Lead CFL role for movie man

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:25 AM ET

Steve Morley landed the perfect off-season gig, becoming an extra in a figure-skating movie.

Standing around in the background of most shots, Morley caught the acting bug by playing a cameraman in a flick called Ice Castles.

Now, the hulking offensive tackle has stepped into a starring role, albeit with a show called the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

"It was a pretty easy gig, and you never know what could happen in football," the Halifax native said. "Hopefully that was a start for me."

Morley made a huge splash coming into the CFL in 2003 as a first-overall draft pick of the Calgary Stampeders.

The fresh-faced Maritimer earned a starting role with the 5-13 Stamps, but then he signed an NFL deal after the season.

Since then, just three CFL starts and no definite position, until last week. He returned to the CFL in 2007, signing with the Toronto Argonauts and playing eight games.

The Argos traded him to the Saskatchewan Roughriders the following off-season.

When he became a free agent this year, he signed on in Winnipeg because they hooked him with the promise of becoming a full-time starter again.

Three years bouncing around the NFL made it six seasons before he was given a clear role. He is now the Blue Bombers left tackle, and that is where he will stay.

"I don't regret anything," said the 27-year-old about his NFL stints.

"I had a great opportunity in front of me. It was a good offer and I had to take it. When you get the chance to better yourself, you have to take it. I feel I'm a better person, better player, better everything.

"I'm still 27 and I started when I was 21. Every year I try to take something I learned, whether it was taking care of my body or systems. I knew eventually things would start clicking."

Morley ended up losing an entire season waiting for another NFL team to call in 2006.

"I kept waiting and waiting because I was three games away from the NFL pension," Morley said. "My agent kept telling me to wait.

"I said I can't keep waiting. I have to go back to work and play. The longer I took off, the rustier I was getting.

"If it wasn't meant to be, it wasn't meant to be. I don't mind working for a living."

The Bombers feel lucky to get Morley. After losing tackle Alex Gauthier to free-agency, they need to get someone to step in at that spot.

Morley has done it well, and he was given the offensive game ball during last week's 19-17 loss to the Eskimos.

"The fact he's been moved around so much has hampered his growth," said Bombers coach Mike Kelly. "Once we had him at left tackle and kept him there, we've seen a sharp learning curve. We like the effort he's given and the way he's progressing."


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