Inglis back in Esks fold

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:07 PM ET

Taylor Inglis never had anything bad to say about the Edmonton Eskimos.

Or if he did, he never shared it.

The strategy seems to be paying off for the native Edmonton special-teamer, who returned to the Eskimos Thursday after being cut last season under the Maciocia regime.

“In our assessment, Taylor is the best long-snapper in the league,” said Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed, who joined Edmonton in December. “His consistency has proven itself, the conditions that he’s snapped in and the things that he’s done special-teams wise we felt it was a priority to get Taylor back here.”

It’s a new view by a different team management than the one that released Inglis at the end of training camp last season, prior to the 27-year-old free agent immediately signing on with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Regardless of how he felt about the decision, Inglis declined interview requests the next time the Eskimos faced the Blue Bombers — a game that resulted in a 47-21 drubbing by Winnipeg.

“I think the score in that game spoke for itself,” Inglis said Thursday at Commonwealth Stadium. “It’s the business of pro sports and I’m aware of that. So I was a casualty of their scheme, what the coaching staff at the time wanted their players to be and I just didn’t fit in.”

But that was then, this is now.

“This was a very easy decision and I’m very excited and happy about the outcome,” said Inglis, who comes to Edmonton in exchange for the Eskimos’ picks in the fifth (32nd overall) and sixth (41st overall) rounds of the CFL draft on May 8. “Coming back home to play in Edmonton has always been a dream and always a goal of mine, to finish my career here.”

A seven-year CFL veteran, Inglis played his first five here in his hometown.

“The progress that they’ve been making here with the roster in the off-season, I’ve been paying close attention to and I think they’re going to be very competitive this season and I’m happy to contribute,” said Inglis, who, not surprisingly, offered no comment on his take on how the Eskimos special teams did without him.

“This is water under the bridge. This is a new marriage, we didn’t have to apologize for anything because at this time we haven’t done anything wrong by him,” Reed said. “He’s a pro’s pro and we’re just pleased to have him back here.”

It was in Winnipeg where Inglis met Reed, who was the Bombers defensive co-ordinator at the time. So it wasn’t hard to connect the dots after Reed arrived in Edmonton and became concerned with the long-snapping situation while reviewing game footage from last season.

“Having worked with Taylor in Winnipeg, knowing that he came from Edmonton and knowing how good he is at what he does, it was very much a concern,” Reed said. “But we knew there was someone out there that we could target.”

IN AND OUT: Veteran defensive end Kai Ellis and import offensive lineman Patrick Afif were released Thursday. The Eskimos nominee for Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 2009, Ellis played 30 games in the past two seasons since joining the Eskimos in a trade with Winnipeg for Siddeeq Shabazz.

Afif played the last two games of the season in his rookie CFL season.

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/Gerry_EdmSun


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