Marsh's harsh camp

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:39 AM ET

It's hard to imagine anybody having a less enjoyable training camp than Steven Marsh.

While the injured Eskimo linebacker is putting his body through a more rigorous workout these days, he still has no idea when his damaged left knee will be strong enough to return to action. To make matters worse, he is now attending morning practice sessions at Clarke Stadium and is watching other players compete for his starting job.

"It is very tough to watch practice," said the 26-year-old import, who tore the ACL in his left knee in the Grey Cup. "Just to sit in there and watch film after practice is real tough for me. I want to contribute as much as I can to this team, but it is pretty hard to contribute when you are not able to get out there and run."

Not being able to run at all is the scariest part of the story for Marsh and the Eskimos. The scar tissue around the knee still hasn't broken apart, even though he is still going through daily therapy.

But Marsh doesn't think his 2006 season will be a write-off.

"I think I will be back, but I don't know when," he said.

What Marsh does know is his four-year-old son Takaree still provides him with all the inspiration he needs.

"I look at him and that is just enough for me to tell myself that I can't quit on this," said Marsh.

Born with a heart that had two holes and a missing valve, Takaree has now had four open-heart surgeries.

"He had an operation in January ... and hopefully that is the last one," said Marsh. "I have seen a real improvement in him."

TALENT SHOW: Paul Jones has long been considered a top American football scout for the Edmonton Eskimos. But head coach Danny Maciocia believes Jones might have just delivered one of his best talent classes ever.

"I can honestly say this is the best talent I have been surrounded with coming to training camp as far as first-year rookies are concerned (in my 10-year CFL career)," said Maciocia.

Defensive back Jonte Buhl, returner Toby Zeigler and receiver Richard Alston have all been pleasant surprises for Maciocia.

"And there are two guys that I can't say enough positive things about - (they) are (Andre) Sommersell and (Sherrod) Coates."


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