Fullback hopes third time's a charm

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:28 AM ET

It was on the eve of last year's training camp when Cory Olynick was a surprise no-show.

The non-import fullback "decided not to continue his career," Bombers GM Brendan Taman related at the time.

And it was understandable because the Regina native had already suffered three serious injuries in his short CFL stint and was coming off a torn Achilles tendon. Olynick did not play at all last season but he is back for a third -- and possibly last -- crack at making a career of Canadian pro football.

"I had rehabbed all year and when it came to around (last year's) camp, it (knee) just wasn't feeling right," Olynick explained. "I didn't feel confident in it. I didn't want to come here and waste their time and essentially, my time. I said, 'Hey, I'll just sit back and see how things go.' I've kept on rehabbing and training and it just feels back to normal the way I wanted it to feel the year before." Olynick, 30, had suffered a shoulder separation prior to his first camp back in 2003. He returned in 2004 and played 10 games before a thumb injury sidelined him again. Then he suffered the Achilles injury in the 2005 camp.

"I've had a rough start to the CFL but hopefully, my body can hold up," said the 5-foot-10, 210-pound fifth-round draft pick. "This is my third chance, the third opportunity they're giving me. So, I can't thank them enough."

A lesser man would have already pursued another career.

"Just life turning in a different direction all the time," said Olynick, who has been working as a financial planner. "I kind of had a lull and missed football, and Winnipeg still had kind of an offer on the table so, I decided to take it."

He has to get used to the pounding again.

"I thought it would be a little tougher but it's coming back," said the University of Regina product. "I've just got to get my nose into things a little more. The contact's coming a little slower than I thought. You just have to get used to people banging on you again. It's different from sitting in the office all day. It's coming back and this is a great group of guys. I just love it here."

Ironically, due to injuries, Olynick was actually the only healthy fullback in camp for a short spell.

"He's a little bit undersized for the fullback position he's playing," said Bomber head coach Doug Berry. "But his contribution to the team has got to come from special teams play so, we've got him involved in every special team that we can -- as we do with a lot of these other guys. His real evaluation's going to come from Game 1 (exhibition versus Hamilton next week).

"He's a good kid and working hard. He's smart and understands what we're doing so, he won't have any excuses in the mental aspect of it.

Now, it's just go play football." And that's fine with Olynick.

"Whatever happens, happens," he said. "But I'll be grateful for the opportunity."


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