Edmonton Eskimos

Leroy Blugh - Defensive End - 1989-00 - Bishops

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Leroy Blugh enters Phase 2 with Edmonton Eskimos - Gerry Moddejonge - Edmonton Sun - 10-06-2013

Over a 12-year career with the Edmonton Eskimos, Leroy Blugh had pretty much done it all.

A first-round pick by Edmonton in 1989, the former defensive lineman won a Grey Cup championship in 1993, the CFL's most outstanding Canadian award three years later, along with a pair of divisional all-star accolades.

While the list of accomplishments is impressive, the 47-year-old native of St. Vincent and the Grenadines — think Caribbean Sea meets Atlantic Ocean — would love nothing more than to add to it in his first official year back with the organization since switching to football's coaching ranks.

“Everything is different, even the infrastructure,” he said from the turf inside Commonwealth Stadium's spacious fieldhouse. “Man, this is unreal.”

But the more things have changed, the more they stay the same on a defensive line that reminds its new unit coach of his old one.

“It's just the whole unit dynamics, I think,” said Blugh. “It just brings back memories for me when I think back to the guys I played with like Willie (Pless) and Bennie Goods and Malvin Hunter, Errol Martin, Jed Roberts.

“Guys on that unit, we had a lot of fun together and we worked hard on the field, so there's a lot of similarities that way.”

While Blugh still sits 11th on the Eskimos all-time tackles list with 302 (just six ahead of current linebacker T.J. Hill), his new responsibility is paving the way for the new generation of D-linemen to start making a name for themselves.

“That's right,” said Blugh, who was a guest coach at previous camps and spent half the season working with the team last year. “And I think one of the things that made us really good at that time was that we got together really quickly.

“We were a family, and I think that these guys are well on their way and they'll develop that camaraderie, that tightness, and it will transfer onto the football field.”

After a long two weeks of laying off the gas pedal in training camp, Blugh will finally get to unleash his hounds against the visiting Saskatchewan Roughriders when the preseason opens on Friday (7 p.m., TSN).

“It will be a good measuring stick,” Blugh said. “I mean, we can sort of have an idea of what they're like but until we get out there, it's tough to tell.”

Soon after retiring as a player with the Toronto Argonauts following the 2003 season, Blugh became the head coach at Bishop's University for eight years.

“I resigned from my position there to go home to be with my family,” said Blugh, who grew up in Ontario after moving to Canada at age five. “My mom had had some health troubles and things, so I went home and coached at Queen's University for two years.”

And while he was an assistant coach of the Gaels, Blugh took the opportunity to complete his degree in the field of education.

“It is a journey that never ends.”
 

-- statistics --

 

 

Leroy Blugh     Bishops
Yr Team Tkl Sack Fumb TD
1989 Edm 8 0 2 0
1990 Edm 28 3 0 0
1991 Edm 34 7 0 0
1992 Edm 44 7 2 1
1993 Edm 47 7 2 0
1994 Edm 24 9 1 1
1995 Edm 28 10 1 0
1996 Edm 19 11 0 0
1997 Edm 26 7 0 0
1998 Edm 32 8 1 1
1999 Edm 16 5 0 0
2000 Edm 4 2 0 0
2001 Tor 13 0 0 0
2002 Tor 10 1 1 0
Total 15 333 77 10 3