Esks' secondary looks promising

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:12 AM ET

EDMONTON — Jason Goss has never been part of a secondary like the one being put together by the Edmonton this year.

Based on experience alone, the group brought into training camp is years ahead of any of the former units assembled in Goss’s three seasons in Edmonton.

“You’ve got all-stars on this secondary and that’s the good thing because that means these are guys that know this game. And we need that,” said Goss, a 2008 West Division all-star.

It’s an experienced secondary across the board, with the addition of former Winnipeg Blue Bomber Lenny Walls, and Chris Thompson and Lawrence Gordon from the Hamilton Tiger Cats.

“We can’t bring in younger guys that don’t know this game yet,” said Goss, who was part of last season’s secondary, which started as many as three rookies at times. “You’ve got experienced guys, so we’ve got one goal this year and that’s definitely making it to the Grey Cup that’s in Edmonton this year.”

But this year, the responsibility of leadership will be shared.

“Since I know this defence a little bit from last year, me and Lenny Walls are working pretty well together,” said Goss. “We’re talking a lot and that’s the thing about this defence, newer guys won’t talk as much. Now you’ve got guys that played and they want to know the defence as well as anyone else.”

Of course, it also helps that most of them have already played on the same team before.

“I played with Lawrence Gordon when I was in Hamilton and Chris Thompson when he came here (as a rookie in 2007),” Goss said. “And before, those two were playing with each other in Hamilton and that helps us out a whole lot two because they know each other.

“The only difference now is Lenny Walls is in the mix and now it’s up to us to know each other and we’ve been doing a good job this past week.”

The safety is the least-experienced position in the Eskimos secondary, which is also the only non-import position on the defence.

“It’s going to be a big position for our secondary, that’s our quarterback,” Goss said of the safety spot, which consists of 2008 draft pick Elliott Richardson and 2009 selections Saleem Borhot and Corbin Sharun.

“Elliott played very well last year and he’s coming in and pretty much continuing where he left off,” Goss said. “He knows what he has to do, he’s still got a little bit to learn but he’s working with a lot of veterans now where he can have help.”

Borhot is expected to fit in immediately, but his participation has been limited due to injury.

“I haven’t seen too much of him because Elliott and Corbin have been taking most of the safety reps,” Goss said. “And Corbin is looking pretty good coming from the (Edmonton junior) Wildcats, it’s just a fact of learning and that’s what preseason’s about.

“Learn our defence, minimize your mistakes because it’s all mental when it comes to game time. I tell them to not let one play bring them down, and the main thing is to have fun. If you do not have fun playing this game, you will not make plays.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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