Esks Ramoncing the zone

Edmonton Eskimos Ramonce Taylor is brought down by the Calgary Stampeders Fernand Kashama at...

Edmonton Eskimos Ramonce Taylor is brought down by the Calgary Stampeders Fernand Kashama at Commonwealth Stadium last Sunday. (Jordan Verlage, Edmonton Sun)

Gerry Moddejonge, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:28 PM ET

EDMONTON - Six preseason points dont quite do justice to what scoring his first CFL touchdown means to Ramonce Taylor.

The Edmonton Eskimos running back found the end zone in Sundays 23-21 loss to the Calgary Stampeders on an eight-yard pass from Jason Maas.

Maas made a great read and kind of got hemmed up for a second, I didnt know if he was going to get the ball off or not, said the 25-year-old. But as the play developed it worked out well and the end zone was wide open. Once the end zone is open I have a nose for the end zone and just go and get in there.

It was something he hadnt smelled since 2006, when his Texas Longhorns won the Rose Bowl, 41-38, over Southern California.

While scoring a touchdown in the CFL preseason might not seem as big a deal as reaching the end zone in an NCAA national championship game, its how far Ramonces career has come in that time thats important. His path has been more thorns than roses.

Its been some years, so it felt real good to get in there, Taylor said. It was only the preseason, but a touchdowns a touchdown.

Anything that can help me look good and keep me here, Im just doing what I can to help people out and help my teammates out. Even getting my mental reps while Im on the sideline and helping the other guys out, like Daniel (Libre) with his reads and his cuts and seeing the play before it develops.

Its the kind of forethought Taylor didnt have back in college, when he was dismissed from the team in the spring of 2006 due to academic and legal issues. In the fall of that year, Taylor pled guilty to marijuana charges and spent time in jail.

It was enough to get him passed over in the 2007 NFL draft.

But that was then, and this is now, with Taylor looking to use the steps he took in the end zone Sunday as the first ones toward getting his football career back on track.

After the game, I told my mom I havent felt this good in some years, Taylor said. With all the transitions Ive went through in my life and my background, it felt real good to get back out there and do what I love to do.

Taylor is attending his first training camp with the Eskimos, after joining the team midway through the 2009 season.

Im here from the beginning so I get a fresh start. Im jumping in to an actual game and coaches can see what I can do, Taylor said. Im just out here competing for a job, trying to do what I need to do to make the team and help the team out.

Taylor hasnt practised this week and could miss Sundays game in Vancouver against the B.C. Lions, after receiving a minor injury in last weeks game.

Its not for sure yet, but well see how things progress as the week goes on, Taylor said. Im looking forward to being out there on Sunday.

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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