Coe-operative effort

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:44 AM ET

Ricky Ray didn't think he would ever see Scott Coe in the Edmonton Eskimos locker-room.

After taking some wallops from the red-haired linebacker with the hated Calgary Stampeders in the past, Ray couldn't be blamed for taking such an approach.

"Scott Coe had our number in some of those (past) games. He has given me a few licks. I never would have thought I would have seen him in Green and Gold," Ray quipped.

But Ray and Coe now share the same practice field and locker-room. The league's top quarterback even shook hands with Coe before yesterday's practice.

The Esks signed Coe to a contract yesterday, four months after he was cut by the Stampeders.

It's unclear if he will play on Friday in Vancouver against the B.C. Lions (8:30 p.m. MT, TSN, CHED).

But Sun Media has learned that Coe will be placed on the 46-man roster for Friday's tilt, meaning he will get a full pay- cheque regardless of whether he plays or becomes one of the four scratches from the 42-player active roster one hour before kickoff.

"We are just trying to stay ahead of the game with our depth," said Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia on why he signed Coe.

That was actually one of the first statements out of Maciocia's mouth on the free-agent signing, as the bench boss wanted to put to rest any notion that Coe was coming to town to compete with Agustin Barrenechea for the starting middle linebacker job.

In reality, this move is truly about protecting the team if Barrenechea gets hurt.

Due to significant injuries to Adam Braidwood and Dan Comiskey, the Esks are light on non-import starters.

Like Barrenechea, Coe is a non-import.

If Barrenechea had been injured during last Thursday's win against B.C., the Esks would have been forced to start rookie Justin Cooper at defensive end - taking out Montez Murphy or Brandon Guillory - to stick by the CFL's rule of having seven non-import starters.

"In order to keep the ratio intact, we went out and made this move," said Maciocia.

At 28, Coe brings six years of CFL experience to the table.

Claiming he's healthy now - after suffering a knee injury near the end of last year - he could bring plenty of versatility to the table.

He can provide depth at middle and outside linebacker and play on every special teams unit.

"Any time you play under (former Calgary defensive co-ordinator) Denny Creehan, you definitely have to have brains in terms of being able to play (with) multiple calls (from the sidelines).

"Scott is very, very smart," said defensive back Trey Young, who played with Coe in Calgary last year.

Ironically, Coe said last Saturday night that he was intending to retire and focus on being an insurance salesman.

After spending four years with Calgary - recording 57 tackles in 16 games last year -and then being cut in March, Coe thought it was time to move on.

Maciocia changed his mind with one phone call.

"It was a little different at first to walk down that hallway (inside Commonwealth Stadium) and take a left into the green locker room instead of the visitor one," Coe admitted yesterday.

But that's nothing compared to what it will be like on Labour Day in Calgary.

FINISH LINES: Coe doesn't plan on dying his hair green right now. But he doesn't rule out a green/gold colour scheme for Labour Day.


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