TORONTO – Is it June yet? It sure is! And it couldn’t have come fast enough for Argonauts sophomore running back/slotback Anthony Coombs. Last year’s third overall pick in the 2014 CFL Draft was off to a strong start in his rookie season until adversity struck. That adversity would come in the form of a torn labrum that would end his season after five games.
“It was tough because as a rookie you’re supposed to understand how hard it is to going through a whole season, and I didn’t get that,” commented Coombs.
The 22-year-old Manitoba Bisons product was forced to focus his off-season on rehabilitating his shoulder and getting ready for 2015. He added yoga to his off-season training regimen. In addition, he adopted a disciplined diet that he stayed true to, at least, in his own words, 99 per cent of the time. As a result, the shoulder is healthy and his confidence is at an all-time high.
“I’ve gotten an appreciation for taking care of my money maker,” stated Coombs. “It’s been almost a year since I last played (in a game) and it feels like 10.”
When he wasn’t working out or relaxing back home in Winnipeg with friends and family, Coombs kept a close eye on the Argos’ off-season activity. Gone from last year are slotback Jason Barnes and receivers John Chiles and Spencer Watt. For Coombs, those losses mean saying goodbye to teammates he admired while understanding a door is opening.
“Guys like Chiles and Barnes were great teammates because they set a good example of what coach Milanovich’s philosophy is, but that does open opportunities for guys like me.”
Whether it’s at receiver or as a kick returner on special teams, the young Canadian is focused on contributing in any capacity knowing he may one day be a pivotal piece within the Argos’ potent offence.
“They’re expecting a lot out of me,” declared Coombs. “I’m not a flashy guy who likes the fame but it’s humbling to know that the possibility to be ‘the guy’ is there.”
On the first day of training camp, on a cold, wet day, Coombs’ potential – a potential that excited the Argos so much they traded up to get him in last year’s draft – was not lost on head coach Scott Milanovich.
“I thought he looked fantastic,” proclaimed Milanovich. “We’re going to find a way to get him on the field… He’s a good football player.”
Written By: Anthony Ciardulli