Taylor takin' a shot

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:37 AM ET

Arkee Whitlock might be given a run for his money in training camp this year.

After resuscitating the Edmonton Eskimos' running game after a two-year absence, Whitlock might look like a shoo-in as starting running back.

But not so fast:

"I think Ramonce Taylor, when you look at him from an athletic point, he's about as good as they come," Eskimos head coach Richie Hall said of the former Texas Longhorns star who signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers last year before joining the Eskimos practice roster in the fall.

Taylor, like Whitlock, is returning to the Eskimos in his second CFL season, where he is looking to regain the form that saw him wrack up 1,219 offensive yards and 15 touchdowns with the Longhorns in 2005, which culminated in a national championship over Southern California in the Rose Bowl.

But unlike Whitlock, Taylor has yet to take to the field in a CFL game.

"He's pretty special," Hall said. "But the thing that separates him from Arkee is Arkee has 18 games of experience.

"Taylor came up in the middle of the season. Coming up in the middle and coming up at the beginning is like night and day whether you're a veteran or a rookie.

"Now he's seeing how things progress versus all of a sudden, 'Here's a playbook, now learn it.' "

And with Whitlock and the rest of the offence constantly preparing for the next game, Taylor didn't have an opportunity to learn the new playbook by taking repetitions in practice.

"He's pretty talented, what he lacks is experience," Hall said.

"Arkee has the experience, but he also has the confidence because he's done it at that next level."

At least this season, Taylor begins from the same starting line as everyone else.


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