SPECIAL TO ARGONAUTS.CA
By: Michael Skrzyniak
MISSISSAUGA--Most people may see a pro training camp as a place where the tension of fighting for a job might make competition far more important than sportsmanship.
Dontrelle Inman, a first-year wide receiver in the Canadian Football League, doesn’t feel that way.
“They’re teaching me everything they know,” says the former Virginia Cavalier, of the veterans at the Toronto Argonauts camp in this local suburb. “That’s why I love this atmosphere. In other places, not everyone tries to take you in and try to teach you, they worry about their own.
“It’s usually survival of the fittest.”
After a brief stint with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011, where he was cut after four pre-season games, Inman is hoping to earn a spot on the Argo roster. It won’t be easy.
The club has reloaded at wide receiver after a disappointing 2011 season, adding CFL veterans Maurice Mann and Jason Barnes.
Both have experience catching passes from new quarterback Ricky Ray, a long-time all-star obtained from Edmonton in an off-season trade.
Despite the challenge, the 23-year-old Inman says the veterans are treating him as one of their own.
“Here, you’re trying to win a championship and the guys are working on making everyone better,” says Inman. “Everybody is working to get everyone on the same level as them.”
Former NFL players such as Green Bay Packers cornerback Ahmad Carroll, Kansas City wide receiver Samie Parker and Tennessee Titans wide receiver Roydell Williams are notable names who entered Argonauts camp this year.
Some players may have the dream of getting back to the NFL by using their time with the Argos as a stepping stone. Inman may not disagree but while he’s north of the border he is solely focused on helping the Argos pursue their goals of reaching the Grey Cup.
“If I get back to the NFL, that’s lovely, but while I’m here I’m going compete to get on the team and be part of something special and I don’t mind that either.”
“I’m going to play where coach wants me to and try to achieve the goal of getting to the Grey Cup.”
According to Inman there is a comforting feeling about Toronto and the Argonauts franchise.
“Toronto is a beautiful place to live,” he says. “The organization is loving. They really care about you. The coaches love you by being more than just coaches. They’re teachers as well.”Inman doesn’t enjoy the luxury of being a household name like some other former NFL players in camp so the South Carolina native says he must hustle harder each and every day to make the Argonauts roster.
“Whatever my role is, whatever my coach tells me to do, I’ll do. If coach wants me to put my hand in the dirt and be on the line, I’ll do that.”
Wed Jun 12 at 8:00 pm EDT
Investors Group Field
|vs Montreal||Thu Jun 20||7:00 pm EDT|
|vs Hamilton||Fri Jun 28||7:00 pm EDT|
|@ BC||Thu Jul 4||10:00 pm EDT|
|vs Saskatchewan||Thu Jul 11||7:30 pm EDT|
|Full Schedule >|