With all the retirements that I've read in the papers and heard on the radio, who is left from last years Grey Cup team on the O-line? Any new prospects?
WHO WILL PROTECT RAY?
Wednesday, May 10, 2006 - 12:00PM
Three key departures on offensive line could hurt Eskimos quarterback
By Vicki Hall,
Edmonton Eskimos starting quarterback Ricky Ray tried surfing for the first time this winter with results that can only be described as unspectacular.
"Surfing is a lot harder than it seems," said Ray, a native of Happy Camp, Calif. "You don't realize how wild the waves are. You keep getting knocked down and hit in the head with surfboards a whole lot.
"I'm a pretty athletic guy -- at least I think I am. I surfed for an entire week and only got up a handful of times."
The Eskimos can only hope Ray's Mexican adventure is no harbinger of things to come for the upcoming Canadian Football League season.
After all, he is the CFL's highest-paid player and protecting their big investment might not be easy in 2006 due to three key departures on the Eskimos offensive line.
Tackles Bruce Beaton and Chris Morris are expected to retire. Kevin Lefsrud and the Eskimos can't agree on money, so the centre plans to stay home on the farm in Viking instead of playing for less than he believes he's worth.
Lefsrud earned about $85,000 last season. The average CFL lineman makes about $95,000.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats inked former Eskimo and Ottawa Renegade George Hudson to a deal that pays him $125,000 annually plus a $150,000 signing bonus.
"If I'm only an average player, then it's a good time for me to go" Lefsrud said. "If it's only in my own mind that I'm any good, then it's a good time for me to leave."
"There's no hard feelings or anything, but I'm retired until my mind gets changed. To me, taking a break from football or walking away forever is maybe the best thing."
Danny Maciocia spoke to Lefsrud on Monday night, and the Eskimos head coach has no illusions about the possible return of his outstanding centre.
"When someone breaks up with you, sure, you feel bad," Maciocia said. "But when he's gone, he's gone. You move on."
Moving promises to be tough, and Ray must be protected -- especially with former backup Jason Maas in Hamilton as the starting quarterback for the Tiger-Cats.
"We're going to have a plan where we come and have people compete for jobs, and I think we're going to be pretty good," Maciocia said.
"I'm worried about my job and our quarterback, in that order. We'll protect him. We protect him."
So who are the bodyguards tasked with protecting Ray? Dan Comiskey and Joe McGrath are returning starters from the squad that won the Grey Cup in 2005. Patrick Kabongo is expected to move into a starting role at tackle. Tim Bakker came over in the Maas trade with the Ticats. Rhett McLane and Glen Carson are young prospects expected to push for jobs.
"On a personal level, we're going to miss the guys who are going," Comiskey said. "I'm not sure. It's tough, but it's the nature of the game.
"There's going to be lots of guys competing for jobs, and I'm looking forward to camp. I really am. I realize that being the veteran of the group, there's going to be a lot of questions asked. But it's nothing I'm afraid of."
The above article missed Raleigh Roundtree ( 6'5'', 320 lbs.) a non-import who just signed last week, and I'd assume is expected to be fighting seriously for a starting role.
Contrary to what others believe, or uneducated saskatchewan fans, I think the Esks o-line has improved(rather than losing talent) this off-season. We're moving out a lot of older starters and replacing them with some young guys. My prediction is that Baker and Roundtree will be prove to be the two biggest acquistions for the esks on the o-line.
Good article....Thanks Esk123 Didn't Patrick Kabongo play some games last year? I'm sure I remember his name being mentioned a few times. If he did play, he comes back with experience. (The article mentioned moving him to a starter, so I'm assuming that he means he played some last year???)
hahahahahaha :lol: nice O line :lol:
hahaha nice team. Your receiving corps is the worst in the league, and your qb is the second worst starter, next to glenn. Go back to the riders forum and plan your grey cup parade.
lmao :lol: i cant wait to see Ricky on his back all game :mrgreen: must be fighting goin on in Edmonton already with all the retirements :lol:
esks1232, how do u put that pic under there??
I think our oline is going to be way better than last year. The two weakest links last year were MOrris and Beaton and most of the time when the inside guys got beat it was because they were trying to help them out. Kabongo is a monster and was starting to do well when they pulled him for morris. The only real loss is Lefstrud. but getting Bakker helps with that. Comisky is solid and Mcgrath is going to be awesome. No matter who they bring in to replce the last guy is going to be waybetter than what they had last year.
first of all, you should upload the picture you want to pufile.com, and then copy/paste the [url][img] address that you get after uploading the picture from putfile in your "signature" under "Profile" to the left