Canadian Football League

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Former Canadian Football League star feels home sweet home

Doug Flutie, who won a Heisman Trophy at Boston College and played for the Patriots during two well-traveled decades in professional football, has signed a one-year deal to return to New England.
"I'm very excited about being back in New England, being home and being a part of a great football team," the 42-year-old Massachusetts native said in a conference call Friday night. "This is a fresh start."

During 11 NFL seasons, eight in Canada and one in the USFL, Flutie has been a fan favorite wherever he went. But even though he maintained his trademark mobility even as he aged, the 5-foot-10 quarterback was frequently pigeonholed as a backup to taller, more traditional passers.
The Patriots have one of those in Tom Brady, a two-time Super Bowl MVP. Also on the New England roster are Rohan Davey, Chris Redman and this year's seventh-round draft choice, Matt Cassel.
"I'm excited about working with Tom. Hopefully I can be a sounding board for him – be there and help him out – and be a security blanket for the team," Flutie said. "The role that I'm fulfilling is that of a veteran quarterback. My role may be in the classroom, that may be my biggest contribution; it may not be on the field. If I am on the field, I feel like they have confidence in me."
Flutie has played for eight teams in three professional leagues, but he is best remembered for one play in college: a desperation pass that beat Miami and helped him win the 1984 Heisman Trophy. He is still idolized on the Chestnut Hill campus, and the Heisman is the centerpiece of the school's new Hall of Fame.
After college, he went to the New Jersey Generals of the USFL and made his NFL debut with the Chicago Bears in 1986. He was with New England for parts of three season before going to the CFL, where he won the Most Outstanding Player six times and won three Grey Cup championships.
He returned to the NFL for three seasons with the Buffalo Bills and then went to San Diego, where he started 16 games in his first year and six in his next three. Last season, he was 20-of-38 for 276 yards and a touchdown with the Chargers.
Flutie had an offer from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to return to the CFL and join his brother, Darren, a receiver, who would come out of retirement. Having that as a fallback allowed him to wait for an offer from his hometown team while others – the New York Giants, for one – courted him.
"What I wanted was either to come to the Patriots or I was going back to the CFL to have fun," Doug Flutie said. "I enjoy playing football. I've never had more fun than when I played in Canada. I would love the opportunity to play with my brother."
Flutie has thrown for 86 touchdowns and 14,686 yards in his NFL career while rushing for 1,635 more yards. In the CFL, he threw for 41,355 yards and 270 touchdowns and ran for another 4,660 yards and 67 touchdowns.
He said he thinks he will retire after this season – but he also said that last year.
"I'm getting closer. But I have no idea," he said. "It depends how I feel on the field. Being me, being able to play athletically, when I can't do that, I will know it's enough."


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