'No malicious intent'

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:34 AM ET

Agustin Barrenechea should run for political office when he's finished playing football.

The Edmonton Eskimos middle linebacker - who was fined on Monday for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Winnipeg's Kevin Glenn last week - is carefully choosing his words with the media.

Making his first public comments since receiving the $1,000 fine from the CFL head office, Barrenechea didn't say anything yesterday to ruffle any feathers.

"There was no malicious intent on that," said Barrenechea, on the play.

"I consider myself a professional and a sportsman. That was the heat of the moment.

"It was a football play."

In the moments after Friday's game, Barrenechea told Sun Media he didn't intend to lead with his head on the hit late in the fourth quarter.

When asked yesterday if he would take the play back, if he had a chance, Barrenechea replied: "I can't put myself in that situation again."

When asked by reporters how much he was fined by the CFL head office, Barrenechea said: "I am unaware of that, right now."

It's an interesting response, considering Sun Media reported the amount of the fine yesterday morning.

When asked if he expected to be the target of some retribution during Saturday's rematch with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Commonwealth Stadium (5 p.m., CHED), Barrenechea said: "I am anticipating a physical game and I've got to get ready, mentally and physically."

The second-year Eskimo described the play that caused so much heated talk among fans and reporters.

"It was my job to go up and force a quick ball," he remarked on the two-point convert play with 1:14 left.

"There is not much of a thought process. It is the matter of a fraction of a second.

"In that situation (Glenn) turned with his throwing arm, exposing his chest.But we understand this is our profession and you have to respect your opponent.

"I would say 99.9% of the time, nobody is out there to commit evil on an opponent."

By avoiding a suspension from the league office, Barrenechea was on the practice field yesterday.

He does realize, though, that leading with a helmet is rather risky. "You need to play within the rules. Helmet-to-helmet contact is very dangerous," he remarked.

As for Glenn, he took the first-team snaps with the Winnipeg offence in practice drills yesterday.


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