Tommy Condell feels like he’s at Walt Disney Land with Argos

Out of the game for the first time in more than 30 years, Tommy Condell spent last season sharpening his football mind.

Condell travelled to universities such as Western Kentucky, Arkansas State, Bowling Green, and Dallas and Baltimore to visit with the Cowboys and Ravens staffs.

“In terms of professional growth I was getting better, a lot of film and meeting with different coaches on college and NFL teams,” Condell says. “I got a broad stroke of not just offensive football but I went to go see defensive coordinators because I wanted to go learn and see what they were thinking. It gave me a chance to see how they game plan and teach.”

With four young sons – affectionately known as “Hurricane Condell” – there was plenty of family time mixed in too, something the coaching life doesn’t always allow. That said, Condell was eager to get back to work when the Argos called in January.

“When I first came on I was labeled a special assistant to help with free agency and that was a great experience because as coaches you don’t get the in depth cap and marketplace value all the time – I’ll parlay that later on in life,” Condell says.

When new head coach Marc Trestman was hired this spring, Condell was eventually named receivers coach. Some mutual coaching connections between Condell and Trestman helped that happen. The role as a position coach has allowed Condell to gain perspective from a macro level.

“It gives me a chance to really see it – I’m not stuck in the minutiae of getting ready to call plays and script all the practices – the overarching view of what Coach Trestman’s doing, how he gets his culture from the coaches to the players,” Condell says.

“It’s like going to Walt Disney World being with Coach Trestman and the rest of the coaches.”

At the micro level, Condell is focused on pushing the Argonauts receivers and he’s got a like-minded star whose leading the group.

S.J. Green, acquired by Toronto in an off-season trade with Montreal, paced all CFL pass catchers with 452 yards coming into Week 5. From the opposition sidelines, Condell has watched Green make plays for years, but there’s been an even deeper respect gained by seeing what the 32-year-old does away from game day.

“I didn’t realize his level of work ethic because you don’t see it,” Condell says. “You don’t realize what kind of a leader he truly is. That’s an in depth look behind the curtain of the man.”

From day one Condell was forthright with Green.

“This is as honest a statement as I can possibly make: the first conversation we had he told me, ‘S.J. the worst and the best thing about me is I’m honest, and I’m honest.’ I can appreciate that, I felt where he was coming from,” Green says.

“Sometimes we’re going to butt heads but those are the types of interactions that bring us closer together.”

Condell believes Green is easy to work with because greatness is always preached and he strives for that in his receivers each day. Green, a phenomenal talent, appreciates that characteristic.

“Tommy will tell me if it’s a good route, bad route or if I messed up. You come across coaches sometimes who coach players who have had success in the past and they’re afraid to say certain things to you,” Green explains. “Tommy is nothing like that.”

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