It is with a great sense of pride that Bruno Labelle signed, after the NFL draft, a contract as a free agent with the Arizona Cardinals. The tight end, however, remained firmly on the ground despite the magnitude of the moment.
“Of course when it happened I was proud, but for me, it’s just the beginning. I was happy to get my chance, but I wasn’t jumping to the ceiling. I’m happy to have an opportunity to go and play in Arizona, but football is a sport where the future is so uncertain and my goal now is to make the team, ”the former Nomads of the Journal told the Journal. Montmorency College.
“I’m excited for the opportunity, but I see it as the first step in a long career. The door has just opened, but the main objective is far from being achieved, ”he continued, very aware of the harsh reality in the NFL.
Before the draft, Labelle had discussed with a good twenty teams who were testing the ground. At the end of the exercise, whoever has worn the colors of the University of Cincinnati Bearcats in recent years says he had « five or six » offers on the table.
The Cardinals’ proposal is definitely the one that best suited the Montrealer.
“I had an interview with their tight end coach (Steve Heiden) about a month before the draft. We had a great connection. I also spoke with head coach Kliff Kingsbury a few days before the draft and sensed the Cardinals’ interest.
“They want to bring in a guy who is physical at the point of attack and who can help on the offense. That’s what they expect from me. It’s still too early to know exactly what role I’m going to play, but I know they want someone who has a good physical presence to help establish ground play, ”said Labelle.
A great opportunity
For the one who captured 20 passes in Cincinnati in addition to playing on special teams, one of the main criteria in his choice was the group of tight ends in place with the Cardinals.
The team only had three tight ends under contract (Maxx Williams, Darrell Daniels and Ian Bunting) before hiring Labelle and Cary Angeline (North Carolina State) on Saturday.
“I think I fit in very well with this team. There aren’t really any tight ends who have my profile there. Nothing is guaranteed in life, but I am very confident of making my place, ”he says.
Labelle, who will join his new team on May 12, is also delighted to see two other Quebecers with him in the NFL, Benjamin St-Juste (Washington) and Pier-Olivier Lestage (Seattle).
“It’s great fun to see guys from Quebec who have the chance to realize their dream of playing in the NFL. This is proof that you can develop good football players. I’m happy for the Quebec football community. ”