'He can play anywhere'

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:08 AM ET

Shannon Garrett can count on one hand how many times he has started at cornerback in the past six years.

If his math is correct, he has started no more than four games at that position from 2002 until now.

But with the high-profile off-season acquisitions in the Edmonton Eskimos secondary, the 13-year CFL veteran is trying to make the transition from defensive halfback to cornerback.

"There is a big difference," he said after Day 3 of main training camp yesterday.

"I am a physical defensive back so I am used to getting my hands on receivers and now, I am so far off, it is hard to get your hands on receivers.

"You don't want to get up close and tight on receivers because you kind of give our coverage away - they know we are (in) man-to-man."

At 35, Garrett is considered to be on the bubble in Edmonton.

An eight-year veteran of the Green and Gold, he is up against promising sophomore Jonte Buhl, who is 10 years younger.

But so far, so good for Garrett at training camp.

"He had a really good day (yesterday)," remarked defensive co-ordinator and defensive backs coach Rick Campbell.

"He had a good one-on-one period and seemed to have a better feel for things and made some good breaks on the ball.

"He is doing real well.

"I always say this about Shannon, he can play anywhere.

"In fact, his best position might be corner."

Newly acquired CFL vets Jason Goss and Stanford Samuels are pencilled in to play the defensive halfback positions when the regular season starts while Omarr Morgan likely has a lock on the other cornerback spot.

It's a very new look for the Esks - but Garrett likes it.

"I think this is one of the best secondaries in a long time - since we had our solid secondary back in 2001, 2002, 2003," continued Garrett.

Now, he just has to make the team.

"First day was kind of shaky for me," said Garrett.

"But I am getting a little better every day.

"I just learn how to use my leverage and not get too deep."

FINISH LINES: When push comes to shove when final roster decisions have to be made, Garrett brings some valuable commodities to the table: he has experience at S.A.M. linebacker - meaning he could be an emergency replacement - and is willing to accept being bounced on and off the roster through the year.


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