Watch out for Khari Jones

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:37 AM ET

The pecking order behind quarterback Ricky Ray is far from settled - so don't count Khari Jones out just yet.

In fact, the former CFL MVP-turned-journeyman may just be pulling ahead of the two young bucks beside him. For the second year in a row, Jones has come to camp in search of a backup job.

Last season, he didn't fit in the picture with Ray, Jason Maas and Jason Johnson around, but so far in this camp Jones hasn't looked out of place at all.

"It doesn't matter what I think so much," admitted Jones, a nine-year veteran of the CFL.

"When I was younger I used to think I should be in this or that position or I'm as good as another guy, but in the end that doesn't matter. The coach makes the decisions and you have to live with it.

"I've learned that over the years you need to just focus on yourself and make sure you're ready."

After the Esks' two pre-season games, the pecking order will be sorted out. But Jones's efforts to date might have him - at least temporarily - in the No. 2 spot.

"Khari's been very good the last two days - really sharp," said Esks head coach Danny Maciocia, who also continues to be impressed by the development of rookie Steven Jyles.

Someone with Jones's experience would not only serve the team if Ray gets hurt, he would be of benefit as a tutor to Jyles. If those two roll on at their current pace, Johnson, the incumbent third-stringer, might be in trouble.

"I'm expecting a little bit more," said Maciocia of Johnson's performance to date. "Maybe we'll see that in the next few days. We've got ourselves an interesting battle at that position right now."


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