Epstein giving Fleming thumbs up

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:04 AM ET

Sean Fleming is receiving rave reviews from a somewhat unlikely source in California.

Hayden Epstein -- the American kicker who took Fleming's job in August before being released one month later for his own inconsistent play -- is impressed by Fleming's turn of fortune.

"He has been doing a great job," said Epstein, who isn't surprised by Fleming's red-hot kicking foot.

"He has always been a good kicker...and confidence is huge (in this game)."

Fleming has been successful on 18 of his last 21 field goal attempts in the last six weeks.

Although he is literally thousands of kilometres away in California, Epstein is following the Eskimos' run toward the Grey Cup on the Internet.

By accessing the CFL's web site, the former Eskimo is able to follow in-depth play descriptions and chart Fleming's progress.

Fleming isn't surprised by the kind words.

"Hayden is a great guy and we got along great, even under the circumstances," said Fleming.

"I wanted to go out of my way to make sure he felt as comfortable as possible.

"He was brought in in a difficult situation.

"A lot of that situation was similar to what Jason (Maas) and Ricky (Ray) are doing."

Epstein's agent is contacting a number of NFL teams hoping to land a tryout, but so far he is still unemployed.

AWARDS SWEEP... ALMOST: It was almost a clean sweep of all four CFL player of the week awards for the Eskimos.

After a perfect six-for-six outing in the field-goal department in the West semi-final, Fleming was named special teams player of the week. It marks the third time in five weeks Fleming has nabbed the honour.

With two interceptions of Stamp QB Henry Burris, Kelly Wiltshire was named the defensive player of the week.

Joe Montford is the lineman winner after a quarterback sack and a forced fumble.

Montreal pivot Anthony Calvillo spoiled the perfect week by winning the offensive award. Jason Maas was the runner up.


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