Bombers drooling at opportunity in Edmonton?

TERRY JONES -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:20 PM ET

They gotta be drooling, right?

Kevin Glenn, Charles Roberts, Milt Stegall and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have to be headed here with all sorts of slobber running down the front of their uniforms.

Eight new starters on the Edmonton Eskimos defence should have saliva dribbling all over their chin straps.

"I agree," said Eskimos head coach Danny Maciocia.

"Eight new starters. You wonder who to pick on. You've got eight different guys to pick on.

"Three quarters of our defence is new," he added, using new math.

Taking a tour around the dressing room yesterday to talk about drooling Blue Bombers proved to be an entertaining endeavour.

"Drooling? The Bombers? I should be the one drooling. I'm playing against the team I used to play for," said defensive back Stanford Samuels who signed with the Eskimos as a free agent after two years with Winnipeg.

"We have a lot of guys who are excited about this game and nobody is more excited than I am about going against them."

'HOSTILE GROUNDS'

Defensive end Ron Warner, also obtained from the Bombers but via trade, laughed at the idea of his former team-mates headed here licking their lips.

"They're coming in here to hostile grounds. Now it's hostile grounds plus me."

The defence may or may not be any better, but the quotes seem to be dramatically improved.

"All that talk about eight new starters ... that's outsiders talking," said Samuels.

"That's all from the outside looking in.

"The story will be told in our first game. We're not all rookies here. A lot of us have been in the CFL for a while."

There is that.

"We may have eight new starters but we're not eight new guys to the CFL. I've played in this league for seven years. I'm just playing in a new place," said Omarr Morgan, the free agent veteran defensive back from Saskatchewan with 122 games experience.

There's Rahim Abdullah with 73 games CFL experience, back with the Eskimos after a stint in Calgary. And there's Jason Goss, traded from the Tiger-Cats after three years and 35 games in the league so far.

There also, of course, are the four returning veterans, Adam Braidwood, Shannon Garrett, Robert Brown and J.R. LaRose.

OK. So maybe most of the drool will be over the three new linebackers.

But, whoa, again, they say.

Ray Perryman is a free agent from the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars and Siddeeq Shabaazz spent time with Oakland, New Orleans and Miami in the NFL. They're not new pros straight out of college.

Antico Dalton is in his third year here. He's only new in the sense he's never started at middle linebacker.

"I think we're all looking forward to this," said Braidwood of tomorrow's lid lifter.

"It's a great chance to show what we can do. I think a lot of people are going to be surprised. I think we're ready. I think we'll step up and hold our own.

'I'M CONFIDENT'

"I see a really talented group of guys here. I'm confident in these guys. The biggest thing will be just to have fun and be disciplined. If we're disciplined and have fun a lot of good things will happen.

"The coaches have done a real good job working in the new guys. Our defence is simple enough for everybody to grasp it. I'm confident in our guys."

Maciocia says bring it on.

"They'll probably be drooling, but I love watching our defence. I love the athleticism. I love the way they fly around. I worry about where they're headed when they fly around sometimes, but I have a real sense of excitement about the defence going into this game.

"When was the last time we had five sacks and three interceptions?" he said of the stats from the final pre-season game against the B.C. Lions. "I think these guys are going to be pretty good."

As long as they don't slip and slide around in all that drool, who knows?

They can't be any worse than the defence last year.


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