Football apprentice?

GERRY PRINCE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:43 AM ET

Donald Trump is always eager to hire an apprentice. Edmonton Eskimos kicker Sean Fleming doesn't appear to be cut from the same cloth.

The last time the Esks had a rookie kicker in camp, Fleming wasn't driving the welcome wagon or rolling out the red carpet.

Anthony Posteraro, complete with day-glo fluorescent green cleats, plans on giving Fleming a run for his money beginning Sunday.

GRACELAND

Even if the 21-year-old Sault Ste. Marie native can't lighten Fleming's workload during the regular season by cracking the roster, he's banking the veteran hoofer will take him under his wing at some point.

"I watch the Apprentice and (Trump) eliminates guys pretty quick," offered Posteraro, Edmonton's sixth-round pick in April's Canadian college draft.

"I haven't talked to Sean, but there's always that rivalry. I'm easygoing and easy to get along with. I hope he is as well."

Still, suggesting the incumbent is aging would be like asking The Donald to give you the cobra. That, however, didn't stop Posteraro yesterday.

"Sean's been here for 14 years and he's been getting it done for all 14. I guess when your career is winding down..." he said.

"I hope he can teach me the ins and outs of the game. I'd like to learn from him."

A product of Graceland University, the six-foot-one, 185-pound Posteraro averaged 40 yards a punt at the NCAA Division AA school.

The left-footed kicker unloaded some towering punts after the Esks rookies took the field for their morning workout at Concordia University College yesterday.

While the young kicker can handle field goal and kickoff duties, he prefers punting.

"I like punting. There's a little less pressure," he said. "I can do field goals too. Coming in here, you want to be the kicker who's the No. 1 guy and that's the way I'm going to prepare."

Posteraro took a good-natured ribbing from a few of the Green and Gold vets on hand for the mid-morning workout.

But it's going to take more than a few jibes to get him to part with his cleats.

"I got them before draft day and Edmonton ended up picking me," explained the rookie.

"I guess they matched, so I've stuck with them. I went to go kick with them, liked how they felt and I've stuck with them."

Esks head coach Danny Maciocia was nonplussed by Posteraro's almost glow-in-the-dark Italian-made soccer shoes.

"Kicker," deadpanned Maciocia, looking over his shoulder at Posteraro's shoes. "Regardless of whether he has fluorescent green shoes or he's barefoot, all I want him to do is put the ball through the uprights and kick for distance. That's all I care about."

Posteraro isn't the only rookie after Fleming's job. The Esks also signed import kicker Chris Brewer out of Wingate University. Unless Brewer has a cannon for a leg, his chances of sticking appear slim.

AN HEIR, APPARENTLY

Judging by the line Edmonton's brass were feeding Posteraro following the draft, he's already Fleming's heir apparent in the minds of some.

"When I got drafted they told me, 'You're here for company, not competition,' " Posteraro said matter-of-factly. "There's a lot less pressure when you're here at camp when they want you to be around.

"You just go out and perform. You're not here to out-compete anyone. You just do what you do and they'll keep you around."

Maciocia knows Fleming isn't keen on having other kickers in camp, but he's not losing any sleep over it.

"They're going to have to work together," Maciocia said. "Sean's going to do his thing and (Posteraro) understands who he's going up against.

"Sean understands the situation has changed.

"It's not going to be like come in here, look around, see no kickers and say, 'I'm the kicker here this year.'"


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