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EDMONTON — Eskimos offensive lineman Simeon Rottier is focused on redemption.
When he signed with the Eskimos two seasons ago it was supposed to be a feel good story of the hometown boy returning and having success with the team he grew up watching.
It didn’t happen that way.
“I think the injury affected me more than I ever thought it would,” says Rottier in reference to the arm injury he sustained in a game against the BC Lions on July 20, 2012.
“Even heading into last off-season, I tried to approach it like any other, where if I went to the gym and worked hard every day, I thought everything would be good.
“I don’t think I dealt with that injury the way I should’ve mentally and it showed in the way I played this season. This game is all about confidence and that was something I struggled with this (past) year.”
Rottier and his teammates on the offensive line were under intense pressure throughout the 2013 season, but the group greatly improved their play in the later stages of the year.
“I was playing pretty uptight at the beginning of the year, but after everything went down, I wasn’t worried about making mistakes,” admits Rottier.
“I just wanted to go out and have fun and that was a big breakthrough for me and I want to continue to build off that.
“Our line, as a group, certainly took our lumps, but it’s something you learn and grow from. Learning from that experience can be valuable down the road when you’re winning.”
Rottier is re-energized and focused on putting the past two years behind him to get back to the level that made him the No.1 overall pick in the 2009 CFL Canadian Draft.
Football is fun again.
“The past is the past. For me, with my faith that God has put me here for a reason, I really feel that this year, this is where I need to be and I will overcome everything,” says Rottier.
“It doesn’t always mean that everything is going to be how you want or expect. It’s about trusting there is a plan there. You may not know why you have to go through some of those things, but you grow stronger from it.”