Who'll be the QBs?

GERRY PRINCE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:57 AM ET

Don't read too much into the fact the Edmonton Eskimos brought another quarterback into camp yesterday.

The fact Ricky Ray is limping around on a hyperextended right knee or Jason Maas has yet to put his surgically repaired right shoulder to the test under game conditions isn't cause for alarm, according to head coach Danny Maciocia.

But with CFL clubs required to trim their rosters to 50 men by 10 p.m. last night, the decision to bring in former University of Memphis pivot Danny Wimprine is curious.

"He was on our neg list, he became available, he belongs to us, so we brought him in," said Maciocia in explaining the six-foot-one, 222-pound Wimprine's arrival.

For all the conspiracy theorists who have Ray and Maas on the injured list to start the season and the troika of Khari Jones, Jason Johnson and Wimprine handling the quarterbacking duties, Maciocia has two words.

"No," and an emphatic "No!"

Although it's difficult to connect all the dots or even find a smoking gun, the fact the Esks' brass had been talking to Wimprine for well over a week before they finally bought him a plane ticket could be grist for the theorists' mills.

Nobody brought up the possibility that either Ray or Maas could open the year on the injured list, with the healthier one drawing the starting assignment, Jason Johnson playing backup, Wimprine winding up with the clipboard in the No. 3 spot and Jones being sent packing.

Presumably, Maciocia would have shot that theory down as well.

BLISSFULLY UNAWARE

The 23-year-old Wimprine appeared blissfully unaware of all the potential intrigue his arrival in camp triggered in the minds of the media covering the Esks.

Still, there was no confusion as to where Wimprine is on the depth chart.

"They have a lot of quarterbacks here," he said.

"There was four guys before I got here and I'm the fifth guy to sign."

And there's no flinching on Maciocia's part when it comes to having five quarterbacks in camp.

"It's been crowded with the four other guys and now we've just added another guy," said the head coach, who had been hinting not all five would be among the 50 men on the camp roster released today.

"Even though we happen to find ourselves in the middle of camp, if this would have happened in the middle of the season we would have still brought him in to evaluate him."

INDOORS AT CONCORDIA

Watching his new teammates practise indoors at Concordia University College and getting a grasp on the Eskimos' offensive scheme was plenty for Wimprine.

"I'm just going to try and learn the system as quick as possible and see what I can do," drawled the Louisiana-born Wimprine, a teammate of Esks' newcomer Chris Kelley at Memphis.

"From being here, I've learned a lot the first day.

"I got my playbook (Sunday) night. I'm not really sure about anything else. We'll see.

"In this game you have to have guys that are ready to step in and play at any moment."

"I want to be able to learn everything at a good pace.

"We'll just take it day by day and see how it goes."

Deemed too short and without astrong enough arm for the NFL, Wimprine's career with the Cleveland Browns was short-lived. In order for Wimprine to legally pick up a football and take part in workouts, he has to be under contract.

Maciocia assured the media Wimprine would be signed after getting the once-over and a clean bill of health from the team's medical staff.

"He's a younger version of Danny McManus," said Maciocia of his No. 5 pigskin slinger.

"He's got a quick release and can definitely throw the ball down field.

"I'm just going back to when Danny McManus was at Florida State. He obviously moves better than Dan Mac at Florida State.

"All the yards Chris Kelley accumulated (at Memphis) was because of Wimprine.

"(Wimprine) has got a bright future and he's someone a lot of teams have been taking a look at over the last couple of years."


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