February 1, 2024

Elks in the Offseason: Eugene Lewis

EDMONTON, AB – There are big-play wide receivers and then there is Eugene “Geno” Lewis.

The Elks star is fresh off his first season in the Green and Gold in 2023 after his big time free-agent acquisition from Montreal last February. It’s safe to say Lewis has come as advertised. The wideout led all Elks receivers in yards with 844 yards on only 48 receptions during his abbreviated 12 game debut campaign. A knee injury held the star out for six-games from week 4-10, but the knock did not stop the former Oklahoma Sooner from racking up an impressive 17.6 yards per completion.

With the addition of QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson, and hopefully a full season of health, Lewis is preparing to get back to the levels that saw him named a three time CFL East All-Star and the garner the 2022 East’s Most Outstanding Player nomination.

Lewis spoke with GoElks.com this week to discuss how those preparations are going and what the offseason looks like for one of the CFL’s most dynamic players.

First off, how’s your offseason going?

Yeah, so far man, my offseason has been really good. I’ve been back in Montreal for the offseason for the most part. I’m actually leaving on Sunday to go to Florida for two months to really go get in super training (mode). But, I’ve been training basically since probably right after Christmas and I’ve just been playing a lot of basketball. I’ve been running a lot of routes. I’ve been doing stuff with other receivers in the CFL and stuff like that, so getting some good work in.

I hear Florida is a good place to train. I know it’s kind of a hotbed for a lot of NFL and CFL guys. Are you training with anybody in particular down there?

I usually do go down there each year for a certain amount of time. Right now I’m going to go down there this year and I’m going to go with the guy that I had trained with when I came out of college named Chris Chambers (Former Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers, and Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver).

He was probably one of my good mentors when I was coming out of college. I ended up really kind of connecting back with him last year with one of my former teammates Jake Weineke, and went down there at the same time and got some work with him. I’m going to go back down there again. There is usually always some types of NFL dudes there, a lot of guys who have just come out of college. I just think for me it’s just the competitive level. It brings out the best of me, and just being down in Florida with all the palm trees, that’s just always what I love to see, man. It kind of just motivates me even more.

Nothing wrong with a warm place to train, for sure. So you said you’re back in Montreal. Is that where you’re usually based out of, or where’s your usual base of operations during the offseason?

I’ve been living in Montreal the last four offseasons. I usually always come back there. Obviously, I played in Montreal for several years, so I’ve built a lot of connections and just a lot of good opportunities out there for myself. I’m planning on trying to do a camp at the end of April out here, so hopefully I can get that done before training camp and stuff like that. But, yeah, Montreal has always been good to me as a city wise, and it’s close to my family, too. All my family’s on the East Coast and things like that. But I like staying in Canada, especially if I have got to get back to Edmonton.

How have you liked Edmonton so far? Now, when you’re here in town, what are your go to places to go?

Edmonton has been pretty good so far. Where my career is now, man, I’m really trying to win. I’m really trying to help my teammates the most that I can to get the best out of (everything).

Some of the places that I like to go in Edmonton, basically, we always had a wing night at The Pint once a week for the team. I used to love doing that. There are a couple places that we did some scenery shoot things with. I went on some scooters and went to go see the scenery of Edmonton because it is really a beautiful city when you see it from certain perspectives. I play a lot of basketball too, at Commonwealth. That’s a big thing that I love to do. I’m in the locker room a lot, man. I do a lot of stuff. Just hot tub, cold tub, get myself together, get some film in. I want to go watch the Stingers play some more, I’m a big CEBL guy so I want to go see them play some more.

A big move in the offseason was bringing in McLeod Bethel Thompson. What are your thoughts on your new quarterback for the season?

I think it’s awesome. I think it’s great for the team. I think it’s great for Tre. I just think in general, offensively, it’s another great leader that can come here, be a vocal leader also, and just lead by example. The good thing about MBT, he’s been in the big games. He’s done really good things in this league. He’s been around for a while. So sometimes it’s good to have vets that are able to help the young guys learn and help them grow each and every year. So I’m excited to do whatever I can to help them be successful and I know he’s expecting the same. I think everything is good, man.

Sometimes for me personally, I try not to make things such a big deal because I try to do everything I can to help the situation the best way I possibly can, no matter what’s going on. So for me, I’m excited about everything, and I’m just getting ready to be my part.

Kind of control what you can control, right?


You mentioned that Chris Chambers is a bit of a mentor to you, but was there anybody who you had when you were a kid that you kind of idolized at the receiver position? You also say you played a lot of basketball, maybe a basketball player as well?

Yeah. Not going to say I really idolize anybody, but some of my people that I really like. My thing is my father played in the NBA, so my father taught me a lot about basketball. He was probably the main person that taught me how to play and the rules and how it is, but I didn’t start playing organized basketball until I got to 13, and I was playing football when I was seven. So I love contact. I liked hitting people I loved it. It was basically an opportunity for me to hit people and not get in trouble. I used to love that. But some of the receivers I used to watch as a kid I really enjoyed watching were Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Calvin Johnson, Ocho Cinco. Like, those are some of the main dudes I love watching.

Then basketball, it was Allen Iverson, LeBron James. Those are the two main guys that I always really kind of watch. I just was always a big student of the game. I always just feel like you can learn something from everybody, you know what I’m saying? But you got to understand what you’re really good at, what you separate yourself within your position, and then also perfect it. So I give a lot of credit to my father who just helped me understand how to be a competitor, like a real competitor.

I’ll end it with one more quick one. You’ve been in the Montreal for, like, five, six years now. Poutine, what are your thoughts?

(Laughs) I would say, personally, I’m not the biggest fan. I’m not the biggest fan. I’m not a big fan of cheese curds. So that kind of messes me up a little bit. I will say this, though. I have been in Montreal. I’ve been to one or two places in Old Port some years back where they have some really good poutine where you can kind of customize it. You can get whatever protein you want. You don’t have to have cheese curds. You can kind of customize yourself and that was really good. But for me, that poutine is like, in the States, it’s like messy fries. It got cheese, gravy, all types of just everything on it. So sometimes it’s a lot. That’s what I’m saying. Sometimes it’s a lot.