The Edmonton Eskimos couldn't have picked a more appropriate team to open the regular season against.
When Doug Berry leads his Winnipeg crew into Commonwealth Stadium on June 28, the hype machine will be in high gear with ex-Bombers Stanford Samuels, Ron Warner and Ricky Bell likely wearing Green and Gold.
"It makes for good fun," said Winnipeg GM Brendan Taman on the first game of the season.
"Ron is a fiery, competitive guy and he will be cranked up to play us.
"I know that much."
In likely a smart move, Warner wouldn't stoke the flames of an opening-night match-up with the Blue Bombers yesterday.
"I don't want to get anything started," said Warner.
ALL IN THE FAMILY
There could be a family tie holding together part of the Edmonton Eskimos' defensive line this season.
Newly acquired defensive tackle Ron Warner is a cousin to veteran defensive end Chuck Alston.
According to equipment manager Dwayne Mandrusiak, this is the first time in at least 36 years that the Eskimos have had cousins on the roster.
Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia confirmed yesterday that defensive back Shannon Garrett will be at training camp. At 35 years of age, there had been speculation Garrett might be cut in the off-season.
With the CFL college draft set for May 2, the Esks still hold the No. 2 overall selection.
"It's coming down to two players,' said Maciocia, who obviously won't reveal names.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have the first overall choice.