O'Yes, he thinks he can do it

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:46 AM ET

He's expected to compete for the punting duties with the Edmonton Eskimos.

Yet Duncan O'Mahony is not ruling out taking over all the kicking responsibilities this season.

"I want to do all three (punt, field goals, kickoff)," O'Mahony said yesterday after the Eskimos announced they'd acquired his rights from the Calgary Stampeders. "I'm very excited to be a part of the Eskimos and I'm going to camp and giving it my all to win the job."

O'Mahony has a Grey Cup ring from his rookie season with the Stamps in 2001 before spending 2004 and '05 with the Lions.

In 2006, he failed to report to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers training camp - an absence that was never explained.

"I'm looking forward to going to Edmonton to compete for a job," O'Mahony said.

"I've learned a lot in my time in the CFL and I feel I've matured as well.

"Also, I'm Irish, and I'll look good in green."

O'Mahony - born in Kilkenny, Ireland - was acquired for a conditional pick in the 2009 draft after it became apparent free-agent punter Rob Pikula would not be attending camp. Pikula was officially released yesterday.

"We've been trying get Duncan here for the last little while," said Eskimos head coach Danny Maciocia.

"Then when it looked like that wasn't going to materialize, we went with Pikula.

"But over the last three or four days we were able to secure the services of O'Mahony, and Pikula actually found himself a job in Ontario and it looks as though he won't be coming to training camp."

O'Mahony played at the University of British Columbia. He was taken in the second round of the CFL draft by the Stampeders in 2001 .

It's a similar role he's expected to compete for with the Eskimos.

"If our kicking game is going to be Canadian, then Duncan will be handling the punting and Warren Kean will be doing the place kicking," said Maciocia.

"If we go to an import kicking game, then Tony Yelk will do all three - kickoff, field goals and punting.

"That was made crystal clear a while back when Sean Fleming decided to retire. We told Warren Kean that we just wanted him to kick off for us and kick field goals. We don't want to put pressure on him having to punt for us, because he's not ready to do so."

Kean, 23, was the Eskimos' first pick - second overall - in 2007. He missed the first half of the 2007 season with an injury, then was placed on the practice roster before getting into the Eskimos final game of the year making three of his four field goal attempts.

Yelk, 26, was signed as a free agent in May to compete for the kicking duties.

The Madison, Wis., native and Iowa State graduate spent time with the Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars.

"We're going to do what's best for the football team, which is go to training camp and have them audition," Maciocia said.

"The kicking game is an extremely important part of a football team. You can't overlook it," Maciocia said.

"You're fortunate when you have someone like Sean Fleming that can do all three. He'll be missed, but now we need to move on."

DEREK.VANDIEST@SUNMEDIA.CA


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