Pruneau adapts to his new role

Pruneau adapts to its new role


OTTAWA | Antoine Pruneau has always enjoyed challenges during his career. He has one that has required humility since the end of Ottawa Redblacks training camp. 

“ I got into a somewhat different this year, mentioned the Quebecer after his team's practice on Wednesday. I was warned that I wouldn't go defensively. 

“I was brought back mainly for my special teams skills. I was seen as a defensive substitute if there were injuries. I would have had to know an extraordinary camp for that to change the established order. It was a great challenge. » 

However, he did not fall out of his chair when he learned of the Rouge et Noir coaching group's plans for him.&nbsp ;

“I would have made the same decision with the season I had in 2021, mentioned Pruneau with his usual frankness. I don't blame anyone for that. That's why I accepted this new contract.

“Due to a right shoulder injury, I had a bit of a hard time keeping up last year. I felt that I was not myself on the ground. I had trouble making routine tackles. I was not at my usual level. »

Motivated like never before

Pruneau took this situation on the right side. Instead of feeling sorry for himself, he decided to raise his head and go straight ahead. It's in his warrior personality. 

“I didn't think I deserved anything,” the marauder said. I don't think I needed special treatment. 

“I like the idea of ​​coming here and having to prove myself again. I accept the situation. I'm happy to have to restore my relationship of trust with my coaches. »

Since the first day of the regular season, he has got it into his head to prove to his coaches that he deserves playing time defensively. 

“If an injury presents itself, I want them to know that I will be there to do the job. So far, I'm really happy with my performance. I want to try to avoid injuries for 18 games. 

His patience has been rewarded. He was the starting safe on Saturday night against the Alouettes. 

Tough on the mind

The Quebecer is in his eighth season in the CFL. Pruneau suffered several major injuries. He is not thinking of retirement, however.

“The physical aspect is the easy excuse, underlined Pruneau. It is a job that is also mentally difficult. It's very stressful. You fight for your job every day. 

“All your movements are analyzed. Your ethics are always under scrutiny. I still find it draining. It takes a lot of energy out of me. On the other hand, my passion for football compensates for this aspect.

“One day, if I make the decision to stop playing football, it will not be for a physical reason. I'm not at that point yet. ”