Canadian Football League

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Stegall says "yes" to another Canadian Football League season

Milt Stegall is returning to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for another season and another shot at the Grey Cup championship that has eluded him throughout his 12-year career.
The 36-year-old slotback had considered retiring, but said at a news conference Tuesday he believes the Bombers have a chance to go all the way next season. "I think the team is headed in the right direction to make something happen," Stegall said.
"The fact that they brought coach (Doug) Berry in, they brought some talent here, this is the best situation I've been in, in a while."
Stegall also needs just two more touchdowns to break the CFL's all-time mark of 137, shared by George Reed and Mike Pringle.
Stegall remains one of the most dangerous receivers in the CFL, making 79 catches for 1,269 yards and seven TDs last season despite missing four games.
His combination of speed and smarts has impressed Berry, who took over as head coach a year ago.
"Milt knows how to get open," Berry said. "When he gets open, he certainly has plenty enough speed to get the job done."
Stegall was an integral part of the Bombers 9-9 season, which ended in a 31-27 loss to Toronto in the East Division semifinal.
Terms of his contract were not disclosed, although Stegall said money was the least of his concerns.
"The money is not a factor," Stegall said. "If I make $1 million, that $1 million will be gone one day, but if I get a Grey Cup ring, that's something you can't take away from me."
Stegall was leaning toward retiring partly because of his family in Atlanta, including a two-year-old son that has started to notice his father's absences.
"We had to make sure that my mother was able to come down (from Cincinnati) for another year to help out with my son," he said.
Stegall also had to lineup help for a boutique and other businesses which he and his wife operate.
He is almost certain 2007 will be his last year.
"Never say never, but more than likely, this will probably be it." he said. "Me coming back next year, after this year, there's basically no chance of it."
Berry said Stegall's physical conditioning allows him to play like a much younger man.
"I liken Milt to some guy like (former NFL great) Jerry Rice," Berry said.
"Milt is nowhere near finishing. At the end of the season ... I was sitting in the airport with Milt and I said 'Milt, I know you're going home now, I just want you to know where I'm coming from, I do believe that Milt Stegall still has game."'
Stegall joined the Bombers as a free agent in September 1995 and has since played 170 CFL games, all of them with Winnipeg.


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