Toronto Argonauts: Curtis Steele Interview
Curtis Steele has been a hit for the Toronto Argonauts this season – quite literally. The former Baltimore Ravens player has a smash-mouth style of running the ball, that often leaves opponents bruised and battered.
Interestingly, Steele’s personality off the field couldn’t be more different – Affable and humble. He appears to have the right makeup, considering he leads the Argonauts in rushing and yards from scrimmage.
Aug 17, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; BC Lions linebacker Solomon Elimimian (56) goes to make a tackle on Toronto Argonauts running back Curtis Steele (29) during the first half at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Everything about the 27-year old makes him an intriguing personality. As such, we sat down with Steele to talk about, among other things, playing in the CFL, who his inspirations were growing up and what his dream car is.
Tip Of The Tower: Curtis, thanks for taking the time to talk with us. Just to start off, my personal feeling is you’re underutilized on this team, despite leading them in rushing and total yards. How would you sum up your performance so far this season?
Curtis Steele: So far, I’m satisfied. I mean I can always do extra work and continue to get better each week. It’s just a wonderful feeling to be able to contribute and make plays for the coach and my teammates. I really feel like I’m beginning to find my role with the team.
TOTT: With you growing up in the US, going to college there and joining the Ravens, how did you end up in the CFL? What made you decide to come up here?
Steele: Basically I just wanted another shot at playing football. I left Baltimore after the year of the lockout and I sat out for going on two football seasons. In terms of Toronto, I actually had a trial for them back in the states in my hometown and I was fortunate enough to eventually make the team.
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TOTT: You mentioned there about being out of football for a while. What did you do during that time?
Steele: Mainly I was recovering from an injury to my right shoulder. I wanted to make sure it was healed correctly. So I stayed at home while I was doing that and then the trial with the Argos came about. Again, I saw the chance to come to the CFL as a great opportunity to have a shot at playing football.
TOTT: I know you’re still a young guy, but have you given any thought to the future and what you’ll do when you finish playing football?
Steele: Before retiring, first of all I’d eventually like to get another shot to play in the NFL. Other than that, I’d definitely be open to staying here with this organization in Toronto in some capacity.
TOTT: If you hadn’t played football, what other sport would you be competing in?
Steele: It probably would have been track. I was also decent at basketball, but nothing elite, so yes, it would have been track.
TOTT: Whether it’s within sport or further afield, who would you say were your influences growing up?
Aug 12, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Toronto Argonauts running back Curtis Steele (29) celebrates his 15 yard touchdown reception against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers with Argonauts fullback Alexandre Dupuis (43) at Rogers Centre. Toronto defeated Winnipeg 38-21. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Steele: Deion Sanders. That was prime time man. I also started off playing on defence in the secondary, which is another reason he was an influence. He could do a lot of things – play defence, as well offence and special teams.
Also, Sweetness, Walter Payton was another influence. He was older, before my time, but I still saw a lot of video of him. I liked the way he ran – he was tough.
TOTT: That doesn’t surprise me, as that’s how I’d describe your running style as well.
Steele: Thanks. He was a very physical runner.
TOTT: Okay, I’d just like to finish off with a quick-fire round now, so I hope you’re ready.
What’s your favourite music?
Steele: Hip-hop, but I like rap as well.
TOTT: You’re preparing a meal for a lucky lady, what’s your go-to dish?
Steele: I just love cooking in general. Maybe steamed broccoli with potatoes and some chicken or perhaps pork chops.
TOTT: The house is on fire. We’ll assume everyone got out, so what are the two items you HAVE to rescue?
Aug 12, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Toronto Argonauts running back Curtis Steele (29) breaks away from Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive back Bruce Johnson (25) to score a touchdown on a rush during the first half at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Steele: My bible and my IPAD!
TOTT: What’s your dream car?
Steele: BMW 750.
TOTT: Nice. And finally, who’s your ideal woman?
Steele: My ideal woman is my wife. Are you trying to get me into trouble?! (Laughs)
TOTT: Sorry about that! Anyway, thank you for your time. Good luck for the rest of the season.
Steele: Thanks man.