Esks will give 'Zee' more reps

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:31 PM ET

EDMONTON - The pecking order of the Edmonton Eskimos quarterbacks is firmly set, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be more scraps left for third-stringer Jared Zabransky.

Heading into his second CFL season, the lefty who is called ‘Zee’ by teammates, will be getting more in-game repetitions than he did in his rookie year.

He took the opening snap on Sept. 20 in Saskatchewan against the Roughriders on a handoff to running back Calvin McCarty, which was the first and last time the young pivot held a game ball that year.

“We definitely want to get Jared some quality reps,” said head coach Richie Hall. “He’s a little different than Jason (Maas) and Ricky (Ray) and there’s something he brings that’s very special.

“He’s very athletic and I think he can cause some problems. We’re in the process of seeing how we can get him on the football field and that’s something that we’re very open to. We definitely want to see him play because whatever he can contribute makes us more lethal as a football team.”

BRAIDWOOD BACK ...

The Eskimos eagerly anticipate the return of the top draft selection from 2006 as Adam Braidwood is set to return to the defensive line.

“Medically he’s been cleared. He’ll be at training camp from Day 1,” Eskimos general manager Danny Maciocia said of the former rookie phenom who spent the last two seasons on the injured list. “We’re expecting some big things out of Adam, just like he gave us in his rookie season when we first drafted him.”

Braidwood will turn 26 on June 1, the day before rookie camp kicks off.

GUEST WHO ...

The Eskimos are bringing back guest coaches Wayne ‘Ace’ Powell and Ross Cammalleri to training camp this year. Joining them will be former quarterback Ted White, Laval offensive co-ordinator Marco Iedaluca and Eskimos alumni member and current University of Guelph Gryphons head coach Stu Lang.

IN THE CARDS ...

The Eskimos aren’t about to make any concessions in the battle against long concession lineups that have plagued Commonwealth Stadium.

Available at the preseason-opener against the Calgary Stampeders on June 13, pre-loaded cash cards will help speed up the purchasing process.

The cards will be sold out of both the east and west information booths, which are the only places debit machines are available in the facility.

“They’ll be able to purchase different dollar amounts,” said Eskimos president and CEO Rick LeLacheur, who wasn’t aware of any other team in the league offering the same deal. “It’s the same technology that you’d use at a number of the coffee places.

“In addition to that, you’ll also be able to use credit cards right at the concession. We’ve just upgraded the entire system and it will also be available at Grey Cup.”

GREY DAY ...

The championship game will be held in Edmonton Nov. 28. Tickets were offered in advance to season-seat holders and will open to the public on June 1.

Around 35,000 — more than half the 60,000 capacity — have already been sold. Prices run from $98 to $250.

FLOCKING SOUTH ...

As strong a draw as the NFL has had on CFL players over the off-season, the Eskimos have avoided losing anyone from their roster.

“When we take a look at the number of players who have explored the NFL window here during the off-season, there have been a total of 17 players who have gone south of the boarder that played in the CFL last year,” said Maciocia. “Fortunately we were not affected one bit, so we are going to have the majority of players that were on our roster in 2009 with us in 2010.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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