Patience set to pay off

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:39 AM ET

If good things come to those who wait, then the Edmonton Eskimos will be happy with Kelton Tindal.

Although the receiver originally signed with the Eskimos in May after finishing his senior year at Newberry College, the South Carolina native's journey to Edmonton took a detour through Minnesota.

Tindal signed on as a free agent with the Vikings before being released two and a half weeks ago from organized team activities.

"It's tough to take, but this is another opportunity for me to continue playing football in my career," said the six-foot-three, 195 pounder, who was invited to Texas vs. The Nation in 2009.

And now he's focused on a new nation of football, joining the Eskimos on Monday.

"I'm getting to know the plays a little bit, I'm studying hard and asking coaches about plays," said Tindal.

Although he missed last week's rookie camp with the Eskimos, Tindal said he hasn't fallen behind at all, considering his time in Minnesota.

"In the OTAs, not everybody can come in, but some of the players can come in and we do the same things as out here," he said. "I'm always running, I stay loose, I stay in shape."

Tindal is still adjusting to the CFL game.

"I know you can run in motion, and now I've learned that DBs can almost bump you off your route," he said.

"I'm not used to getting a bump like that, so now I've got to get more physical in my game. I like competition so that makes me get tougher and get better doing that."

Although his time in Minnesota was short, Tindal is carrying that experience into his new environment, where he is looking to find a permanent place on the roster.

"That's why I come out here every day and play hard, run hard and give it everything I've got because I don't want to show weakness on film. I know that we prep for a long time, I'm getting used to that.

"OTAs were like an hour and a half, I think, but now (practices) are like two-and-a-half hours. But that's the only way you can get better."

While he doesn't have many days of improvement left prior to Sunday's preseason opener against the Calgary Stampeders, the Eskimos haven't been afraid to invest time into him.

"Anytime that you have a guy that you've been tracking for the last number of years and stuff like that, you welcome the opportunity because there's a reason why you've looked after him," said head coach Richie Hall.

"When you find out there's an opportunity that he's available to come up here, we want to see what it is. Yeah, he's a couple of days behind the learning aspect, but also he's got fresher legs."

GREY CUP RACE BEGINS

With 2010 Grey Cup tickets sold out, the Edmonton Eskimos have 20 weeks worth of games ahead of them to punch their ticket to Commonwealth on Nov. 28.

"On Nov. 28, there's going to be a Grey Cup game here," coach Richie Hall said. "We don't know if the Edmonton Eskimos are going to be there. What we want to do is not lose focus on taking care of these next 20 weeks to give us an opportunity to be in the Grey Cup. Knowing that it's going to be a sold-out place, it's going to be a crazy atmosphere, that motivates you to want to be here, but you've got to keep things in perspective."


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