Double dose of versatility

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:04 AM ET

The Edmonton Eskimos are hoping Ryan Hoag can solve two problems at once.

Needing at least another playmaker on offence and a spark plug in the return game, Hoag might be the answer.

The Green and Gold signed the import wide receiver to a practice roster deal yesterday with the intent of placing him with Tony Tompkins on kickoff returns in the near future.

At six-foot-two and 200 pounds, the 27-year-old also brings intriguing size to the receiving corps after being cut by the NFL's Washington Redskins on Sept. 1.

"In the NFL I was more so a slot receiver and probably more comfortable there," said Hoag, who also spent time with the Minnesota Vikings, but doesn't have a regular-season NFL game to his credit.

"I am a speed guy. So, I can be used in both (slotback and wide receiver).

"But I am also one of the bigger receivers, especially here. So they are going to look at me at slot.

"And I feel very comfortable running across the middle."

Considered a perfect fit into the Eskimo locker room in terms of having a good personality, Hoag actually watched the Esks' regular-season opener in June on TV because of a friendship with linebacker Siddeeq Shabazz.

Hoag is also the second Mr. Irrelevant to come to Edmonton in the last two years.

The last pick in the 2003 NFL draft (Oakland) - which is why he's called Mr. Irrelevant - Hoag is following the footsteps of former Edmonton linebacker Andre Sommersell, who had the title in 2004.

EXTRA POINTS: Imports Trey Darilek (OL) and Joey Thomas (DB) have also signed practice roster deals. Both are recent cuts of the Dallas Cowboys.

The Esks have been interested in Darilek since he was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2004. He has 18 NFL games to his credit.

Thomas is a former third-round pick of the Green Bay Packers.

The three newcomers to the practice roster likely won't play this week.


Videos

Photos