Esks' question period

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:50 AM ET

There are more questions than answers with Noel Prefontaine.

On paper, it appears the Edmonton Eskimos have solved their kicking and punting concerns with the trade last week for the 10-year CFL veteran.

Prefontaine's resume includes a line about being a six-time CFL all-star punter and twice being the East Division all-star kicker.

But as he prepares for his medical for the Eskimos today during Day 3 of training camp, there are serious questions in the air.

1. How will Prefontaine's head react to the first serious hit during the pre-season?

The 34-year-old non-import suffered two concussions last year (Week 1 and 18).

He had lingering post-concussion symptoms until February.

Healthy at the moment, that could all change with one hit to the melon.

In fact, his career could be over with just one hit.

Think about it, another concussion would be three in a relatively small time span.

"I think I will be a little different in how I play the game," said Prefontaine, who is known for making hits on special teams.

"But it is hard. It is like telling a duck not to swim.

"It will be difficult not to play the way I have always played."

But the Eskimo coaching staff should drill home one key point to the personable punter/kicker: he is not here to make tackles on special teams, he is here to kick.

If that doesn't sink in, the club might have blown a first-round pick next year to get him.

The first concussion last year hampered his field-goal kicking through the remaining 16 regular-season games he played in 2007.

That likely explains why he finished with just a 66.7% field goal success rate.

The second concussion in Week 18 caused his focus and judgment to become very bad before the East Final.

"I kicked a foot and a half behind the tee," said Prefontaine on one warm-up field-goal attempt before the playoff game. "And I wasn't kicking uphill."

2. How will Prefontaine adjust to playing half his games on the only grass field in the CFL?

"I never really cared too much for the (grass) turf (at Commonwealth Stadium). But I think that is just an equipment thing," he said.

Prefontaine is already thinking of changing the shoe on his plant foot and talking to retired Sean Fleming to get some tips.

3. How much will his punting average drop by playing outdoors the majority of the time?

He had a 45.9-yard punting average last year but played half of his games inside at Rogers Centre.

Playing indoors in Toronto and playing outside in Edmonton are entirely different.

It can be awfully nasty outside in this neck of the woods in the fall when games matter the most.

4. Will he be able to keep his composure when he plays his former Toronto club in Weeks 3 and 4?

Prefontaine ripped former coach/teammate and current Argo CEO Michael "Pinball" Clemons in a Sun Media interview last weekend because he felt the news of the trade wasn't professionally handled.

It took more than a day after the trade before Clemons called Prefontaine to talk about the transaction. But the kicker has no plans to ever return the call.

Prefontaine wants to put the issue behind him and claims the Toronto games will not give him added incentive.

"I think vengeance is a dirty business," he said. "I don't think you step on the field trying to (have) a vengeful attitude - to get back at somebody because they didn't treat you properly."

We will see if that is really the case.

FINISH LINES: In a classy move, Prefontaine didn't ask for No. 1 - Warren Moon's old number - when he arrived in Edmonton yesterday. Wanting to be respectful, he was willing to give up his long-time Toronto number for another single digit. So, he now has No. 7, with rookie pivot Tyler Donovan switching to 14.


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