With his return to the Toronto Argonauts put on hold, Natey Adjei gives us his thoughts on his excitement with the team’s roster and his work off the field.
When Natey Adjei made the decision to return to the Toronto Argonauts, he never expected his homecoming to look like this.
The Mississauga native has been doing what he can to keep himself in shape and ready to go if the CFL comes up with a plan to get the season started. He admits that it hasn’t been the same considering he hasn’t caught a pass from a quarterback in a long time and has tried to come up with alternatives.
"“I got my daughter, she’s turning four so her arms is little bit better, she’s trying to throw to me and my wife, I won’t call her Ricky Ray, but she’s got super great accuracy but the arm power isn’t the greatest,” Adjei said. “I’m trying to source my family to help me out but it’s tough man because you know professional quarterbacks, they’re slinging it.“…I’m thinking the first couple of days we get back it’s going to be tough because you’re going to be seeing passes at angles that you haven’t seen in a while. Like we’re in June right now and I haven’t caught a ball from a quarterback in a game since the last game we played which was November against Hamilton.”"
Adjei said getting back to speed shouldn’t be a big problem although there will be an adjustment period with a new offence under new head coach Ryan Dinwiddie.
He said it helps to have DaVaris Daniels and Juwan Brescasin to help get him up to speed.
"“They told me like some great things about coach Dinwiddie and the style that he has coming from Calgary. You know Calgary, they’re always known for having one of the most explosive offences in the league,” Adjei explained. “…One thing they’ve told me about coach Dinwiddie is the adjustments he makes not only throughout the week but in-game to get guys open so I’m excited about the offence being wide open.”"
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A big story from the Argos off-season was the focus on adding Canadian talent especially from the GTA on the offensive side of the ball. It’s certainly something Adjei hasn’t seen before during his time in the CFL and he believes it will be a big advantage.
Not only does Adjei like the potential for the players who can start right away but also the young players like Dejon Brissett, Kurleigh Gittens Jr., and Llevi Noel. That potential makes him really excited and appreciates the added bonus of being in close proximity with a couple of his teammates.
"“That is something I’ve never been a part of, like can you imagine growing up and the guys you grew up are not only on the same professional team, but are playing the same position and can all play together,” Adjei explained. “Honestly, I couldn’t ask for anything better because receivers, for the most part, the ones that I’ve played with have been all super unselfish guys but is gonna take be taken to another level because me, Juwan and Dejon are like brothers.”"
Not only is Adjei excited about the potential with the Canadian players on the offensive side of the ball, but he also has great relationships with the ones on the defensive side of the ball as well like Alex Bazzie, Arjen Colquhoun, Chris Ackie, Matt Boateng. He also appreciates Aldon Darby welcoming him back to the team by giving him No. 3 which he is fortunate that it didn’t come at a price.
Returning to the Argos was a no-brainer for the 30-year old because of his relationship with Michael “Pinball” Clemmons. Adjei believes that with him as the general manager players will be able to benefit from the impact he can have not just with his words but his presence in the locker room and on the field.
Since his first stint in Toronto, Adjei realized he needed to find other ways to contribute on the field if he was going to earn more playing time. The results showed as he set career highs with 58 catches, 534 yards and two touchdowns.
"“Coming into the league and not playing right away you take a look at why you’re not playing and the things you could do to play more,” Adjei explained. And so for me, I was like let me try to do as many things as I could do. So if you need me to get in the backfield, protect, run the ball, run screens, run routes and catch the ball. I [realized that I] need able to do every single possible thing they could ever ask me to do on the offensive side, just so I can play, to begin with, but also when I play, I’m effective and when I’m effective, I have a long career.“…It took some time to learn … and a lot of things I was asked to do, like, you know, pass protection wasn’t something that I’ve ever done in my life, but I knew, to bring value to myself, because not everybody wants to do these things. Not everybody wants to go like a linebacker. Not everybody wants to go block the end or you know or get his nose dirty, but I felt like that could be a skill for me because of the main fact that if I’m the only one that can do it.”"
Do you think there will be a CFL season? How do you think they should try to get players back on the field? Let us know in the comments below.