Esks open "rookie" camp

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:02 AM ET

EDMONTON - Calling it a rookie camp may be a bit deceiving.

After all, the new faces with the Edmonton Eskimos are hardly new to the game, with the majority having already played professionally in other leagues.

“They have experience,” said coach Richie Hall. “They’re rookies to the CFL, but they’re not rookies at playing at the next level. When you look at them, the resumes are impressive. (We’ve) done a great job as far as bringing in competition.

“We’re not content with where we’re at, we’re always trying to get better.”

Although he hasn’t had much time with any of his new players, Hall said he is encouraged by his first impressions.

“No one just jumps at you other than you see some people that seem like fundamentally they might be a little bit farther along than other people,” Hall said. “They’re all good players and the quicker that they can make the adjustment to what we’re trying to do, (the better) because every day is an evaluation and we’ve got to make decisions sooner rather than later.”

Prior to 11:59 p.m. ET on Saturday, all CFL squads must reduce their rosters to 68 players, plus non-counters. Non-counters include players selected in the 2010 CFL Draft, two additional non-imports, players selected in a previous draft by the club that have never attended a professional training camp in Canada or elsewhere, and any junior player. Final cuts, excluding players on the nine-game and one-game injured list, must be made by 3 p.m. ET on June 24, when teams must be pared down to their 46-man roster.

His first day back out on the field in the 2010 wasn’t exactly something Hall’s been counting down to.

“I’m happy when it starts up, but I’m in no hurry for it, because I enjoy the offseason,” said Hall, who is in his second year as a CFL head coach. “Right now, the reality is for the next six months and hopefully until the end of November, it’s going to be a grind for us. And that’s what you want, but when it’s over, you’re happy when it’s over.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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