Speed the order of the day

GERRY PRINCE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:23 AM ET

At first glance, Roger Reinson looks like he's dropped 20 or so pounds since the end of the last football season. Looks, however, can be deceiving, says the 12-year CFL veteran.

Reinson still weighs 215 pounds; there's simply been a redistribution of muscle. Reinson's smaller biceps and bulked-up lower body are in keeping with his new role with the Edmonton Eskimos.

Rather than working out with the linebackers like he has since joining the Green and Gold in 2001, the Saskatchewan native is lining up with the defensive backs this year. "I just feel tighter and feel tighter in a good way," Reinson explained yesterday. "I just feel more athletic."

Operating on the premise you can't tackle what you can't catch, speed is the order of the day on the back end of the defence. Ditto for special teams, another of the 35-year-old Reinson's fortes.

After Esks' linebacker coach Dan Kepley called a little over a month ago to tell him of the switch, Reinson immediately increased the amount of cardio work he was doing.

"Even before the call I was doing a lot more running," Reinson said. "But as soon as you hear the words 'free safety' in the CFL, you know you have to run and cover things."

With newcomer Kelly Wiltshire tabbed as the starting free safety, Reinson is slotted behind Wiltshire and Will Loftus on the depth chart.

"I welcome the change," Reinson said.

Although Reinson's defensive position has changed, the six-foot veteran expects to retain his role as the long snapper.


Videos

Photos