceived notions," said Gifford, a 28-year old who played at Sir Robert Borden before college stints in Arizona and South Carolina, then CFL stops in Montreal, Saskatchewan, Toronto and Winnipeg. "I just basically want to help out this team any way I possibly can. If they want me to play on defensive line, or P.R., I'll do that. As long as you can be a member of this team, and help them grow. Be a team player."

Coaching helped revive Gifford's love of the game.

"When you coach young kids, you get to the root, the basics of it all," he said. "You get to enjoy and understand ... look, be aggressive, have fun out there, run around ... so when they called and we were able to hook up a tryout, I took it as soon as I could."

"We like his experience, we like the fact he's local, and he wants to do it," said Renegades coach Joe Paopao.


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