Ray of hope

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:32 AM ET

Ray Perryman is four-for-four at Edmonton Eskimo training camp.

Through three rookie camp sessions and the first full day of main camp yesterday, the dynamic import has managed to make an impression on head coach Danny Maciocia every single day.

Trying to make the club as a strong-side linebacker, Perryman couldn't have asked for a better start.

"Hopefully he keeps it up," said Maciocia. "I like him an awful lot.

"He is a no nonsense kind of guy.

"He brings attitude to the field of play and understands his assignment.

THREE YEARS IN NFL

"At the end of the day, those are the guys you want to surround yourself with."

A three-year NFL veteran - 10 games between Jacksonville and Baltimore - Perryman is trying to become the long-awaited answer to the Esks' search to replace former stud Steven Marsh.

Gerald Dixon wasn't the answer, which explains why Maciocia gave him the boot.

Competing against CFL vet Ricky Bell and rookie Siddeeq Shabazz this year, Perryman is standing out for two reasons: his mouth rarely shuts and he can seemingly cover the entire field.

The 28-year-old made two eye-catching plays on either side of the field in yesterday's second practice.

First, he knocked heads with running back Josh Ranek in a drill that isn't designed for heavy contact.

Second, he abruptly dragged down 11-year CFL veteran receiver Mookie Mitchell on a pass route.

Combine that with his constantly flapping mouth and it's easy to understand why Perryman is the odds-on favourite in press box row to get in a fight on the field with the offence sometime this week.

"I hope I won't get on their nerves," said Perryman.

"I hope it is just more motivation - we can just both work at a high tempo.

"From talking (smack) to the offence to talking (smack) to somebody next to me, (it's) just to get everybody going, everybody get at the same tempo."

Perryman isn't about to give anyone off the field an example of his smack talk.

"I can't say that," he said with a chuckle.

"That's parental advisory right there.

"It's grown men on the field."

But it's the style of play he has had for a very long time.

It actually stems from growing up in Arizona without his biological father and not meeting his stepdad until he was seven years of age.

POLITE OFF THE FIELD

"It started from how I have been brought up from my brothers to my (step)dad from where I grew up from," said Perryman, who is actually a very polite, respectful player off the field with the media.

Of course, if he gets under the skin of the offence in the two-a-day practice schedule for the next few days, it won't be the first time.

"I got a couple personal fouls in my day," he said. "I haven't got kicked out of a game - yet."

Controlling his emotions in the pre-season games will be a key test.

Maciocia and his coaching crew will not take kindly to unnecessary and undisciplined penalties.

That would be the wrong impression to make.


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