McCarty remains the constant

CON GRIWKOWSKY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:34 PM ET

EDMONTON - It seems Calvin McCarty has always been like the eye in a storm.

No matter how hard the backfield soap opera spins round him, McCarty maintains his calm.

He’s had his moments of glory when called upon.

He’s seen Jesse Lumsden come and go. He’s seen a revolving door of import running backs take their turn.

Now, 2009 star Arkee Whitlock is injured. Ramonce Taylor was off sick on Wednesday. And, newcomer Daniel Libre is in the mix.

McCarty takes it all in stride.

“Same thing as it’s always been,” said McCarty, a mainstay on special teams. “My role is to do multiple things. That really hasn’t changed a lot.

“It’s not like this is the first year we’ve had running back turnover or we’ve brought new guys in. I’ve been here for four years. I wouldn’t say it’s a big difference, just a good group of guys in training camp. Whitlock and RT are really good players.”

The Eskimos will have to figure out a way to re-establish the momentum they built in their running game last year.

McCarty’s forte has been his ability to catch balls out of the backfield. Against Calgary on Sunday, he had just one thrown his way.

“It was all right,” said McCarty about the team’s running game. “Like anything else, it’s still early in the season. We’ve got to get better, obviously. It was an all right start, but there’s definitely room for improvement.

“I think everybody’s excited to take that next step.”

Numbers game

Esks head coach Richie Hall would like nothing better than to take all 72 players he still has in camp to Sunday’s preseason game at Vancouver’s Empire Stadium.

Not going to happen.

Even if he leaves the team’s growing injured list home, he’s still going to be over the limit, so Hall will have to decide who’s going to stay behind.

In a limited CFL preseason, Hall has to find the correct balance between getting his roster finalized for the regular season and having a good look at the promising first-year players.

“You take players that you’re going to go with during the season because you have to get them more than one quarter of action,” said Hall. “The other thing is, there’s still a number of players we want to get another look at to get an opportunity to evaluate them.

“We still have 70-something guys here in training camp. Will all of them go? No, but we’re taking as many as we can.”

Runnin’ for the coast

The Esks plan to have a real close look to see what RB Daniel Libre can show in game conditions this Sunday.

“Each time he carries the football, he’s getting more comfortable,” said Hall. “So far, he’s done a good job.

“When you bring players in during training camp, you’d like to see what they can do in the first preseason game you can put them into. That’s his evaluation. We didn’t bring him here to put him on the roster in regular-season until we see him play.”

con.griwkowsky@sunmedia.ca


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