If Benjamin St-Juste had the privilege of being drafted by the Washington team, Bruno Labelle and Pier-Olivier Lestage signed free agent contracts with the Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks.
The free agent who comes from college football has no choice but to go above and beyond to impress new bosses at every opportunity that presents itself.
For a tight end like Bruno Labelle, whose specialty is to lead the way during ground games, these opportunities can be rare, at least until the real camp which does not begin until August.
For now, the focus is on physical training and learning the playbook.
Of course, when we go to put the pads and we’re going to get to training camp, it’s gonna be a better opportunity for me to show what I can do, recognizes Labelle, a former Nomadic from Montmorency College.
The sturdy 6 ft, 4 in, 247 lb (1.93 m, 112 kg) forecastle has the advantage of having come through the American college system, where footballers are already treated like professionals. So he’s not dazzled by the stature of an NFL team.
Of course we are treated extremely well, but I was treated very well at the University of Cincinnati for five years., he emphasizes.
And with the veterans yet to arrive en masse at the Arizona facilities, Bruno Labelle finds himself with plenty of athletes like him looking to impress to establish himself with the Cardinals. The North Shore athlete believes that the adaptation is going pretty well for the moment.
Like in any new environment, I think it takes a bit of time to adjust. But I don’t think I am more disoriented than necessary. I feel in my place and I am happy with my progress since I arrived, he said.
He hasn’t had a moment yet when the magnitude of what is happening to him has hit him head-on. The transition seems to be going smoothly.
It’s going to hit me for sure, but the time has not yet come.
Maybe that will come to the camp when he has to try to block JJ Watt, the Cardinals’ big acquisition in defense this year.
The ultimate goal is naturally to find a place in the roster of 53 players, 46 of whom wear uniforms every week.
Otherwise, there is the reserve team, made up of 10 players who receive a lower salary, or US $ 9,200 per week.
Last year, the Cardinals often had three tight ends in lineup for games. They already have seven under contract.
They haven’t drafted any players at this position. But in addition to Labelle, the team also hired another free agent in the same position, Cary Angeline of North Carolina State University.
Labelle and Angeline respectively wear the numbers 82 and 86, real receiver numbers. Maybe this is a clue that the team will give them a real chance to make a place for themselves.