Cahoon shares insights and life on the road in CFL

All Pro CFL wide receiver and former BYU standout <b>Ben Cahoon</b> reported to a Canadian military base for duty in late May. He had not enlisted; he was just checking into home base for the notoriously unpleasant CFL Montreal Alouettes' pre-season camp. The Alouettes hope to repeat last year's performance as Grey Cup champions (Canada's Super Bowl) and Cahoon plays a vital role.

"We have training camp at a small military camp in Montreal. I hate training camp. It's horrible. It's two-a-days during the day and lots of meetings at night. It lasts two weeks and we also played both of our pre-season games during that time. We won one of our preseason games and lost the other. I had two touchdowns in our second preseason game."

Cahoon injured his ankle the first week of camp, but has not missed any time because of the injury. "The ankle is OK. I'm just about 100%," he said.

He confirmed to that his demanding off-season workout routine with former BYU teammates Chad Lewis and Itula Mili is also paying dividends.

"The coaches commented that I look stronger and more powerful. I feel like I'm a little stronger and more explosive," he added.

Cahoon and his Alouette teammates are excited and anxious to defend their Grey Cup title (CFL version of the Super Bowl) and he likes their chances. "The defense is almost completely intact. We have the same offensive line and Calvillo (CFL and Grey Cup MVP) is back at quarterback. We lost our running back, Lawrence Phillips and three receivers, but that's it."

He continued: "We won our first game against Calgary. We were down 20-1, but we came back and won 23-20. I had 3 catches for 35 yards. I made a couple of nice grabs, but no big plays."

Anticipating the question, Cahoon noted "in the CFL, you get one point if you kick a punt or a missed field goal that goes out of the end zone. It encourages teams to return kicks. We scored our one point off an 84-yard punt that rolled through the end zone."

The Alouettes followed up the win at Calgary with a 34-16 victory over Edmonton in which Cahoon had six receptions for 119 yards and a touchdown. They continued their winning ways with a 32-31 win over Saskatchewan the following week. Even more impressive is the fact that all three victories were on the road.

"They were renovating our stadium and they needed some more time to get it ready, so we played our first three games on the road. We played all three games against teams from the West, and the West is traditionally a tougher conference, so we're liking where we're at right now," added Cahoon.

Cahoon also provided some insight into life on the road in the CFL. "Traveling is a little less luxurious than it was at BYU. We always stayed at the Marriott when I played at BYU. We stay at some pretty nice hotels, but they're not as nice as the Marriott. At BYU, we would fly in the day before the game, stay that night at the hotel, and then fly back home immediately after the game. Here, we fly in three days before the game, and then we stay there the night after the game so everyone (except Ben, of course) can go party.

"At BYU we chartered our flights, but there are no charters in the CFL. We fly coach on commercial flights, and you'll have 350-pound linemen sitting in the middle seat on a coach flight. Tell the guys (BYU players) that they should enjoy it while they can. They have it pretty good at BYU," he said.

In the Alouettes' long-awaited season opener, Cahoon had a good game with eight catches for 87 yards, but Montreal lost a close one to the BC Lions by a score of 28-27. Despite the loss, the Alouettes still lead the East Division with a 3-1 record.

Through the first four games of the season, Cahoon has 20 catches for 275 yards and is on pace to finish with 90 catches for over 1,200 yards -- which would surpass his numbers from last season when he was named the Canadian MVP of the league.

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