Alex Mateas, the CFL’s first overall pick from 2015’s CFL draft has brought success with him to Ottawa. The Ottawa native is now participating in his 5th CFL season with his hometown team. The year before Alex had been signed by Ottawa, the REDBACKS went 2-16, finishing last place in the league. Since Mateas has been on the team, the team has had 4 straight winning seasons, ending 3 of them in the Grey Cup! Good luck? I think so!
Today at REDBLACKS practice, I was fortunate enough to catch up with Mateas about his 5th season here in Ottawa.
Q: This is now year 5 for you in the CFL, and you are starting to be known more as a veteran player in the league, as a rookie offensive lineman in Alex Fontana, has he looked up to you for advice this season?
A: “I’m not too sure if he looks up to me, but we do have a little bit of communication about getting better. I believe that he’s got a lot of great skills that he can bring up to the game up here, so I’d love to contribute and help as much as I can!“
Q: Just years ago, you were in the same position as him, how does it feel to be a role model on such a successful franchise here in Ottawa?
A: ” It means absoloutley everything to me, when I first came in I relied on the veteran guys for advice on everything I was doing. It was guys like Sir Vincent Rogers, Jon Gott, J’Michael Deane and Nolan MacMillan, who’d help me out on a daily basis, and I don’t think I’d be where I am without them. So knowing how much it means to these rookie guys, I’m going to help out as much as I can early on in their careers.”
Q: 5 years ago, you were drafted first overall to your hometown team. What has it been like playing here?
A: ” It has been unbelievable, a dream come true in fact. Almost no one has gotten the opportunity I’ve had, so I really try and remember how grateful I am. I get to see my mom, dad and my sisters and 30+ friends and family cheering me on and being so supportive at every game. I just want to play well, and make them proud, and playing for my home team is a ream come true!”
Q: In your time here in Ottawa, you’ve played with Hall of Fame QB, Henry Burris. What do you have to say about Dominique Davis’ transition to QB1?
A: “Hank had so many great pieces to his game, and Dom is a young guy who has shown that he is a very smart guy also. Most importantly, you could just tell that he loves the game and his teammates. Everything he does in the building is to get better and help out as much as he can. It’s an absolute pleasure to block for him and watch him grow as a player and a person.
Q: After losing Powell in free agency, Mossis Madu has taken role at running-back. How do you feel about the run game this year?
A: ” I feel really good about the run game, as you know Mossis has been in Ottawa for almost 4 years now. We are really lucky to have him as our guy, because he’s been in the system, and he knows what his role is with the organization. We’re very confident in the run game, and we just have to keep pushing it and executing all the plays that the coaches put in.”