November 6, 2008
Let it snow, let it snow?Edmonton's kick return tandem could be in for a surprise if forecast holds up
By JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA
Tristan Jackson has never played in snow.
Neither has Lenny Williams.
That is likely the Edmonton Eskimos kick return tandem for Saturday's East Division semifinal playoff game in Winnipeg - where there could be plenty of snow on the ground by kickoff.
A winter storm watch for the Manitoba capital for today and tomorrow has been issued with the possibility of 10-to-15 cm of snow on the ground by tomorrow afternoon.
The forecast for Saturday is better, but still not great with a high of minus-2 under variable cloud and northern wind at 25 kmh.
Will the snow be melted by then?
Or will it be blowing around?
"I only saw snow last year for like 15 minutes," said Louisiana-born Williams, remembering the only time he has seen the white stuff.
"I still really don't know what (snow) feels like. Not at all."
Jackson has only seen snow two or three times in his life.
It means the Mississippi native will be learning on the fly on Saturday if he has to battle Mother Nature.
"I will get out there early Saturday and work on my cuts (on the field)," he remarked.
"I am going to have to bend my knees more when I cut so I can't run so high."
The possibility of seeing snow has led Jackson to talk to his mother in Mississippi about the weather.
"I told my mom (it might snow). She's like: 'It's crazy.' (I said): 'It's Canada, mom,' " explained Jackson.
With an artificial surface at Canad Inns Stadium, the footing for the players will likely be better than if the game was played on grass.
If the field is slick Saturday, the advantage will likely go to the offence.
"We know what we are doing.
"They (defensive backs) have to play in a reaction mode, more so," said Edmonton receiver Maurice Mann.
Quick hit ...
Winnipeg is just one of two CFL teams with three 1,000-yard receivers this year.
Romby Bryant (1,206 yards), Terrence Edwards (1,010) and Derick Armstrong (1,010) make up the Bombers' trio.
Milt Stegall had 458 yards in 11 games.
"They are pretty good," said Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia.
"Terrence Edwards - it seems like there are a lot of similarities between him and KP (Kamau Peterson). It seems like in Montreal for some strange reason things weren't working out for him.
"He finds himself in Winnipeg and he's having a couple of outstanding seasons.
"He is going to be a force to deal with.
"Armstrong is just a big, physical receiver they try to isolate to the short side of the field.
"And the surprise ... is (Romby) Bryant. He's a big, physical receiver who runs really well.
"And we haven't even talked about Milt Stegall."
Montreal is the other CFL team with three 1,000-yard players.
FINISH LINES ...
Edmonton receiver Kelly Campbell returned to the practice field yesterday after missing Tuesday ... This is a big day in Winnipeg as starting outside linebacker Ike Charlton and safety Ian Logan will have to practise this afternoon to have a realistic shot of playing this weekend.