As easy as 1-2-3
By JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, EDMONTON SUN
The Edmonton Eskimos have received a very simple math lesson from head coach Danny Maciocia.
"I had that conversation with them (yesterday)," said Maciocia. "We are still at 71 bodies, and we are going to have to get somewhere in the low to mid fifties, so do the math."
The Esks must have their final roster declared by 10 p.m. tomorrow, meaning tonight's final pre-season game will decide the fate of many players.
On paper, that final roster can only include 46 players, but with injury-list players and a few others being stashed on the practice roster, that magic number is indeed just above 50.
While most of the starting jobs have essentially been decided, there are a few positions up in the air besides the highly publicized spots in the secondary.
RIGHT GUARD: The job is Glen Carson's to lose. The Canadian will start tonight, but will be relieved by import Raleigh Roundtree.
RIGHT TACKLE: Recovered from a knee injury, Patrick Kabongo will start. Rhett McLane handled the assignment last week in Regina, but didn't fare too well, meaning it's Kabongo's job for the taking.
DEFENSIVE TACKLE: Non-import Steve Charbonneau has one of the jobs, but imports Jabari Issa and Robert Brown are scrapping for the other. "The edge right now goes to Brown," said Maciocia.
DEFENSIVE END: Charles Alston likely has one spot, with Canadian Tim Fleiszer probably a back-up. But the other side of the line features a fight between Sherrod Coates, Anthony Collier and Andre Sommersell, who probably won't play but has been impressive through camp.
PUNTER: American Rodney Williams will get one more chance tonight, but even if has a 50-yard average, a job isn't guaranteed because of import ratio.
Jason Johnson has re-taken the No. 2 spot on the QB depth chart, but his playing time will be dictated by Ricky Ray's performance... Pat Woodcock, who's fighting for a fifth Canadian receiver spot, will be a game-time decision because of a hamstring injury... the Grey Cup will be in the house tonight for a pre-game celebration.