Kean anxious to start getting his kicks

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:25 AM ET

Bring it on.

That is the message coming from second-year kicker Warren Kean, who is ready for all challengers at Edmonton Eskimo training camp.

Head coach Danny Maciocia revealed yesterday that he has "about four kickers" currently under contract.

While names haven't been released, Kean's challengers all have pro experience.

"I welcome it," said Kean on the pending competition at camp.

With veteran Sean Fleming retiring at the end of last season, the Esks are in need of a reliable punter and kicker.

Drafted second overall last year, Kean is planning to compete for both jobs when camp opens June 1.

However, the 23-year-old non-import isn't battle-tested in the CFL. His only appearance was in the final game last year, when he went three-for-four on field goal attempts.

On top of that, he hasn't punted in a real game at any level in more than two years.

That lack of experience explains why Maciocia has signed three other kickers with the likelihood that he will formally invite one or two of them to main training camp to compete against Kean.

"We are going to have these camps south of the border (this winter).

"We are going to invite them over and see what they are capable of doing," said Maciocia.

"And then we will pick the best one or two for the main camp."

Kean will be attending his second training camp, but it will really be the first one where he'll be completely healthy. A quad injury kept him out of pre-season action last year and placed him on the nine-game injured list to start 2007. The muscle is now 100% healthy.

QUICK HIT

Brandon Guillory is one clean X-ray away from participating in the Eskimos training camp.

The promising defensive end missed the entire 2007 season with a spinal cord contusion.

But after surgery three months ago, Guillory visited doctors yesterday in Edmonton and received great news.

"I'm pretty much good to go," he said. "I got X-rays and everything healed up just brilliantly. It is hard to believe everything is going so good. I am just real happy."

To be on the safe side, doctors are requiring Guillory to get another X-ray before camp opens.

If that shows no problems, Maciocia said last night that Guillory would be allowed in contact drills at camp.

The 24-year-old import suffered the spinal cord contusion in the 2007 pre-season after finishing the 2006 campaign with three sacks in the last three games.

SHORT YARDAGE

New receivers coach Mike Kelly has quite a history when competing against the Eskimos.

While coaching with Winnipeg a decade ago (1992-96), Matt Dunigan threw for 713 yards in one game against Edmonton.

Kelly also lost the 1993 Grey Cup to the Eskimos. Ironically, he left the CFL in 1996 after losing the West semi-final 68-7 at Commonwealth Stadium.

EXTRA POINTS

Long-snapper Taylor Inglis - who is set to be a free agent on Feb. 16 - has yet to secure a tryout with an NFL team ... As expected, the Esks announced the release of Trevor Gaylor, Tony Tompkins and Charles Alston yesterday ... Bryan Hall will return to handle play-by-play of Eskimo broadcasts on 630 CHED this season. Dave Campbell will also return as colour analyst in the final year of CHED's current contract as rights holder ... Edmonton holds five of the first 26 picks in this spring's talent-laden CFL draft.


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