The Edmonton Eskimos are changing patterns in their offensive backfield.
The CFL club has agreed to terms with former B.C. Lions tailback Antonio Warren in a deal that's expected to be formally announced in the coming days.
"Antonio is really happy to be back," his agent Mark Maren said Wednesday night from Toronto. "He's a really quiet guy. He doesn't say too much, but he was really disappointed with the way things went in B.C. I think he has a bit of a chip on his shoulder."
That chip formed when the Lions cut Warren, now 31, in the summer. His release came after missing a block that allowed Saskatchewan linebacker Jackie Mitchell to wallop quarterback Dave Dickenson from behind. The hit made the highlight reels and Warren was out of a job. Rookie sensation Joe Smith took over at tailback, and the Lions went on to win the Grey Cup.
"Antonio is looking forward to coming, and he's 100-per-cent healthy," Maren said. "There were 13 games he missed getting hit on every play, so he's in great shape and ready to go."
The Warren signing casts doubt on the future of Edmonton tailback Troy Davis, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards last season behind a young offensive line. Davis is also 31 and could be among a list of big-name veterans to be cut in the coming months.
The five-foot-10, 205-pound Warren is more of a scatback, a speedy guy, and he's got great hands as a receiver. His best season came in 2004 when he carried the ball 219 times for 1,136 yards in 15 games. He also rushed for 160 yards in the 2004 Grey Cup loss to Toronto.
The Eskimos also plan to invite Ronald (Goldie) McClendon back for another audition at training camp. McClendon spent most of the season on the bench as a healthy scratch, but he rushed for 198 yards in the final road game of 2006.
Short yardage -- Montreal assistant coach Marcel Bellefeuille was in Edmonton on Wednesday to interview for a job as offensive co-ordinator. Steve Buratto is Edmonton's top choice for the job, but he has an offer from Montreal.
Buratto has, however, said that he'd rather stay in Western Canada.