Esks bring in some beef

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

You've heard of armchair quarterbacks, well, the Edmonton Eskimos have signed themselves an armchair nose tackle.

The team announced the signing of five-year NFL veteran defensive lineman Anthony Maddox on Monday.

The numbers he put up in the NFL -- 57 tackles, five sacks, a pass knockdown, a forced fumble and a fumble return for a touchdown --aren't as impressive as where he came from.

Which is nowhere near the NCAA Division 1.

And that was before spending two years away from the game entirely to take a job at a furniture store.

But opportunity knocked, and Maddox returned to school.

The six-foot-two, 295-pound product of Delta State was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2004 after being named the Gulf South Conference's defensive player of the year as a senior.

It marked a successful return to the gridiron after the two-year hiatus in Hattiesburg, Miss., where he delivered furniture. Prior to that, Maddox was a first-team All-American and MVP while attending a junior college in Ellisville, Miss.

He used his opportunity at Delta State to record 150 tackles, 34 for a loss, 10.5 sacks, three fumble recoveries and a pair of forced fumbles in 22 games.

"I know he was quite productive there, he was drafted," said Maciocia. "This is a guy -- it'll be interesting to see when he comes to camp, but the pedigree is there."

When rookies report to training camp on June 2, they will have some time to familiarize themselves with their new CFL surroundings before main camp opens on June 6.

Maddox will join fellow five-year NFLer Kenneth Pettway, who signed with the Eskimos last month, in their inaugural CFL training camp.

"It'll be very competitive along the defensive line because we're bringing in guys like Maddox and Pettway for the simple reason that we feel we need to get to the quarterback more," Maciocia said. "And these guys can do that.

"Hopefully, they'll make it interesting for everyone."

But Maddox is hardly a shoe-in for the starting role at defensive tackle left vacant by the recently traded Eric Taylor, especially with young players such as Dee Sterling, Xzavie Jackson and Justin Brown looking to break through at training camp.

"He'll have to (show he can) do it," Maciocia said of the 31-year-old Maddox.

MIC MAN: The Eskimos wouldn't confirm the hiring of former Edmonton Oilers colour commentator Morley Scott as the replacement for long-time play-by-play legend Bryan Hall, prior to a press conference scheduled for Tuesday.

But Scott is expected to return to Edmonton after spending one season as the play-by-play voice of the WHL's Vancouver Giants.

He will rejoin the 630 CHED broadcast team alongside Dave Campbell, who is returning as the Eskimos colour commentator.


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