Stewart: "I wanted to retire as an Alouette"
For the past decade at this time of year, veteran Montreal Alouettes defensive end Anwar Stewart would be found taking part in a grueling two-a-day training camp.
But after getting released this off season. the 36 year old says while it’s a strange feeling not to be there right now...he doesn’t miss the toll that camp takes on the body.
“I don’t miss two a days at all. I miss being in the locker room and having that smell of the locker room of musty guys running around. But honestly i don’t really miss it at all and my body feels a lot better than i’m sure theirs do”
Stewart has had a busy off season, endorsing health food product “Body by Vi”, helping out former teammate Brian Chiu with the Concordia football program and getting married.
But he’s not done with football yet. And with Al’s rush end John Bowman out 4-6 weeks with a knee injury suffered in camp over the weekend, it could be the chance he’s been waiting for.
Stewart played 10 seasons with Montreal, helping the team win Grey Cup titles in 2009 and '10, and says if the call came, he’d love to come back for one more year.
“You know what? I would because i wanted to retire as an Alouette. I felt like i had a great season once I got my position back last year. I played my butt off. A lot of media a lot of players and even coaches think that I still have years left.”
Stewart proved his worth both on the field and off. He is Montreal's all-time leader in sacks with 66, he was very involved both in the community and as a leader in the locker room. It’s easy to imagine that being released after all that time without so much as a press conference could make for a strained relationship between the player and his former team, but Stewart says it’s water under the bridge.
“There’s no tough feelings. Me and Jim Popp we had great conversations about the whole thing. I’m just kind of disappointed that coach Trestman didn’t reach out to me, or Mike (Sinclair)(...)But I guess that is the business.”