Depth, speed, talent

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:46 AM ET

Containing the Edmonton Eskimos' passing game could prove to be a daunting task this season.

Trevor Gaylor, Jason Tucker, Mookie Mitchell and Andrew Nowacki are as good a starting receiving corps as it gets. And no one takes a swing pass out of the backfield better than Ron McClendon.

Ricky Ray, one of the top quarterbacks in the league, is throwing the ball.

And the offensive line is revamped.

"Our offence is designed to get the ball out of the quarterback's hands and get it to the playmakers," said Ray.

"In order to do that you have to have those guys to get the ball, too. We definitely have those guys. We have some good speed on the offensive side of the ball and it's going to make our job a lot easier if we can get back quickly, make good reads and let them make the plays."

There's no denying the Eskimos have playmakers on offence. Despite losing veteran Ed Hervey to retirement, there are still plenty of deep threats.

There are also a number of players who can catch a five-yard pass and take it down the field.

"We still have some work to do," Tucker said. "We got to get that chemistry in where everybody knows where everybody else is going. It's just a matter of time. The system this year is different, but it's great and we're really enjoying it."

PASSING GAME SHARP

So far during training camp the passing game has looked sharp. Apart from the starters, the Eskimos have a number of other options this season to keep the ball moving through the air.

It's having all those options which makes the passing game so potent.

"We know that we still have a while to go before we have it all figured out and we have all the particulars down," Gaylor said. "It's such a good offence that guys are open often. But there are still a lot of things that guys can do better.

"I think it's a system that we're going to take what you give us. I think teams will play us back to begin with and we'll have to dink and dunk. But I'm sure over time people will get sick of that as we drive the ball down the field and we'll have to start taking it over the top."

Gaylor has been particularly impressive during camp.

The third-year Eskimo has an easiness to his stride and is pulling in everything thrown his way. He's also been using his six-foot-three, 195-pound frame more effectively.

"Does anybody recognize Trevor Gaylor? He's been nothing short of outstanding," said Eskimos head coach Danny Maciocia.

"He may just be - after seven, eight days - our best receiver out here and I couldn't say that last year. He's come a long, long way. He's almost like a leader out there with the receiving corps."

The biggest concern with the Eskimos' passing game is having enough balls to go around. Sometimes it can be tough to keep everybody happy with their workload.

"No there are not enough balls to go around," Gaylor said. "We have guys that can fly and that's why we're all out here battling for the ball. That's why we're out here playing so well to show coach that we can catch the ball and we want to be used on game day. So there's definitely competition in that regard."

KEEPING RECEIVERS HAPPY

It'll be up to Ray to keep his receivers active and therefore happy. But it's a good problem to have.

"That's always a problem, especially up here when you have an extra guy to get the ball to," Ray said.

"We've always done a pretty decent job of getting people involved. You're always going to have your playmakers that you try to get the ball to a little bit more. Guys just have to go out there and assume their roles and when the ball comes their way do the best they can with it."


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