That'll teach ya!

GERRY PRINCE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

Nate Davis bad-mouthing the Edmonton Eskimos offensive line was like throwing gas on a bonfire.

Still, Davis was at the pumps after the Saskatchewan Roughriders workout at Taylor Field Wednesday.

The hulking defensive tackle's assessment of the defending Grey Cup champions' offensive line was short, sweet and incendiary.

"You know they're a good offensive line," Davis told reporters in Regina. "You know they're banged up and they've got a couple of people in their lineup that probably couldn't play at my high school.

"But the way things are called up here, they keep picking up cheques."

The "high school" barb is clearly aimed at rookie left tackle Joe McGrath and fourth-year man Glen Carson, who is now starting at the right guard spot.

Esks' offensive line coach Bill MacDermott handled the rebuttal for the Green and Gold hogs yesterday but was careful not to wave any red flags in the Riders' direction.

"Joe McGrath played at Miami. That'd put you slightly ahead of a high school program I would have to say," offered MacDermott. "Being a starter at the University of Miami.

"If anyone has seen Glen Carson play at right guard since we made that switch or noticed him, I wouldn't refer to him either."

As part of the arrangement that saw MacDermott comment on Davis' musings, none of Edmonton's offensive linemen were made available to the media.

Clearly, there'll be no trash-talk emanating from the Esks' locker room this week regardless of what Saskatchewan players are spouting.

"I think with this statement (Davis) has kind of turned the focus on himself rather than the game," MacDermott said.

"Is this not the same person that said he was tired of getting his rear-end kicked when they played over here the last time?

"At first I thought it was a compliment. By our guys not being able to play on his high school team, I figured the high school team is pretty good. They'd have to be to send out a person of his calibre to play football in the second level."

LATE HITS: Although team brass kicked the idea around, the Esks opted not to buy Sunday's playoff tilt back from the league. Under the current arrangement, Esks season-ticket holders pay for one pre-season and nine regular season game tickets in their pack and receive a playoff ticket as a bonus. "The league has certainly been very concerned about that type of set up and have asked us to look at it, which we're going to do this year," said COO Rick LeLacheur. "We looked at buying and it could have gone either way. We're used to running this way, so we decided to just keep going that way." The B.C. Lions have purchased the Western Final from the league and expect to make a profit on their roughly $850,000 investment.


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