Canadian Football League

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Als bring back nasty Canadian Football League player

It was probably not on this year's wish list for CFL quarterbacks -- at least two more seasons of Ed Philion causing havoc in the backfield.
The 35-year-old, one of the league's best and nastiest defensive tackles, signed a contract yesterday to stay with the Montreal Alouettes for two years, with an option for a third year.
The Essex native -- one of the rare Canadians as good or better at his position than American players -- was perhaps the most important of the club's potential free agents to keep in the fold. His return also maintains a tough, physical presence on the Alouettes' line -- a player some opponents have accused of playing dirty.
"I play to win, that's all," he said. "I don't know if that's nasty. Everybody plays to win. I've never done anything deliberate to hurt anybody, but I make sure every shot counts."
General manager Jim Popp called Philion "a great football player. He's been made out to be a bad guy sometimes but he's not a dirty player. He's a hard-nosed guy who will come at you every time."
Philion has spent seven seasons with Montreal, his only CFL team, posting 157 tackles and 34 sacks in 109 career games.
"He gets double-teamed a lot, so he doesn't get the stats that all-star team voters look at a lot of the time," added Popp.
Philion didn't consider free agency. The contract was mostly worked out before the playoffs and needed only the details finalized.
Financial terms weren't released, but Philion said he was satisfied with his pay.
"You can always test free agency and get more, but is it worth selling your house and moving your family? We're comfortable here."
His wife Ann is a teacher and they and their three children live year-round in the Montreal area.
The deal leaves Popp with five potential free agents to sign -- rush end Anwar Stewart, linebacker Timothy Strickland, safety Richard Karikari, guard Scott Flory and backup quarterback Ted White.
Argos re-sign Austin, Miles
TORONTO -- The Toronto Argonauts re-signed offensive co-ordinator Kent Austin to a two-year contract yesterday.
The Argonauts also signed wide receiver Tony Miles to a contract extension through 2007. Miles, 26, was the team's leader in receptions (91) and receiving yards (1,275) in 2005.
Austin had been mentioned as one of the candidates for the vacant Winnipeg head coaching position, but he pulled out of consideration earlier this week, saying he wanted to remain in Toronto.


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