Waiting, wanting

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:50 AM ET

MONTREAL -- The Edmonton Eskimos' quarterback situation is becoming more interesting by the day.

General manager Paul Jones is talking with former American college star Stefan LeFors.

Cut by the Carolina Panthers last month, LeFors is finally available - and Edmonton is clearly interested in the idea of bringing him north.

"He has been on our radar for quite a while," admitted team president Rick LeLacheur.

RADAR SCREEN

In fact, he has been on Jones' radar screen for almost seven years.

"I knew about him in high school," said Jones, who is based in Louisiana, where LeFors calls home, "and we have been looking at Stefan since he was at Louisville.

"He really blossomed at (the University of) Louisville."

In 2003 he threw for more than 3,000 yards and 17 touchdowns as a rookie starter. The following year he led the school to an 11-1 record and sixth spot in the final Associated Press college poll.

On top of that, he just missed Daunte Culpepper's season efficiency rating record.

"(LeFors) is smart, makes good decisions, has a good arm and is mobile," continued Jones.

Those are all the ingredients for a successful CFL pivot. But after spending 2005 on the sidelines with the Carolina Panthers and being released this fall, there is certainly no guarantee he will venture north.

OTHER INTEREST

While Jones is also talking with LeFors' agent, several NFL teams are rumoured to be interested.

So far, the 25-year-old (six-feet, 201 pounds) has yet to sign with anyone in the U.S. In Canada, he can only sign with Edmonton because he's on the club's neg list.

But after Saturday's fine debut performance by rookie Steven Jyles against Montreal, there is an obvious question: Would LeFors want to come north to initially be behind the top-rated starter in the CFL in Ricky Ray and battle for a depth chart position with Jyles?

"He's open to playing somewhere, whether its NFL, NFL Europe, Arena or CFL," said Jones.

If Edmonton is able to sign the Baton Rouge native this off-season, it could end Jason Johnson's three-year association as a back-up pivot with the club.

After Jyles' sharp showing on Saturday - a touchdown on his opening drive and poise under pressure - there is talk of Johnson already being in limbo this off-season.

SHORT HIT ...

In the last three games, the Eskimo offensive line has helped produce 606 yards of rushing - an average of 202 yards per game.

Granted, the Green and Gold played Toronto - a suspect team defending the run - twice during this stretch, but the figures are still impressive.

FINISH LINES ...

The Esks will wear their gold - although it appears to be very yellow - third jersey at home on Friday night.

However, team equipment manager Dwayne Mandrusiak is toying with the idea of matching the jersey with gold pants.

The Esks have never shown that particular look in the franchise's history.

Regardless, the decision to wear the third jersey on Saturday in Montreal was partly marketing based.

"It's the most popular (uniform) in the fan's mind," said LeLacheur.

Edmonton is now 1-2 wearing the gold jersey.


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