In the scant few hours after Jason Vega announced he was returning to the Blue Bombers, the defensive end found himself bombarded by well-wishes, a couple hundred or so this morning alone.
For a guy who said the fans helped draw him back to Winnipeg, that was a good sign. But it wasn’t just the fans who convinced Vega to return, after spending 2013 bouncing around NFL rosters. "I think it’s in better hands now than it was," said Vega, 26, who played 27 games for the Bombers in 2011 and 2012.
He does sign on to a team that is still searching for a defensive coordinator – Rich Stubler, long buzzed to be a top candidate, joined the Calgary Stampeders – but that makes no odds to Vega. "Football’s football," he said. "It doesn’t really matter who’s coaching for the schemes, my job is the same no matter what: to tackle the guy with the football. If it’s the opposing quarterback, even better."
Vega confirmed he did receive other CFL offers after the Dallas Cowboys released him earlier this month. Returning to Winnipeg was a natural fit, he said, with the memories he made here – including the 2011 run to the Grey Cup Final – and the friends he still has on the team.
Although there are doubtless mixed emotions that come with walking away from an NFL stint, Vega said the CFL offers him a good fit. "It’s different, more personal," he said. "There’s more of a connection to fans, it’s more social… (coming back) was emotional for me, in terms of just seeing a lot of the same people that were here when I left."