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Always believe in yourself and your abilities. It’s easy to lose faith in yourself from time to time but to remember what got you where you are and to just keep working hard.
Saskatchewan Roughriders/Winnipeg Blue Bombers
The biggest thing I probably learned from being on the 2013 riders was leadership. The locker room was very close and had a lot of vets that had played for 5 or more years.
The vets ran the team and they were without a doubt the reason that team won the championship. The vets had a way of conducting themselves that taught me early in my career what it took to be a pro and how a championship team operates.
It all starts with strong leadership. The most senior of the vets were all very hard working guys and did a good job to make sure everyone was held accountable and further to that, included and apart of the team.
Mike McCollough who was a teammate of mine and also a linebacker. He took me under his wing and really helped teach me what it means to be a true pro in the CFL, the work that is required on and off the field in order to be successful.
I was fortunate to be surrounded by a lot of vets that were all super helpful but Mike was always very supportive and really wanted to see me do well.
I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to play for both teams. Getting to be a part of all the Labour Day and Banjo Bowl games for the last 8 years was spectacular and without a doubt my favorite time of the year.
The fan bases from both teams is pretty unique and I feel pretty lucky to have been able to experience both sides.
Winnipeg was great because I loved the team; we had a great time in Winnipeg and enjoyed ourselves both on and off the field. Regina was great because I really had developed a close network of people who lived in Saskatchewan.
O’Shea was without a doubt my favorite coach. He understood the importance of the locker room and the benefits of having a close group. He worked extremely hard and expected the same from everyone around him. He was highly respected and had a good relationship with the players. He made it enjoyable to come to work.
Jones did things his own way and was a little more unorthodox, but it worked for him. He had complete control of his team and believed in his system. He made things simple and had a defensive system that allowed the players to have a lot of freedom.
Chamblin was a new Head Coach at the time and there were things he did that I liked but there were also a lot of things I didn’t like but that’s just the way it is sometimes. The team had a strong core of leaders and that is what made the team successful.
To always believe in yourself and your abilities.
It’s easy to lose faith in yourself from time to time but to remember what got you where you are and to just keep working hard.
It was very cool to speak with veteran CFL linebacker of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers/ and Saskatchewan Roughriders Sam Hurl about his reflection on the finale of his 8 year career. I was fortunate to meet Sam in between off-season workouts when I was with the Calgary Dinos, which is Sam’s alma mater and hometown. I have also been able to watch the entirety of his career since his first few years to his return to Saskatchewan last year. Having played for both sides of the most intense rivalry in the CFL at a time where both teams’ rosters were frequently changing, Sam made a name for himself on special teams and then at middle linebacker.The lessons he learned from seasoned veterans of both teams, his Head Coaches and his own play can be beneficial for all who aspire to achieve their dreams. Best wishes to Sam in his next career!