March 13, 2024

Elks in the Offseason: Tanner Green

EDMONTON, AB – It just seems like a tradition for Edmonton’s longest-serving player to be a Canadian fullback.

Tanner Green will be entering his sixth season with the Green and Gold since being drafted by the club in the fourth round (32nd overall) in the 2018 Canadian Football League draft. The 30-year-old has admirably followed in the footsteps of franchise stalwart Calvin McCarty, who played 13 seasons with the Elks at running back and fullback prior to his 2021 retirement.

Green has developed a reputation for being a special teams standout with 60 special teams tackles in his career, including double-digit totals in each of the last four seasons.

He spoke to GoElks.com to discuss his offseason and a variety of other topics in the latest instalment of Elks in the Offseason.

Hey Tanner, first off all, how’s your offseason going?

It’s been going great. I got a little five month old running around, little Elias. I’ve been getting really used to dad mode, but, training’s been going great, and I’m really excited to get the season.

You got your New Balances already? Those standard issue dad shoes?

Yeah, the white-on-white. Yeah, they’re ordered. They’re on their way. We’re ready to go.

How has being a dad kind of changed your life?

I mean, it makes everything more meaningful in a way. I have got to know that the things I do around the house are leading an example for this little guy who’s watching me do absolutely everything. It kind of keeps you on a toes in a sense of wanting to be a good role model almost all the time, that’s probably one of the biggest changes. Sleep’s a little different, but surprisingly, you get really used to it. He’s just been so great that he makes being a dad really easy. It’s awesome.

You said you’re moving to Edmonton for the season. What do you think about Edmonton that makes it a good place to maybe raise a family?

Being here in the last five seasons, it’s crazy how such a big city can feel so small sometimes. When I first came in, it was so daunting. Like, oh my goodness, I’m used to small town. But, I got the small town vibe within just a few months of being here because, really, once you learn your little area, it’s like you see other people and their families. It’s nice having everything so close in an area. You don’t have to travel. I don’t have to travel to Red Deer anymore just to get to a Costco. It’s all the community stuff that’s going on, all the events over the summer and the winter. It’s going to be great for our little family.

You also mentioned to me earlier that you would like to move back to an acreage after your playing days. What do you guys like doing on an acreage? Are you ranchers or you just like having the land?

Having the land is going to be great. Obviously nothing too big, but we’re definitely (acreage people). Like my wife, she always grows an amazing garden each year, so definitely gardening. Probably get a couple of those little goats. We’ll definitely have some chickens, maybe a little pony or a horse. Get a few animals. Have some fun. Get a couple dogs, maybe.

Nice. Did you grow up on an acreage as well?

Yeah, I did. It was like a mix. I grew up out on Gull Lake for a little while, which was cool, living that lake vibe, but then I spent a lot of my time out on an acreage where we had the same thing I talked about earlier, like pets. It was pretty fun.

You’re currently the longest serving member of this team. What does that feel like?

Honestly, it’s crazy. I remember coming into the team and like, oh, it’s Mike Reilly; and I met Calvin McCarty, and (Aaron) Grymes, and J.C. Sherritt. They were the old guys that I was looking up to and it’s like, am I really that guy now? I’ve been here (for a while). Now I’m like, the longest one here. It’s kind of a wild experience and I know I need to set a good example of what it means to be an Elk for all these new players coming in.

It’s kind of carrying on that fullback tradition. It was Calvin who was here for 13 years. What did having a vet like that kind of help teach you what it is to be a pro and kind of carry on that tradition?

He definitely paved the way for what does it mean to be a CFL football player or a professional football player. Coming in as a younger player, you’re kind of scared of everything, and it is going so fast. How do you do this? How do you do that? And honestly, one of the biggest things he reminds you of is like, dude, it’s just football. You played football your whole life, have fun with it. You have got great guys in the room to lead you and be a good example and don’t make it bigger than it is.

What does a typical day in the life of Tanner Green look like right now?

This is my chillest offseason by far in terms of, usually I’m doing a ton of work, but right now it’s been wake up. I’ve got a nice new little espresso machine that I’ve been messing around with. I probably drink a little too much coffee, but I hang out with little Elias and my wife Erica, and then I go get some training. We’ve got some camps coming up that I’m running for football for a bunch of kids in the area around Red Deer, but either than that, I renovated our house so we could sell it, but it’s been a slower offseason for sure.

Last question. With the name Elias was there any story behind that? Or how would that go around choosing that?

Honestly, it’s crazy how you can look at lists of 10,000 names and none of them seem to work. But we had a couple of names that just kept popping up to the top one or two in our list and we sat there and we would talk to Erica’s belly, right? So the baby in the belly. We’d start, say a name for a month at a time and just see if it kind of stuck and Elias did. It just hit and it seems to be a good name for him. We definitely give him little nicknames right now, but I think growing older, he’ll definitely fit as an Elias.