Late cut out to shut Esks down

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:28 AM ET

Cut during training camp by the Edmonton Eskimos, defensive lineman Jim Davis says there are no hard feelings.

But he might have been days away from a stronger hatred of his former team.

Dreading the nine-to-five job as any professional athlete would, Davis was considering starting a search for employment when the Calgary Stampeders came calling during their bye week.

"I was on the verge. It was crazy," Davis said on the eve of the Labour Day Classic against the Eskimos at McMahon Stadium.

"I was on the verge of trying to look for a job. I was almost to that point.

"Right when I get to that point, it's when you get that call. Thank God I was prepared. What perfect timing

-- I'm back for the Classic."

Back for a little revenge.

Leaving it up to others to provide bulletin-board material before what will no doubt be a heated holiday matchup, Davis won't say it outright.

His desire to get back into action for this game says it for him in spite of his efforts to avoid the word revenge.

"I told coach I'll play the whole game, I'll give out water -- I'll do whatever they need me to do as long as I can get out on the field against Edmonton. That's all that matters," he said.

"I'm glad my first game is against my doughboys. It's gonna be a classic. It's gonna be a battle. Looking forward to stepping on the field."

Activated today for the first time as a Stamp, the 6-foot-4, 276-lb. defensive lineman will be tasked with keeping quarterback Ricky Ray in check, but more importantly, stopping the running game.

He received the call back home in Richmond, Va., late last month asking him to come to Calgary after the Stamps' 38-35 loss in Edmonton.

Running back Arkee Whitlock racked up 106 yards on the ground and another

69 receiving in the back-and-forth battle.

"I guess the last game that they played, he had a pretty good day," Davis said.

"We're not gonna let that happen in this stadium."

Seeing the Labour Day Classic from the other sideline might feel a little strange after Davis experienced it as an Eskimo a year ago.

"It's kind of crazy," he said. "I never thought I would be lining up against them come this year."

He's happy to have the chance after the Esks cast him aside during their final cuts.

"They made the decision to go elsewhere. It was nothing I know of. They just made a decision to go with someone else," Davis said with a shrug.

"After that, I'm back on the streets just waiting my turn."

His turn has now come to show the Eskimos what they're missing.

Revenge is on his brain even though he still refuses to voice it.

"I'm only human," he said with a grin. "Any time you come from somewhere else and you go back to face them, you want to give it your all."

And then some.

But Davis will keep his emotion and eagerness in check, determined to stick with the system to make things happen rather than go out of his way to make a big play.

"I can't worry about making plays and stepping outside of the game. Things will come when you do what's asked of you," he said.

"I'm not gonna jump out all crazy and go out of control ... To be at home for two or three months, and to finally get back out there,

I just want to play as hard as

I can and get after those guys."

steve.macfarlane@sunmedia.ca


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