Crashin' into fashion

Edmonton Eskimos' Malcolm Frank, left, and Brad Franklin show off the club's new uniforms for the...

Edmonton Eskimos' Malcolm Frank, left, and Brad Franklin show off the club's new uniforms for the 2005 season at Commonwealth Stadium Tuesday. (Edmonton Sun/Perry Mah)

GERRY PRINCE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:02 AM ET

The CFL and Reebok took the wraps off their new '05 collection for the national media at a mass unveiling in Toronto yesterday.

Following the fashion show in Hogtown, Edmonton Eskimos defensive Malcolm Frank and Brad Franklin hit the runway in the basement of Commonwealth Stadium to parade the Green and Gold's new-look jerseys for the local media.

"We're very pleased with the work Reebok and equipment manager Dwayne Mandrusiak have done on this project," said team COO Rick LeLacheur.

Changes to the Esks' jerseys are subtle.

The most dramatic change is the addition of piping across the chest, as well as the Eskimos wordmark above the numbers on the front of each jersey.

Edmonton's green home jersey is adorned with gold piping.

The white road jersey, meanwhile, features green piping as well as a green rather than white collar.

"That's the first time we've had the green collar on our white jerseys since the early 1980s," Mandrusiak said.

Both jerseys also feature a new number font this season. The less obvious change is the actual design of the jersey itself.

A redesigned shoulder area allows for a better fit of shoulder pads.

That means linemen will be wearing jersey four or five sizes smaller than the ones they wore in past seasons.

"The jerseys are not only visually different for each of the nine teams, but they also offer the ultimate in fit, fabrication, construction and performance for CFL athletes," said Reebok vice-president of sales Dennis Watson.

In addition to the redesigned home and road jerseys, the team also trotted out a third pair of pants yesterday.

The green pants trimmed with black, gold and white piping down the legs can be used as an alternative to gold pants for home games or the white trousers the team began wearing on the road three seasons ago.

"The green pants give us greater flexibility in terms of uniform combinations," said Esks communications and community relations co-ordinator Jamie Cartmell.

Frank was ambivalent about the subtle changes to the Esks uniform but clearly pleased with the flexibility and upper-body movement afforded by the new-cut jersey.

"I like the look of the green on green and the jersey feels more compact," smiled Frank, who set a CFL record for returning interceptions for touchdowns last season.

A third jersey, a throwback to the Esks early years, is also in the works.

Jersey No. 3 is scheduled to be introduced at this year's Labour Day Classic.

FOUR MORE FOR CAMP: The Esks announced the signings of non-import offensive linemen Mark Shantz and Taylor Inglis, along with non-import defenders Martin Gagnon and Corey Trudeau yesterday.

Shantz, 23, started all 40 regular season games during his five-year career with the University of Alberta Golden Bears, while the 21-year-old Inglis comes to the Esks via the U of A and Edmonton Wildcats.

Gagnon, a defensive back, was drafted by Edmonton in the sixth round of the 2004 Canadian college draft and released during training camp last season.

Trudeau, 25, was selected by Toronto in last year's draft but was also an early camp cut.

The six-foot, 246-pound defensive lineman coached at his alma mater, Queen's University, last season.


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