Walls reinforces the 'D'

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:06 AM ET

The Edmonton Eskimos are putting up a wall in their secondary.

Make that a Walls.

The team announced Monday the addition of free agent import defensive back Lenny Walls, who led the East Division with seven interceptions last season with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

"That's great news," said Walls from his home in San Antonio, Texas. "Any team that wants you, that's always an honour. I haven't been in the CFL too long, but I've heard nothing but good things about the Eskimos organization."

Which is a far cry from the Mike Kelly regime Walls played under while starting all 18 games last year.

"Yeah, man. It's much more stable than that," laughed Walls, who also did a short stint with the Calgary Stampeders as a CFL rookie in 2008.

But he joined the team late and didn't have an opportunity to play in a Battle of Alberta that year.

"I didn't," said the six-year NFL veteran. "I had got released from the (Baltimore) Ravens late and my agent was still trying to get me picked up on an NFL team.

"I wasn't too familiar with the CFL game, then Calgary reached out to me late in the season. I played four games and then I got hurt during the playoffs with an ankle injury that left me out of the Grey Cup."

His team went on to beat the Montreal Alouettes 22-14.

"Those last four games, they had already been done with Edmonton and I didn't get a chance to play against them, but I played against them in Winnipeg."

But none of those games involved one of the CFL's most intense rivalries, which Walls will finally get to experience -- albeit from the north side of the fence -- this season.

"I'm definitely looking forward to it," Walls said. "It will always be business as usual with me, but it will be fun."

When the Eskimos next play the Stampeders, it will reunite Walls with former Denver Broncos teammate and current Stampeders cornerback Brandon Browner.

While their teams are rivals, Walls and Browner share a common interest along with their jersey numbers.

"Brandon Browner is another guy I'm really close with," Walls said. "He was a rookie in my fourth year in Denver and he was also in that class with Darrent Williams -- that's why he also wears No. 27.

Williams was fatally shot three years ago following an NFL game in Denver, while his memory lives on in the CFL, thanks to his friends.

Walls, who also played with the NFL's St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs, was released by the Blue Bombers one month ago.

"He was released, he wasn't even a free agent," said Eskimos general manager Danny Maciocia, citing possible salary cap issues. "We watched a ton of football games that he played in. He's done a pretty good job."

And that job is causing turnovers.

"And we can definitely use a few of those," Maciocia said. "He's also what I refer to as a space eater.

"He's six-foot-four and 200 pounds and with his wingspan, he can just cover a lot of space."


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