The Adam Braidwood experiment seems to be working out for the Edmonton Eskimos, even though it cost a pair of players their jobs.
With the non-import defensive tackle firmly entrenched with a starting role on the defensive line after spending the past two seasons away from football, the Eskimos are taking advantage of the flexibility Braidwood’s presence offers.
However, it spells an end to their need for the services of defensive tackle Andre Coleman and offensive right tackle Joe McGrath, who were released following Wednesday’s practice.
“We began the season with two import interior guys on the defensive line and now we’re playing with one, so it was a numbers thing,” Eskimos head coach Richie Hall said of Coleman’s dismissal.
While McGrath’s release appears to be a waste of the 2010 first-round draft pick it cost to bring him back to Edmonton following a two-week stint in training camp with the Saskatchewan Roughriders last season, Hall said the offensive lineman served the purpose that was required of him.
“The situation has changed because I think we wanted to protect ourselves (last year) with Garrick Jones’s shoulder and Jesse Lumsden going down,” said Hall.
The coach pointed out the Eskimos are happy with the first draft pick they ended up with in defensive end Brian Blucke, who is returning to Stanford to play out his senior year this season.
“We’d like to try and get two imports on the defensive side of the ball because it gives you some flexibility.”
McGrath was the second-overall draft pick by the Calgary Stampeders in 2003 before joining the Eskimos the following year.
The six-foot-five non-import from Moose Jaw, Sask., returned to his home province to play for the Roughriders as a free agent in 2009 before being traded back to Edmonton on June 11 in exchange for a first-round selection in the 2010 CFL draft.