Copeland fired-up about Argos

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:40 PM ET

He is loud, full of joy and loves to encourage his teammates. And he’s not even in uniform, yet.

Wide receiver Jeremaine Copeland, the Argonauts’ biggest acquisition in the off-season, was at Huron Park on Thursday, aiding in drills and getting to know his new surroundings. Copeland will be on the field participating on Sunday when he and the rest of the veterans put on the pads.

Copeland travelled to Toronto on Tuesday morning, catching a 7 a.m., flight in Calgary. On Monday night, he did not sleep a wink.

“I was too fired-up,” he said. “I knew it was about to begin and that it’s really going down. I look at this as a great step.”

Copeland led the Canadian Football League in receiving touchdowns in 2009, hauling in 12 for the Stampeders. He’s the kind of weapon the Argos have lacked and he wants nothing more than to help revamp what has been a tepid offence.

“You get to lead the team, be the one out in front and make plays the way you are supposed to make them,” Copeland said. “In Calgary, I never really had the opportunity to be called the No. 1 guy.”

But why show up at camp early?

“Just trying to get ahead,” Copeland, acquired from the Stamps in February in exchange for receiver P.K. Sam, said with a big grin. “That’s what I always do. It’s a new offence and I want to know a little bit more than everybody else does. When we start playing, I want to be able to play and not be thinking. That’s the edge I want to get.”

Copeland was not concerned with the fact that he will be teamed with a quarterback that has not thrown a pass in the CFL.

“Not at all,” Copeland said. “I trust Coach (Jim) Barker to bring someone in who is going to pick it up quick.”

There’s no doubt Copeland will provide leadership to a receiving corps that needs it. And having him in Double Blue should make life a little easier for the Argos defence, as it will not have to face him anymore.

“I’m glad he is here,” Argos veteran cornerback Byron Parker said. “It has been a while since we had an offensive unit that was pretty decent, and he is going to make the guy next to him better. He’s a good athlete, but he is crafty. And that’s what makes him so lethal.”


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