What could he possibly have left to play for?
Anthony Calvillo is gobbling down a square of Vitamin B12, washed down with an amino acids and water cocktail.
“This is only because my blood levels are off,” the 39-year old says in a ‘don’t try this at home’ tone of voice.
More blood tests are planned more often this year. But will there be more questions about his future?
The owner of virtually every meaningful passing record in the CFL and pro football has been receiving questions on that topic ever since he came north.
No. 13 will hit another milestone before the 100th Grey Cup, but it’s not so football related.
On Aug. 23, Calvillo will turn 40 years old.
Turning 40; is it the new 30? Related Links
CAN YOU REALLY BE ‘OLDER-WISER’ AGAIN?
“This off-season I started training in December, earlier than ever because we have usually lost two weeks because of the playoffs. I was really looking forward to getting back in the gym just to get my mechanics back. My body was sore last year because of two reasons: the surgery (for thyroid cancer) really put a lot of tightness in my shoulder.
“Then when I got knocked out (concussed during game action, I also had a really bad charlie horse that effected me throughout the rest of the season. My body is finally back to where it should be.
“I’m not running as much as I did in the past, but working on my foot speed. What really stands out in my mind right now is I’m recovering after each workout very quickly. My body is absorbing everything they’re throwing at me. I’m feeling fantastic.”
YOU’VE GOT EVERY RECORD, WHAT’S TO PLAY FOR?
“The challenge for me to stay on the top of my game is to win another championship. That’s the biggest thing that keeps bringing me back. I’ve been playing the game for so long, I know I really enjoy it. As long as I can help the team win and it’s still fun...I’m going to keep playing.
HOW DO YOU KEEP ADRIAN MCPHERSON WAITING FOR HIS TURN TO PLAY, BUT KEEP HIM ON YOUR SIDE?
“I’ve been very direct with Adrian about my career. I’m ‘year to year’ and I keep telling him that. That’s another part of my motivation...I have to stay one step ahead because I know we have guys like Adrian just waiting.
“The one thing I told him, when the time comes or I’m not performing, he’s going to get his opportunity and he has to take advantage of it. But until then he has to wait and be ready.”
IT’S THE 10th ANNIVERSARY OF YOUR FIRST GREY CUP WIN THIS NOVEMBER. DON MATHEWS TOOK OVER “PRINGLE’S TEAM” AND MADE IT “CALVILLO’S TEAM.” CAN YOU EVER GIVE THAT UP? WHEN YOU CAN’T BE NUMBER ONE, CAN YOU JUST WALK AWAY?
“That’s going to be the mental challenge. I really feel like I’m still at the top of my game, but when that time comes and I’m not performing up to the level the coaches think I should be, or if they say it’s time to make a transition, I can’t tell you how I’ll react.
“Mentally I don’t know if I could ever turn that switch off, like ‘ok I’m going to accept this role of not playing’.
“I think about it, but I tell you one thing: I could never disrupt the football team. You have to have the confidence of the locker room and Adrian has built that.
“Mr. Wetenhall, Marc (Trestman) and Jim (Popp) have treated me very well here and in return I’m going to do the same thing when that time comes.”
YOUR FORMER BACKUP IS YOUR BOSS NOW. MARCUS BRADY IS YOUNGER THAN YOU, CAN HE TEACH YOU ANYTHING AS NEW “OC”?
“I’ve always been open-minded whether my coaches are younger than me or older than me. Marcus will give me and Coach Trestman more input. With Milanovich being gone (now Argos head coach) Marc is going to have more input week-in and week-out on what plays are going in. I’m looking forward to that.
WISH YOU WERE CALLING YOUR OWN PLAYS LIKE “THE DON” MADE YOU IN 2002?
“I would NEVER want to go back to calling my own plays, to be honest with you. It was fun while I was doing it, but there were times, three or four games, where I didn’t call the best plays for the end of the game and it cost us a couple of wins.
“You have all the coaches on the sidelines, it should be their responsibility. I don’t think there’s a quarterback who calls his own plays. When I came into the league it was pretty much a standard.
“I never want to do it again and if I become a coach I don’t think I’d ever ask a quarterback to do that.”
WOULD YOU COACH IN MONTREAL OR BOOTLEG BACK TO CALIFORNIA SOME DAY?
“When I sat down with Mr. Wetenhall, he asked me if that’s something I wanted. To be honest with you, if I had five things I wanted to do in the future, coaching football would be last of the five.
“I really want to enjoy a summer off. That’s something I really look forward to, travelling with the family.
“Coaching is something that will hopefully be available for me when I’m done, but it’s not the first thing I want to jump in to. That could change when I do retire.
“I did talk to Bob about being part of the Alouettes organization in some capacity and he said ‘there will always be something for me.’”
“The plan is definitely to stay here. I have some ideas.”
Rick Moffat is the Voice of the Montreal Alouettes on CJAD 800. He works alongside former CFLers Ed Philion and Dave Mudge. Moffat's first attended Grey Cup was as a fan in '77 - the infamous Tony Proudfoot "Staple Game". Rick is proud to say he had his first beer at an Als' game during the Marv Levy Era. Follow Rick on Twitter @RickMoffat.