May 21, 2024

Day 10 Training Camp Notebook: Stubblefield’s hunger; Scott III battling at RB

Reggie Stubblefield (2), Photo: Pascal Ratthe

Reggie Stubblefield emerged as a star in the Alouettes defence last season. He was named the team’s rookie of the year and was a big part of the Grey Cup championship win over Winnipeg last November. But the 25-year-old isn’t taking anything for granted this training camp.

At this time last year, Stubblefield was putting together a solid first training camp together, but after the final preseason game, he was sent packing. Return trip home stuck with him.

“I still have this scared, PTSD feeling from last year that anything can happen in camp, and that I might be going home,” Stubblefield said after practice in Saint-Jerome on Tuesday. “I promise you that I haven’t unpacked my bags here (laughs).

“Seeing (Dishon McNary and Kordell Rodgers) that won a Grey Cup last year have to leave because they were cut shows me that anything can happen in this game. I have to stay hungry.”

Professional football is a ruthless business. Anybody can be cut at any time, but the Alouettes’ strong-side linebacker has put together a solid first 10 days of camp. He’s been running with the starting defence, and he should be able to build on his strong first year.

“It gives you confidence when you’ve been around and you’re familiar with the coaches and returning players,” he said. “The biggest thing is that I trusted myself and believed that I could compete at this level with these group of guys. The Canadian game is so special, and there’s so much talent out here. For me to make my mark and do pretty well, especially towards the end of the year, I take that with me. I understand that I did it before and I can do it again.”

During the winter, Stubblefield worked out for a handful of NFL teams, but returned without a contract offer. He took the off-season to improve some key aspects of his game.

“One of the biggest things for me was to focus on (putting on) weight and my speed,” added Stubblefield. “Those are things that I really honed in on this off-season, and I also worked on my man-coverage which is something Noel Thorpe always wants me to work on. To take the next step, I need to be consistent. Something else that coach Byron Archambault told me is to be more of a leader, whether that’s leading by example or being a little more vocal.”

The running back competition has been stiff throughout training camp. CFL veterans like Walter Fletcher, Jeshrun Antwi and Sean Thomas Erlington have all looked solid, but newcomer Stevie Scott III has also stood out.

Stevie Scott III (35), Photo: Pascal Ratthe

Scott III is a big running back (listed at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds), but he moves well for a player of his size. During last Saturday’s team scrimmage, he also showed that he can catch the ball out of the backfield, which isn’t always the case for bigger backs.

“I feel like there’s variety to my running style,” Scott III said. “I feel like my teammates haven’t seen it yet. They saw it in the scrimmage, but I have a little Le’Veon Bell style. I have a little finesse with a patient running style. I also have a style where I can ground-and-pound, where I can truck guys and run them over, and I can beat them with speed. I’ll do anything I can to get around a defender.”

The 24-year-old, who scored 30 rushing touchdowns in only three seasons at the University of Indiana, has put the work in on the field and in the classroom as well.

Scott III arrives at the Complex sportif Claude-Beaulieu between 6:30 – 7:00 am every morning. Players then practice, work out, have meetings, and hang out until about 9:00 pm. That’s when the Syracuse, New York native heads back to his hotel room, where he studies his playbook for a few more hours, sometimes until 1:30 am.

“As soon as we leave here at 9:00 pm, I put my nose in my playbook, it’s mandatory,” said the running back who had NFL stints with Saints, Broncos, and Cardinals. “I take my notes in the facility when we’re going over the plays. Certain plays I may have a question about, I make sure to write the play down and then when I get home, I study and review it…I make sure I know my stuff and listen for any little key words that can help me remember what I have to do on this play.”

The Alouettes will be on the field for their first preseason game next Saturday at home against the Toronto Argonauts. They’ll be back at practice tomorrow morning in Saint-Jerome at 9:15 am.


The Alouettes have suspended defensive back Timarcus Davis and offensive lineman Emil Ekiyor Jr.