Dunigan big fan of new coaching staff

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:52 AM ET

Mike Kelly and Ronnie Vinklarek are unknown commodities to Eskimo fans.

But to former quarterback and current TSN analyst Matt Dunigan, the new Edmonton Eskimo assistant coaches are winners.

Kelly is handling the Green and Gold receivers this year but was Dunigan's offensive co-ordinator in Winnipeg several years ago.

Vinklarek is Edmonton's new offensive line coach and handled the same role with Birmingham when Dunigan played for the U.S. expansion team in 1995.

The three football minds actually joined forces on the same coaching staff at Valdosta St. in 1997.

"I am a big believer in Mike Kelly," said Dunigan, who was in Edmonton yesterday to prepare for his TSN broadcasts this season.

"He is going to have a very positive impact. He is organized. He always has a plan and he never leaves any stones unturned. That will establish some confidence (in the players) in a hurry. And it will show on the field in productivity."

Vinklarek faces the important task of improving the protection of star quarterback Ricky Ray.

"He knows exactly what he's doing - detailed, demands respect," said Dunigan on the O-line boss.

"He'll have those guys in unison (on the O-line) - it'll be like a dance line."

QUICK HIT: DUNIGAN ISN'T PREDICTING THE ESKIMOS ARE GOING TO MAKE OR MISS THE PLAYOFFS THIS YEAR.

But there is no question he still bleeds Green and Gold after playing here from 1983-87.

"God, I hope (the club makes the post-season)," said Dunigan.

"This new trend (of missing the playoffs) is not working for me."

FINISH LINES: KICKER WARREN KEAN CONTINUES TO HAVE A SOLID CAMP, MAKING THREE OF FOUR FIELD GOALS BY UNOFFICIAL COUNT YESTERDAY ... RUNNING BACK RON MCCLENDON APPEARED TO SUFFER A LEG INJURY YESTERDAY WITH ICE TAPED TO ONE LIMB AT ONE POINT. MCCLENDON HAD TO ENDURE A HAMSTRING INJURY IN TRAINING CAMP LAST YEAR THAT ALLOWED TYLER EBELL TO BECOME THE STARTING TAILBACK ... PROVING VERSATILITY - WHICH IS ULTRA-IMPORTANT ON SMALL CFL ROSTERS - RECEIVER KELLY CAMPBELL IS BEING USED TO RETURN MISSED FIELD GOALS.


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