It's better to receive

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:02 AM ET

Edmonton Eskimos receiver Kamu Peterson caught a pass over the middle at training camp yesterday, went down on one knee and then took a pop from Agustin Barrenechea.

LATE AND CHEAP?

Depending on what side of the ball you were on, the shot could have been considered late and cheap. The kind defensive players get all excited over in training camp but would likely warrant a 15-yard roughing penalty in a game.

Peterson responded by going after Barrenechea, then thought better of it, instead patting the six-foot-two, 235-pound middle linebacker on the helmet.

Football is after all, a contact sport.

"I like the contact," Peterson smiled after the Eskimos completed their second of two practices at Clarke Park. "I didn't know I did until I moved into the slot last year and realized that it was a lot more hitting.

"But I find that any time I take a hit, or give a hit, it really focuses me. It's really weird. It's something about that contact, it kind of jars you back to reality that you don't get as much on the outside."

Peterson, 29, went on to take another hit later on.

This one by Stanford Samuels, knocked him out of practice as the eight-year CFL veteran tweaked his knee.

"I'm OK," he said. "I'm more flexible than I give myself credit for, which worked out for me today. I should be out there tomorrow."

That's a good thing for the Eskimos.

Peterson has so far throughout training camp, been the team's busiest receiver - an indication of how well he's doing to get open.

Prior to cutting his practice short, Peterson had become the quarterbacks favoured target. Their go-to guy, so to speak.

"You have to keep in mind that Jason (Tucker) is down," Peterson said. "It's easy to forget about 83 because he's not out there right now.

"I don't think this offence really has a go-to guy, and if we did, that guy would be Jason. I'm not going to have any qualms about that. But I'd like to think that I can pose a threat on the other side."

Signed as a free agent last season after spending time with the Calgary Stampeders, Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Peterson led the Eskimos with 80 catches for 1,068 yards and seven touchdowns.

The Los Angeles native is currently pencilled in as the Eskimos starting slotback and so far has been the most impressive receiver among an impressive group of receivers.

"He's looking pretty good," said Eskimos head coach Danny Maciocia. "Brock Ralph is looking pretty good, Kelly Campbell is looking pretty good and Fred Stamps is looking pretty good. And we're doing it without (Tucker). So it'll be exciting to see when he can get back in there how five or six of those guys will look."

Tucker, who's out with a back injury, is not expected to return for another week to 10 days.

For a while the Eskimos were worried Tucker had a disk problem in his back. But an MRI came back negative and for the time being the team is calling it severe back spasms.

Regardless, while he's out, Peterson and company seemed to be more than making up the slack.

'LOT OF TALENT'

"We've got a lot of talent," Peterson said. "I don't know if I've ever been around a group like this. We have something of everything. We have some giants, guys that can win those jump balls. We have blazing speed guys, good route runners, and some talented rookies.

"It's a really nice mix. We have a good group of guys, too, which really helps. And not to mention we have probably three of the best quarterbacks in the league, so it's just going real well right now."


Videos

Photos