Roaring start for Cole

Edmonton Eskimos receiver Chris Cole is letting everyone know about his talents. The club will find...

Edmonton Eskimos receiver Chris Cole is letting everyone know about his talents. The club will find out in the pre-season. (Edmonton Sun/Darryl Dyck)

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:04 AM ET

Chris Cole made himself known on the first day of training camp.

He was the guy who was heard touting his "all-world talent" and that he was destined for duty with the Edmonton Eskimos' receiving corps because he was good enough to be a starter in the NFL.

Eight days later and Cole is still in camp. And still talking.

"It's competitive, but I feel I've got the ability to step in and be effective right away," said Cole after the two-a-day workout at Clarke Park yesterday. "Overall I think I'm doing a good job of catching on and it'll be natural here in a minute. Another week or so and I'll be hitting off and backing it up on game day.

"I'm going to play hard every snap, so you've got to bring it."

TIRED OF HEARING IT

The Eskimos are itching to see him bring it as well because they're a little tired of hearing about it.

"People that don't talk are the ones that I fear," said head coach Danny Maciocia. "The ones that come out and tell me how good they are, or what they're going to do, are the ones that I don't fear. But with a few exceptions they're the ones who come out and tell you what they're going to do and back it up.

"I don't know which one he is, but we're going to find out."

Cole was at his chatty best during yesterday's first session. After a throw from Steve Jyles made it into his arms despite Roosevelt Williams's interception attempt, Cole exchanged some words with the defensive back. The barbs continued until Cole got in the last word.

"There ain't enough foot speed over there," he said to the entire defensive secondary.

That didn't sit well with the DBs, and during the second session, the back and forth hootin' and hollerin' was loud and constant.

Every team needs a guy who can fire up his own squad and agitate the opposition. You just don't want one who can't back it up.

Mookie Mitchell doesn't need to talk because his career accolades - like three-time all-star, rookie of the year, and two league records - speak for themselves.

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A quiet, all-business approach is the preferred method in the Esks' locker-room, which is why newcomers like Richard Alston and Romar Crenshaw are drawing favourable reviews from Mitchell. And if you're the type to speak out, it's best to have already sold yourself to the team, like eight-year man Ed Hervey.

"Ed is the outspoken one and the vocal leader. Me and (Jason) Tucker and (Andrew) Nowacki, we're more laid back," said Mitchell. "I've always been around guys like that. If you're talking, you had better be able to back it up."

Cole is convinced he can and will do just that. He's done it before with a team record 48 kick returns with the Denver Broncos in 2001. Those runbacks gave him the third-best average in the AFC that year.

"I've always been that way. I like to say it and then go play it," said the 27-year-old Texan whose cousin Kendrick Perkins plays for the Boston Celtics. "That's just in me. I'm a rowdy player. I'm physical and fast. And I've had some luck over the years."

As for his running buddies in the receiving corps ...

"We've got a group of soft-spoken guys, but I like their energy on the field," added Cole.


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