Saskatchewan Roughriders

Nealon Greene - Quarterback - 2002-05 - Clemson

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Feelin' Greene - Ian Busby - Calgary Sun - 22-07-2005

The healing process took Nealon Greene to such places as Humbolt and Martinsville, while also putting him on the tennis court a few days a week.

After breaking his leg in the 2004 season-opener, the Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback went through the tumultuous time of watching his teammates get one 18-yard field goal short of the Grey Cup.

When the season ended, the Clemson product moved to Saskatoon, took a job as a distribution manager and continued to rehab the injury.

Then the Henry Burris free-agency talk started, eventually landing Greene's colleague in Calgary.

But everywhere Greene went, he got positive support from 'Riders fans about the situation. Those kind words helped him mentally while he played tennis to strengthen his repaired leg.

When he took the field as Saskatchewan's starter in 2005, he did so knowing most of Rider Nation was behind him.

"It gives you extra confidence," said the 29-year-old about the support. "When you hear negativity, you try to turn it into a positive. When you hear positive things, it's easier to get up in the morning and go work out, do some extra throwing."

Greene moved to Saskatoon because his fiancee is from the city.

He took the job knowing he would meet lots of fans.

But every time he walked into a small-town store to see if they were interested in the product he was distributing, he was taken aback.

"I've been in small towns where we've had beers just sitting around the

 bar," Greene said. "People would be like, 'Hey, you're Nealon Greene, come on in.' We would sit down and have a conversation for about 15 minutes and they would want me to stay.

"It was good to understand the history around here and understand the pride and support they have for us. In my eyes, sitting out all year, it was great to get that feedback about them still supporting me."

So he worked extra hard to get healthly this season. The regimen included plenty of tennis, basketball and handball, anything that required him to push off on the broken bone to test its strength.

He arrived in training camp at 100% and focused on playing about 22 games for the 'Riders -- pre-season, regular season, the West Final and the Grey Cup.

"Losing one year was a lot of rust," Greene said. "I needed to get back to playing at a fast pace. I didn't want to lose as much.

"I trained much harder than other off-seasons. I had to do more for my leg to get better."

Whenever Greene visited a town, someone would always ask him to come back and talk with children about staying in school. He was happy to oblige. Just another part of the healing process.

"There were players that helped me out when I was younger, so if I can change a person's life, it's sure worth it," he said.
 

-- statistics --

 

 

Nealon Greene       Clemson
    Passing        
Yr Team Att Cmp Yds Pct. TD Int Lg
1998 Tor 15 10 123 66.7 0 0 31
1999 Edm 287 158 2,046 55.1 14 12 89
2000 Edm 397 247 3,059 62.2 22 6 76
2001 Edm 178 94 1,241 52.8 2 7 71
2002 Ssk 368 212 2,621 57.6 13 9 103
2003 Ssk 455 278 3,398 61.1 20 9 68
2004 Ssk 5 3 20 60.0 0 0 83
2005 Ssk 298 182 1,929 61.1 7 8 92
2006 Mtl 15 8 81 53.3 0 5 39
Total 9 2018 1192 14,518 59.1 78 56 103

 

    Rushing    
Yr Team C Yds Avg Lg TD
1998 Tor 7 41 5.9 14 0
1999 Edm 97 878 9.1 68 4
2000 Edm 101 765 7.6 36 2
2001 Edm 45 280 6.2 30 0
2002 Ssk 94 548 5.8 48 3
2003 Ssk 121 723 6.0 43 5
2004 Ssk 0 0 0.0 0 0
2005 Ssk 66 295 4.5 16 6
2006 Mtl 12 35 2.9 11 0
Total 9 543 3,565 6.6 68 20