Despite playing every game on special teams for the Kansas City Chiefs in his rookie season last year, Cory Greenwood wasn’t exactly comfortable on NFL cut-down day.
“It’s always nerve-wracking,” the Kingston-born linebacker said. “You don’t know what’s going to happen. You can’t control any of that.”
Greenwood realized there was good news about 10 minutes after the 6 p.m., deadline on Saturday. Because his cell phone didn’t ring, the 2009 CIS defensive player of the year at Concordia knew he had cracked the Chiefs active roster for the second year in a row.
The nine other Canadians who had NFL regular-season playing time last year enjoyed similar experiences on Saturday night. Defensive end Vaughn Martin (Chargers, raised in Toronto), linebacker Jamaal Westerman (Jets, Brampton), wide receivers Nate Burleson (Lions, Calgary) and Austin Collie (Colts, Hamilton), kicker Shaun Suisham (Steelers, Wallaceburg, Ont.), punter Jon Ryan (Seahawks, Regina), long snapper L.P. Ladouceur (Cowboys, Pointe Claire, Que.), defensive tackle Israel Idonije (Bears, Brandon, Man.) and safety O.J. Atogwe (Redskins, Windsor) all made 53-man active rosters.
Third on his position on the depth chart, Greenwood understands he’s on the Chiefs to be a special-teams specialist. A first-round pick by the Argos in 2010 before signing with the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent, Greenwood recovered a fumbled punt in Kansas City’s pre-season finale against the Green Bay Packers last week.
“I’ve had just two years of 11-man football,” Greenwood said.
“I know what my role is and I’m embracing it.”