June 21, 2008
Decisions, decisionsEsks boot Kean, more cuts today
The 2008 Edmonton Eskimos will be unveiled at noon today.
And Warren Kean won't be on the roster.
The Edmonton Eskimos have cut their first-round pick from last year, giving him his release late yesterday.
The sophomore punter/kicker was taken to be the replacement to Sean Fleming, but he leaves the club after only kicking in one regular-season game in his career.
Kean's release has not been made official by the club, but a source confirmed the move to Sun Media last night.
That is about the only thing that can be said with any certainty surrounding the cuts head coach Danny Maciocia needs to make before today's CFL-imposed deadline.
The Eskimos need to declare their 46-player active roster for their next game - the regular season opener in Regina on June 28 - today.
Maciocia also needs to place seven players - up to five imports, one non-import and one draft choice - on the practice roster by this afternoon's deadline.
The cutdown deadline is 1 p.m. but Maciocia is meeting the media at noon to announce his decisions.
With the cut of Kean, 63 players were apparently still on the Esks roster late last night. Ten cuts would take the team to the CFL required minimum of 53 players.
But don't be surprised to see the team put at least one body on the one-game injured list.
Maciocia wasn't available for comments to the media yesterday. That is a rarity for this head coach.
Facing a make-or-break year as head coach after two straight seasons missing the playoffs, Maciocia was behind closed doors making personnel decisions that will go a long way to determining his fate.
When he steps in front of the microphones today, these questions will be answered:
1. Why was Kean cut?
From the moment Kean was chosen last spring, some fans were livid at the choice. Some media members also criticized Maciocia for making the selection.
Injured to start training camp last year, Kean only appeared in one game to end last season - the final tilt in Hamilton when he made three of his four field goal attempts.
Until the Esks traded for Noel Prefontaine on the eve of training camp, Kean - a 22-year-old non-import - was high on the depth chart to start the year as the Esks kicker.
Once Prefontaine arrived, Maciocia still wanted Kean to compete for field-goal duties.
But after failing to get one field-goal attempt in the first pre-season game last week, Kean was told not to dress for Thursday's game against Saskatchewan.
Rookie Derek Schiavone dressed and could be retained as a development prospect.
2. Did Damien Anderson do enough to be named the No. 1 running back?
AJ Harris had better rushing stats in Thursday's win but Anderson has proven to be an effective receiver out of the backfield with six catches for 41 yards against the Riders.
3. Is J.R. LaRose still an Eskimo?
The Edmonton native was first out of the tunnel and onto the field on Thursday night at Commonwealth Stadium, but he rarely stood out the rest of the game.
4. Is Calvin Armstrong dangling on the practice roster or is he secure on the active roster?
The import left tackle had a very good camp. He deserves to be on the active roster, not available to opposing teams on the practice squad.
5. Does Adam Braidwood have any hope of starting the regular season on the field in Regina?
Still battling a knee problem, the defensive tackle could start the year on the one-game injured list.
An even better move might be placing Braidwood on the nine-game injured list because new CFL rules allow a player to be recalled off the list this year.