Canadians have got game, but who'll play, eh?

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:33 AM ET

As Canadian content goes, Danny Maciocia couldn't have more of it at fullback if he put Bob and Doug McKenzie, a slab of back bacon and a six-pack of Strange Brew in the Edmonton Eskimos' backfield.

In Deitan Dubuc, Mike Maurer and Mathieu Bertrand, Maciocia has three strapping Canadian boys on his roster going into the season-opener against the Ottawa Renegades at Commonwealth Stadium tomorrow. All three non-imports have more game than those McKenzie hosers.

The question is, who'll play, eh?

"Any one of our three fullbacks can start for a lot of CFL teams," Maciocia said. "They're big players and contributors on special teams, so that is a luxury. If you think back four or five years, we couldn't find a Canadian fullback. Now, I think we probably have the best three in the CFL."

With that in mind, Maciocia will rotate the trio at fullback but, depending on the offensive set, all three could be on the field at the same time.

"We're going to have a nice little rotation," said Maciocia.

"There's going to be times when we use certain formations that require you to have all three on the field. You can go double tight-end with two backs. You can line them up as two tight-ends and have a fullback."

Maurer, 29, who spent last season with the Renegades, is the most experienced with eight seasons and 108 CFL games on his resume. The former Regina Ram has had to learn a new offence and was slowed by a bruised sternum at training camp. But he's ready to go.

"I'm looking forward to the chance to hit some people in the mouth," smiled Maurer. "I haven't been able to show a whole lot since the fourth or fifth day of camp."

Bertrand, 27, is the incumbent after playing 15 games with the Esks as a rookie last season. The former Laval quarterback and Hec Crighton finalist is a load at six-foot-two and 240 pounds.

Dubuc, 28, acquired from Calgary, attended Michigan and spent time with the Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans. He's a tight-end by trade, but he's comfortable in the backfield.

"I love the word options," Maciocia said. "Options and flexibility, that's exactly what we've been preaching here."

After missing both pre-season games, Maurer's looking forward to getting after it against his old team tomorrow.

"I've been licking my chops ever since I saw the schedule," said Maurer. "You're going to talk to some guys after the game, so it's kind of about bragging rights. You want to go out there and show what you can do. You know them. They know you. It'll be fun."


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