Milt Stegall hits field to start Winnipeg Blue Bombers rookie camp

Click to play video: 'RAW: Blue Bombers Milt Stegall Interview – May 8'
RAW: Blue Bombers Milt Stegall Interview – May 8
RAW: Blue Bombers Milt Stegall Interview – May 8 – May 8, 2024

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers started a brand-new season as rookies and quarterbacks reported for the opening day of their three-day rookie camp. But the main attraction on Day 1 was neither a rookie nor a quarterback, but rather a 54-year-old who won’t play a single snap this season.

Canadian Football Hall of Famer Milt Stegall was back in the blue and gold Wednesday and wearing his familiar number 85 for one day only.

It was really just a public relations stunt, but the many fans in attendance were cheering his every move.

“That was really fun,” Stegall said. “It’s everything I thought it would be. I got to run around a little bit. Got one ball thrown to me. I didn’t drop it. It was a bad throw, but I’m just so fortunate I was able to experience that and go through that one more time.”

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A nine-time CFL All-Star, Stegall still holds numerous league records. The CFL’s 2002 Most Outstanding Player appeared in 199 games with the Bombers over 14 seasons with the team.

It’s the first time he’s been on the field in uniform with the club since retiring following the 2008 season.

“I’ve never had to do a conditioning test so I love that,” Stegall said. “I’m like, this is my thing right here, beat a couple of the young guys. I’m like, I know I’m going to beat some of these guys. I’m not going to come in first, but I’m not going be nowhere near last.

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“I’ve never been this nervous before a training camp in my life. And I don’t know why. I was like, it’s not like I’m trying to make the team or if I get hurt, so what? But I guess, it was just it’s been 16 years the last time I’ve been in a training camp.”

He took part in some of the individual drills but only got a few reps in the team portion. Stegall even took a hit while also giving some advice to the young receivers in what will be his final training camp.

“Watching him out there, it’s pretty inspirational,” Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea said. “We’re basically the same age. I mean, I couldn’t do that before, what he does, but I certainly can’t do that now.”

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“He looked good out here didn’t he,” quarterback Zach Collaros said. “The most impressive things to me was he learned all the plays there in about one meeting’s time. But the shuttles, I mean, he was top five, a 54-year-old. That’s wild.

“His footwork is still there. I’m sure he’s not as fast as he once was, although again, he was pretty impressive on those 300-yard shuttles.”

Most of the other players would have no idea who he is or why a 50-something was on the field. Despite his age, the Turtle Man said he can still run, but there’s no chance he could play in a CFL game again.

“I’m honest with myself,” he said. “Yes, I have a big ego. Yes, I think I’m in tip-top shape, but I couldn’t play in a game. I’m not that much of an egomaniac where I think I could play in a game. No, that would never happen.”

Click to play video: 'RAW: Blue Bombers Mike O’Shea Interview – May 8'
RAW: Blue Bombers Mike O’Shea Interview – May 8



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