Off the scrap heap

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:03 AM ET

After being punted off the Cincinnati Bengals, Reggie Myles is hoping to find a spot on the Edmonton Eskimos' defence this spring to help repair his reputation.

With nearly 70 players likely coming to main training camp next weekend, there will be no shortage of interesting hopefuls to follow - but Myles will bring one of the most intriguing stories.

Although he had four years under his belt in Cincinnati, his NFL career came to an abrupt halt last November when he was cut.

"It was me and a teammate - he was having problems at home - and we got into a little scuffle," explained Myles, who played 51 games as a special-teams starter and backup safety for the Bengals.

"I played that week and I came back the next week and they were releasing me."

LACK OF PERFORMANCE?

A lack of performance was the official reason given by the Cincinnati coaching staff, but Myles knows it was because of the scrap.

Although the 26-year-old University of Alabama product doesn't want to talk about the possibility that he might be blackballed in the NFL, he admits he is very surprised another team didn't pick him up this winter.

"It was a real shock that nobody gave me another chance," he said from his Tennessee home.

"But it is a lesson learned.

"It is a mistake I don't have to worry about making again."

But the Eskimos are certainly happy about bringing Myles to camp, even with his baggage. The club announced his signing yesterday.

"As long as he doesn't hit the coach - it'll be fine," cracked Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia.

"A lot of people in their lives were given second chances and he shouldn't be any different."

On the field, the Mississippi native brings a lot to the table.

"He can play safety, corner and half-back and you will also recognize him with his special teams play because he will try to take your head off," said Maciocia of the five-foot-11, 192 pounder.

"He plays much bigger than he actually is."

Cracking a veteran-laden secondary will be tough, especially with the addition of Reggie Durden from Montreal this off-season.

SHOT AT SAM

But Myles will also get a shot at the SAM linebacker position if Steven Marsh is still recovering from a torn ACL, which is the likely scenario.

"I just want to make plays," said Myles, "and be the best player I can possibly be for the Edmonton Eskimos. That way they have nothing but good things to say about me."

LATE HITS: Import defensive backs Jonte Buhl and Brent Hafford have also been added to the training camp roster. A product of Texas A&M, Buhl attended the Atlanta Falcons training camp in 2005. Like Tony Tompkins, Hafford comes from Stephen F. Austin. The New Orleans Saints signed Hafford in 2004 and allocated him to NFL Europe.

KICKS: For the second straight year, Edmonton Huskie J.R. LaRose will come to Eskimo camp. LaRose played one game for the Green and Gold last year.


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