Ottawa Redblacks CFL receiver Shannon Smith works out with Cam Newton, Tyrod Taylor and Deebo Samuel as he continues to get better in the CFL off-season

Featured photo and slideshow below all taken by Colton Lublink, Atlanta photographer

The 2019-2020 CFL off-season has been made much different than past years due to the Covid-19 pandemic which is happening world wide and giving people worries whether the season will start on time and so on, although Ottawa Redblacks receiver Shannon Smith has taken this self isolation time to get better at his craft. Smith comments, “We have to keep working, and when I talk to the guys (teammates) we all talk about training for a grey cup and this is really the best time to do so.”

Training for a Grey Cup is something all players try to do but going through with it all is something that not many do. In the past couple weeks Smith says, “I’m a team guy, so I’m putting the work in not just for me but for the team too.” Talking about the workouts he’s done in this pandemic he mentions, “Every day I go out for a run and go workout at a local park, and I’m in the best shape of my life right now so I’ve got to keep it up.”

Also Smith builds off and talks about the workouts he’s done, “In these times, I’ve also been blessed to be able to workout with some of the best players in the NFL right now.” he goes to say, “In Atlanta, there’s a good group (of NFL players) and I train with the same trainer as a lot of them, so going through this off-season I’ve been able to meet up with Cam Newton, Tyrod Taylor and Deebo Samuel.”

Cam Newton and group of football players after a workout in Atlanta, Ottawa Redblacks receiver Shannon Smith among the receivers that took part/ Photo by: Colton Lublink (Atlanta photographer; instagram @shoot.yourshot

He talks about the workouts with them, “Working out with those guys is really cool, but in the reality of it I’m just learning and getting better from doing all of it. To get information from their perspective is great because of everything they’ve been able to do as a group, so I can see that I can still do what they’re doing from learning and working with these guys.”

As Smith mentions, he is a team guy, and learning from these NFL quarterbacks is a great thing for him and his young career. In these workouts he’s also preparing for his next season ahead of him, “This year the Redblacks brought in Nick Arbuckle and Nick is a great quarterback. Watching film on him makes me excited to play with him, so working out with these guys recently have helped me prepare to play with Nick and I think we can do good things together if we work hard this season.”

Preparing to play with Arbuckle is only getting him better, and when Smith is on the field he tells Redblacks fans to expect a “nasty” receiver. He quotes, “I’m nasty on the field. With my size (6’4), being able to run good routes, go up and get it while being able to go deep with my speed (4.44 40-yard-dash) I can be a really nasty receiver and Ottawa has got to be ready to see it all.”

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