Eskimos look for more from receivers

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:19 PM ET

EDMONTON - The Edmonton Eskimos receivers have a new catch phrase: “Get up the field.”

And it hasn’t taken long for it to catch on.

“It’s effort,” said new receivers coach Steff Kruck, who was with the Toronto Argonauts last year and spent time working with quarterbacks in the U.S. during the off-season. “We want to compete every day, we want to attack the football, we want to play fast and then we want to get up the field.

“If I gave you a nickel every time I said that, you’d probably retire and move to Arizona.”

But retirement is the furthest thing from the 14 hopefuls in training camp this week, who are fighting for a spot at slotback or receiver.

They are a couple of the toughest positions to play in a tryout atmosphere where their mistakes are noticed as easily as their big plays.

“Absolutely, because they’re out in the spotlight and it’s a throwing league,” Kruck said. “So obviously they’re going to be very much under the gun.”

Especially if they don’t get up the field after the catch, which is when their job is just beginning.

“We want to turn a five-yard gain into a 10-yard play, or a 15-yard gain to a 20-yard gain,” Kruck said. “We always want to be able to push the defences.”

VON GONE: It was a tight squeeze for tight-end-sized receiver Harry Von Kann, and in the end, he just didn’t fit.

The Eskimos cut the six-foot-four, 240-pound receiver prior to Monday’s camp sessions.

“Harry did a wonderful job for us when he was here,” Kruck said. “It was just one of the natures of the game.”

While teams such as the Montreal Alouettes have been trending towards taller receivers, there still appears to be no room for larger ones on the larger CFL field.

“The way it is with formations, you really need athletes who can perform in space regardless of body type,” Kruck said. “In situations, what the league will do is put fullbacks up there, who are used as hybrid players.”

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Camp notes

Day 2

Who's hot?

DB Chris Thompson is picking up right where he left off, by picking off a pass to break up the Ricky Ray-Fred Stamps connection before they can find their groove.

Who's not?

SB Chris Bauman looked good on a reception, right up until a defender knocked the ball out of his hands, leaving him with an earful from head coach Kavis Reed: “Ball security. That’s two days in a row. You can’t let that (stuff) happen!”

Big play

SB Fred Stamps broke away down field on a flag pattern to catch up with a deep pass, only to have it broken up by speedy DB David Pittman.

Big hit

Yeah, it’s only training camp. But they were in pads for a reason after LB Damaso Munoz thumped WR Youssy Pierre with audible contact. To his credit, the recever hung onto the ball and jumped right back onto his feet.

In and out

DT Dee Sterling (knee) remained out and is not expected to return for camp. FB Mathieu Bertrand (hamstring) and SB Ray Fisher (shoulder) sat out for the second day in a row, while being joined by C Aaron Fiacconi and C Gord Hinse. Late arrivals DL Marcus Adams and WR Taye Biddle are expected to report on Tuesday.

Next up

Two-a-days continue Tuesday at Clarke Park from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and from 2:10 pm. to 3::50 p.m.


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