A trio of Edmonton Eskimos are finally facing the only CFL team they have never played against.
That’s because receiver Chris Bauman, defensive lineman Jermaine Reid and cornerback Jykine Bradley only ever played for the Hamilton Tiger-cats before coming to Edmonton in the off-season.
All three are seeing their former team for the first time Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium (5 p.m., TSN, 630 CHED).
“I didn’t have to wait too long,” said Bradley, who was released by the Ticats prior to June’s training camp after spending the past six seasons in Hamilton. “I’ve just been out here getting ready, getting prepared.”
And the starting corner’s been doing it without the benefit of attending training camp, after joining the Eskimos just in time for last week’s season opener.
“I’m going to take this game like any other game, I’m not going to get too high or too low,” said the 31-year-old Middle Tennessee State product. “I’m going to prepare myself for this game like I’d prepare myself for Montreal or Edmonton.”
Except that there will be a teamful of familiar faces across the line of scrimmage this week.
“We’ll all go out there and joke around before the game,” Bradley said. “But then once we get in between these lines it’s time to go to war.”
Just don’t count on any insider info from the former Tabbie.
“No secrets, no,” he laughed. “They won’t tell me that. We’ll just go out here and compete.”
Bradley said he’s adjusted to his new role in a different jersey despite the baptism-by-fire timeline.
“It feels good, I’ve got my feet back under me and I’m starting to learn more,” he said. “My coaches and teammates help prepare me.”
Still, Bradley isn’t focusing on any past success from last week.
“We take that Saskatchewan game and put it behind us,” he said. “That’s the mindset that we’ve taken. We’re going into this game like we’re 0-0. It’s a home game, so we definitely want to come to our home field and defend it.”
There’s still no place like it, whether it’s new to newcomers such as Reid and Bauman, or not.
Both players spent the past four seasons in Hamilton.
“It was a real big change for me after being in Hamilton for four years,” said the six-foot-four, 275-pound Reid, who is a mechanical engineer when he’s not deconstructing offences on the football field.
This week, he will get to take his first run at Hamilton’s.
“I’m excited, it’s going to be a little strange going against the Black and Gold after wearing it the whole time,” Reid said. “It’s just a weird feeling right now. Just different.
“It helps a little bit, I know a lot of the strengths and weaknesses of guys, but that goes with practising against somebody every day for the past couple years. I do have a little advantage, but at the same time, they also were practising agianst me.”
IN AND OUT: Sidelined with a groin injury, 2007 first-overall draft pick Bauman is listed on the one-game IL and will not dress against his former team Saturday, along with OL Brian Ramsay (knee), who also spent last season with the Ticats.
The play of LT Junius Coston didn’t factor into Thursday’s release of LT Jeremy Parquet as much as personal reasons did, said Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed.
“Mr. Coston had a very good game. Coston’s play definitely didn’t help or hurt that decision, but Jeremy’s situation is a little bit more complicated than that,” Reed said. “There were some personal issues that we have to address and it’s not a closed door to Jeremy, with us releasing him.”