First year defensive backs making their case to stick around

Green and Stoudermire willing to do what it takes
Reported by Joel Gasson
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Complacency definitely isn't settling in at training camp for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

During this off-season, it would have been easy for the team to just rest on their laurels when it comes the defensive backfield. Once Terrel Maze was re-signed it ensured that all of their starting defensive backs from the 2013 Grey Cup would return for the 2014 season - a group of defenders that showed very well down the stretch and into the post-season.

Rather than just sitting back, General Manager Brendan Taman and Head Coach Corey Chamblin were aggressive in adding more talent to the position to push the starters to be even better this year or perhaps upgrade the team's strength even more.

Without any game action so far it's hard to tell who among Maze, Dwight Anderson, Rod William and Tristan Jackson is in trouble but they are getting a serious push from some first players, most notably former NFLer Marshay Green and Troy Stoudermire.

Both players have taken a different path to arrive in Saskatoon this season. Stoudermire joined the team late last year when the practice rosters expanded, an experience he feels gave him an edge at mini-camp in Florida and so far in main camp.

"Just seeing the formations," he said. "See how many guys are on the field, how many DB's, where we supposed to be at."

Green, meanwhile, signed with the team officially after their mini-camp in Florida. Green spent a few seasons in the NFL but never really caught on anywhere.

Not surprisingly both players have skills that Chamblin loves: the ability to do more than one job.  Green may be a defensive back by trade but he thinks his strongest suit is actually returning kicks.

"That's my bread and butter," he said. "If the coaches let me play punt return, I'll take full advantage."

Green is also comfortable playing any spot in the defensive back field saying he'll play inside, outside or even safety. Just basically, Green is willing to do whatever it takes to make the team.

Stoudermire knows that flexibility is important for having success in the CFL, but another skill of his has shown up at times throughout camp and he hopes it's one that will allow him to stick around come July.

"What will separate me is just by making plays, just being there and making interceptions when the time presents itself," he said.

Both Green and Stoudermire are looking forward to Saturday's pre-season opener against the Ottawa RedBlacks as they know that they have to perform when the lights come on as practice won't be enough to surpass the current defensive backs on this team.

Chamblin is looking forward to seeing them on the field too and he even hopes Mother Nature makes it tough on them.

"I hope there's a little bit of wind there also, so we can really judge what guys look like in the toughest of conditions," he said. "That's an area I really want to look at, the punt return, the kick return."

The good news for the coach, we are in Saskatchewan, so he'll probably get his wish for wind at some point in that game.

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