MAX Hall has seen the good, bad and the ugly pro football can serve up -- most of it during a stretch of a few months last year in his debut campaign with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Hall started last year deep down on the Bomber depth chart. And by mid-season the president, GM and offensive co-ordinator and GM had been sacked, the starter demoted and his replacement also benched.
In stepped Hall who, tossed into the raging waters with an anvil strapped to his back, somehow managed to tread water and show some promise as a quarterback. Then came the off-season when the club courted Zach Collaros, Henry Burris and then landed Drew Willy.
All with Hall playing the spectator.
"They brought Drew here for a reason, he's a talented guy," Hall said Thursday after Day 2 of Bomber rookie camp. "Me and Drew are just going to push each other and make each other better."
And when Hall was asked if that made things a bit awkward, he served up one of those team-first answers that coaches love to hear.
"No, not at all," said Hall. "That's football. You can't worry about that stuff. You can't worry about the other guy. All you can worry about is yourself and getting better every day and helping your teammates and helping the football team.
"That's what I'm going to do."
WIDE OPEN: Bomber head coach Mike O'Shea has vowed to everybody, vets and rookies alike, that he has promised no player a starting gig (aside from Willy). And for a player like running back Nic Grigsby, that's golden.
"Coach O'Shea has given everybody a fair chance, rookie or not," said Grigsby. "That's one of the reasons I took this opportunity. I know my ability and I know I'm here with a bunch of great guys that's going to push me to get to my best.
"We have a great chemistry right now, the running back group. Coach has different roles for everybody. Mine is to be a spark plug in any way I can and I'm going to do it."
HOT ENOUGH FOR YOU? More from Grigsby, as the thermometer eclipsed the 30C mark Thursday at practice.
"It's funny how guys say it's hot. It was a little warmer today and the Canadian guys are going, "It's hot! You're wearing sweats out here.' I'm laughing. I told them, 'OK, y'all go down to Florida where it's 99 with humidity. Then you'll see what's hot.' "
-- Ed Tait