Gettin' no respect

Eskimo quarterback Ricky Ray and Stefan LeFors are ready to face the Bombers tonight. (Sun...

Eskimo quarterback Ricky Ray and Stefan LeFors are ready to face the Bombers tonight. (Sun Media/Perry Mah)

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:34 AM ET

The Edmonton Eskimos aren't exactly getting a lot of respect outside of their Commonwealth Stadium bunker.

With the CFL regular-season starting tonight, the Green and Gold are picked to finish last in the West Division by the Calgary Sun.

Even more insulting, the club is currently ranked dead last in the entire league - even behind the hapless Hamilton Tiger-Cats from last year - in Sportsnet's CFL power rankings.

But that suits the Eskimos just fine.

"We will take the underdog role the whole year - all the way into the playoffs," said defensive end Adam Braidwood.

"We are confident with our players. I wouldn't want to be on the field with anyone else."

There is definitely no lack of confidence among the veterans in the dressing room - even though the club missed the playoffs last year with a laundry list of embarrassing gaffes in clutch games.

"I mean, offensively, I think we are going to be scary," said starting safety J.R. LaRose.

"From what I have seen, what we did to B.C. (in the final pre-season game) we were pretty much unstoppable - we kept them in the game.

"And defensively, we are going to be flying around the ball, making plays."

Many CFL pundits have actually picked the new look Edmonton Eskimos to finish third, marking an improvement from last year.

But six-year Eskimo Mike Bradley likely put the best spin on the predictions.

"If you spent your whole life worrying about what other people thought, you wouldn't get very far," he said.

However, it was this time last year that Eric Tillman - then a Sportsnet analyst - came out and predicted Edmonton would miss the playoffs.

That sparked plenty of debate - but it turned out to be true.

The Esks are just hoping this year's ugly predictions turn out to be false.

WHO HAS THE EDGE?

Quarterback

Defensive line

Running back

Linebackers

Receivers

Secondary

Offensive line

Return game

Coaching

Kicking


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