See ya later

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:53 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- Edmonton Eskimo head coach Danny Maciocia has officially turned his players loose for 11 days.

Thanks to a quirk in the CFL schedule that now gives the Eskimos a bye week followed by their traditional Labour Day tilt in Calgary, the Green and Gold don't play for 17 consecutive days.

So, Maciocia has given his crew free rein for more than a week - and several players are taking full advantage.

Defensive end Adam Braidwood didn't even take the charter flight to Edmonton late last night after the Esks battled the Lions at B.C. Place. Instead, he just stayed at home in Vancouver.

But many players are travelling much farther distances during the bye week.

In fact, Eskimos will be scattered throughout North America - from California to Washington to North Carolina to Ontario.

'GOT TO SEE MOM'

"I am a momma's boy," said wide receiver Trevor Gaylor. "I got to see mom, she wouldn't have it any other way."

So, Gaylor is off to Georgia before renting a car to drive nearly seven hours to his mother's home in St. Louis.

Running back Troy Davis is going even farther, though, heading to Miami to see the little girl he talks to every day on the phone.

"I am ready to get back to her," said Davis of his seven-year-old daughter.

"Just to be around her makes me happy."

Veteran cornerback Malcolm Frank is going home to Texas.

"I am going to check on the house and my little boy," said Frank.

Although his son isn't too little - at the age of 10 - Frank will be following him to the football field.

"I am definitely going to check him out in his (football) practice," he continued.

Receiver Pat Woodcock also has house chores to attend to over the bye week.

Heading home to Ottawa, Woodcock will be preparing to renovate part of his house by going on scouting missions with his wife.

"We're going to go look at kitchen stuff, carpet and paint (samples)," he explained.

SAVING UP

However, for some players, staying in Edmonton makes the most sense - as in dollars and cents.

"I got to save up money," said American rookie defensive back Jonte Buhl, who knows full well that players will not be paid during this bye week.

Sophomore linebacker Marcus Winn looked at heading home to Mississippi, but one glance at the $1,000 US price on a potential airline ticket changed his mind.

So, he will join a few import players - including Keyuo Craver, Steven Jyles, Tony Tompkins and Roosevelt Williams - in the search for activities to keep them busy in a somewhat foreign city until football meetings resume next Wednesday.

In fact, while riding in the elevator of the team's downtown Vancouver hotel on the eve of the break yesterday, Tompkins was already lamenting that 11 days away from life in the locker-room and on the field might become too long.

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OFF THEY GO ...

A sample of where Eskimo players are heading during an 11-day break in the schedule:

- Richard Alston - North Carolina

- Jabari Issa - Seattle

- Andre Sommersell - Long Beach, California

- Malcolm Frank - Texas

- Pat Woodcock - Ottawa

- Trevor Gaylor - St. Louis

- Adam Braidwood - Vancouver

- Quincy Stewart - Texas

- Troy Davis - Miami

- Rob Leblanc - Vancouver


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