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Former CFL Star Trying To Make Transition

Some of the rookies and selected vets who reported to training camp early have been through training camps before. Of course, Donovan McNabb is here, but he's a quarterback working with the young receivers. Brian Westbrook is also here, but that's because he has to rehab his ankle.

There is another player here in camp early who is a two-time all-star. Wait? You've almost got it. No?

OK, here's the answer - safety Byron Parker.

A two-time all-star in the Canadian Football League, Parker is trying to fulfill a dream by making it to the NFL. Before he left for training camp, Parker's mother, Annette, hosted a cookout where Parker's family members all signed a T-shirt for him to use as inspiration. The former Toronto Argonaut had 18 picks over the past three seasons and returned six of those for touchdowns.

"Mentally, in the CFL I was a big fish in a little pond," Parker said as he arrived Sunday. "Now, I'm a little fish in a big pond. I think that's the biggest difference. Football is football at the end of the day. The one thing I do love is that I don't have receivers running at me before the ball is hiked, so I think will be a benefit for me.

"I'm excited about putting the pads on and showing that the CFL guys can play too."

Parker's road to making the roster is a tough one. The 6-foot, 210-pound Parker is being looked at more as a safety and will have to battle Quintin Mikell, Quintin Demps, Sean Jones, Rashad Baker and Macho Harris for a spot on the team.

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 8:22 p.m., July 26

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