Lewis turns criticisms to Esks' receivers

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:33 PM ET

The Nik Lewis show has changed its topic of discussion from the Edmonton Eskimos defensive backs to their 'aging' receivers.

As an invited guest to the trash talk that has become Lewis' forte, Ed Hervey shot back hard yesterday and managed to land a few heavy blows.

Lewis and fellow Calgary Stampeders receiver Jeremaine Copeland used their bit on QR77's Sports Talk with Mark Stephen and Jock Wilson to explain how Hervey isn't what he used to be.

"He was a good receiver five years ago," Lewis said on the air.

"If you think Ed Hervey is a good receiver, you phone in and I'll be your psychiatrist."

Arguing about which receiving corps is better represents just one storyline heading into tonight's season-opener between the Stamps and Eskimos at McMahon Stadium (6 p.m., TSN).

And if Hervey is washed up, he didn't show it yesterday by firing back at the brash trash talker from the other side.

"He wishes he had the years I have had," Hervey said. "He would love to be as old as I am and still playing. When guys talk like that, they are insecure about something.

"Coach (Danny Maciocia) has a saying: You don't have to worry about the guys who talk a lot.

"Last year, he singled out (defensive back) Shannon Garrett and Shannon showed him up ... This year, he wants to get on me. What is his point? Is it that he has no ring? Because he is jealous?"

For the record, the 24-year-old says all his bluster is to get himself motivated and prepared for the game.

At no point will he say Hervey is not a good receiver with plenty of talent. He just feels the 33-year-old isn't what he used to be, which is a point that could be debated based on numbers.

Hervey battled through a knee injury and still caught 49 passes for 539 yards in 10 games.

It was the lowest totals of his career since his rookie year in 1999 but a worse stat is that he didn't catch a touchdown pass.

Copeland, Lewis' partner in crime, has bolstered the young receiver's confidence since arriving in Calgary before last season.

And Copeland backed up his teammate yesterday in his comments on Hervey, also pointing out the Eskimos made a mistake benching his old pal from Montreal, Kwame Cavil, in the playoffs last year.

"If you look at Hervey on film, he just doesn't do much anymore," Copeland said.

"Last year, they left Kwame on the bench in favour of a guy who was coming off a major knee injury. They seemed to be playing him based on past accomplishments."

As a veteran who has won the Grey Cup, Copeland feels he and Lewis are justified in boasting about their ability to anyone that will listen.

"Cockiness is a good thing," Copeland said. "You look at championship teams and the one thing about them is they all have that swagger to them.

"We don't think other teams aren't any good. We just think we're that much better."


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