Romero loved Montreal, loves the west better

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:24 PM ET

MONTREAL -- At the beginning of contract negotiations, Dario Romero didn't want to leave the Montreal Alouettes.

The talented defensive tackle wanted to stay with the Als last fall after playing 17 games with the club in 2007.

"I actually wanted to leave before the off-season with something done but we never came to exact numbers," said Romero on his contract talks with Montreal. "I had some time to think over the off-season. I have a son in Spokane. Everybody (in my family) is over here (in Washington)."

So, Romero signed with the Edmonton Eskimos as a free agent in February.

And that leads to one of the backdrops of tomorrow's Eskimos-Alouettes game in Montreal (11 a.m. MT, Shaw Ch. 5, TSN2, CHED).

"I love the (Montreal) organization. I miss the guys but I had to (come to the Eskimos) for family," said Romero, who will be battling his old teammates for the first time this year tomorrow.

Romero is certainly earning his paycheque with the Eskimos this season.

At 7-4 in the West Division, the Eskimos are certainly an improved bunch this year -and Romero is one reason why.

He has five quarterback sacks in 10 games this year. In comparison, he had four QB sacks in 2007 and 2006 combined in Montreal.

The differences in defensive scheme between the two teams is certainly one reason for the change in stats.

"Here we are just getting off the ball (when it is snapped) and penetrate (the offensive line)," said Romero on the Esks' defensive strategy.

"Over there (in Montreal) we were reading the O-linemen.

"It would slow us down. Up here (in the CFL) you need that one second."

The other reason for the increased productivity is Romero's 10-to-15 pound weight loss compared to last year.

A four-year CFL vet, the 30-year-old is also helping the development of rookie defensive tackle Jim Davis.

While Romero leads the team with five sacks, Davis is right behind with four.

When asked what Romero has taught him this year, Davis replied: "Don't take nothing from any offensive lineman.

"You have to demand respect as a defensive tackle because those offensive guys, they get a little crazy. They do a lot of dirty things up here."

QUICK HIT: Defensive back Lenny Williams is expected to return to the Eskimos secondary tomorrow against Montreal, Sun Media has learned. Barring any last-minute change, Williams gets on the field for the first time since a pectoral muscle injury against Calgary on July 3. At the start of this week, Williams didn't have medical clearance to play and wasn't happy.

EXTRA POINT: Defensive end Darrell Robertson is also expected to play for the Green and Gold tomorrow. It will mark his first game after arriving this month from the Dallas Cowboys camp. Once projected to be a third-round NFL pick, Robertson brings fresh legs to the field.


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