Meat of the matter

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:34 AM ET

The offence dined on steaks.

The defence had to settle for chicken at supper last night.

That is one of many things that became clear after yesterday's scrimmage in Spruce Grove, as the offence beat the defence in Day 7 of Edmonton Eskimos training camp.

Head coach Danny Maciocia scripted 24 plays to end practice, with the winning side at the end getting the first-class dinner.

Sophomore quarterback Stefan LeFors scored a touchdown on a naked bootleg on the final play to give the offence the victory.

The more serious observations after one week of training camp in the books:

- LeFors is in a serious battle with Jason Maas for the No. 2 spot on the quarterback depth chart behind Ricky Ray.

Maas has looked sharper and stronger in camp than LeFors, who is currently listed as Ray's backup.

"There is a lot of room for improvement (after one week of camp)," said LeFors, who turned 27 yesterday.

"There are things that I am comfortable with, that have carried over from last year. There are some new plays in there that I need to work on."

Understandably, the competition will come down to the two pre-season games - Friday in Calgary and June 19 hosting Saskatchewan at Commonwealth Stadium.

- Rookie import defensive back Tristan Jackson is making a strong case for a role somewhere on the club.

While he has received starting reps at cornerback during the first week, he had a punt return for a touchdown during the scrimmage yesterday.

- Sophomore linebacker Kenny Onatolu has made a very good impression in seven days.

He made another solid defensive play yesterday and can play on special teams.

- If Calvin Armstrong keeps his temper under control and continues his solid play on the O-line, he deserves to stick with the club - either at starting left tackle or stashed somewhere else (practice roster or paid taxi squad).

Current starting left tackle Garrick Jones has had trouble staying healthy through the first week - which was the knock on him coming from Calgary.

Armstrong has 12 NFL pre-season games under his belt and is a monster at six-foot-seven and 320 pounds.

He could become a decent insurance policy with respect to Jones' injury issues.

- Patrick Kabongo is having an excellent camp at right guard.

When asked to reveal the two offensive linemen that have stood out the most during the first week, assistant coach Ronnie Vinklarek had Dan Comiskey and Kabongo on his list.

While Kabongo has returned to Montreal for personal reasons for two days, he has the right guard spot secured - which is rather impressive considering he played tackle last year.

- Maybe the players are getting the message to tone down the aggression a little bit.

With six CFL referees on the field yesterday, there were no fights for a change.

- Andrew Nowacki rarely gets any ink - but he just continues to be a quiet receiver with dependable hands.

Ricky Ray found the non-import five-year veteran three times on one five-play offensive series yesterday.

With fellow non-imports Kamau Peterson and Brock Ralph also surely guaranteed spots on the playing roster, it appears Kevin Challenger will have a very slim chance of seeing any balls thrown his way anytime soon in a real game.


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