This time Lewis goes after Hervey

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 1:32 PM ET

CALGARY -- Nik Lewis still hasn't learned to keep his mouth shut.

After calling out Shannon Garrett last fall and providing instant motivation for the struggling Edmonton Eskimos in the West semi-final, Lewis has decided to take some shots at Ed Hervey - and it has done nothing but light a huge spark under the veteran receiver.

On his weekly radio show Thursday night in Calgary, Lewis took dead aim at Hervey, essentially saying he was too old and past his prime.

"He was a good receiver five years ago," said Lewis, who at 24 years of age is nearly a decade younger than Hervey.

"Times come and times go."

The cocky Stampeder then offered to be a psychiatrist to anybody listening to the show who felt Hervey was a good receiver.

HERVEY'S BLOOD BOILING

Those comments caused Hervey's blood pressure to skyrocket in the lobby of the Eskimos' downtown hotel yesterday afternoon.

Usually the picture of calm and collectiveness, the 33-year-old veteran - who is often referred to as the Zenmaster on the team - came out firing with a flurry of verbal shots.

"He has proven he has no class," said Hervey.

"He has proven that when he plays in big games - with his two catches that he had last year (in the West semifinal) - that if he played as well as he talks, his team would be celebrating a championship.

"He wishes he has had the years I have had."

On the eve of the final game of the regular season last year, Lewis said Garrett was too old to cover him. The trash talk continued into the next week leading to the West semifinal, which the Eskimos won and parlayed into a Grey Cup title.

BIG STATS, NO RING

Lewis finished second in receiving yards in the CFL last year but has failed to win a championship ring in his two previous seasons in Cowtown.

Hervey - on the other hand - has two Grey Cup rings and nearly 6,000 receiving yards over seven years in the CFL.

Last year - however - wasn't a bright spot for Hervey. The former USC product didn't have a touchdown reception in 10 games and was hampered by a knee injury.

But after a productive training camp, he claims to be almost a step faster this year. After hearing Lewis talk, the extra motivation for tonight might make him two steps faster.

"What is his point?" said Hervey, wondering why Lewis continues to spout off. "Is it that he has no ring? Because he is jealous?

"Take a look at last year's performance (in the West semifinal) on his part, Nik Lewis was Nik Whois?"

But Hervey wasn't finished with his rant.

"At some point it is going to be taken behind the woodshed and somebody is going to teach him a lesson."

Calgary Stampeder head coach Tom Higgins wishes Lewis would learn the lesson of keeping quiet on the verge of big games.

"I prefer them not to talk. I prefer their actions to speak louder than their words," said Higgins, referring to Lewis and other cocky players on his squad.

"Sometimes I chuckle at it and sometimes I have to ask them to come in my office and straighten some things out."

Lewis tried to back pedal at yesterday's pregame media scrum session, saying Hervey is still a "good player," but the damage had already been done.

If the Stamps lose tonight and Hervey lights up the Stampeder secondary, Lewis could be making another unwelcome visit to coach Higgins' office.

EXTRA POINTS: Lewis tried his best to be cordial toward Garrett yesterday, claiming he only cracked on the defensive back to motivate himself last fall. But Lewis couldn't hold back his old character when he was told Garrett is now 34 years old.

"I am about to go to the mall right now and I will probably get him a birthday present," said Lewis. "I will probably give him a touchdown dance, too."


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