July 11, 2012
Eskimos' Kent eyes win over Bombers
By GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency
EDMONTON - It’s no Banjo Bowl, but don’t blame Clint Kent if it feels like a rivalry game on Friday.
The Edmonton Eskimos defensive back is facing his former Winnipeg Blue Bombers teammates for the first time since being released in the preseason — despite having been named a team captain.
Suffice it to say, he is pulling for a big win Friday at Commonwealth Stadium (7 p.m., TSN, 630 CHED) over his old team.
“But that’s every week. That’s what we play the game for, to win,” said the 28-year-old native of Macon, Ga. “I used to play for them for the last two years, but I just want to win every game every week.
“It’s going to be crazy, it’s going to feel kind of funny. But it’s part of the business so I’ve just got to move forward.”
Kent is one of a handful current Eskimos in the same situation, coming up against the Blue Bombers for the first time since leaving, including defensive tackle Donny Oramasionwu and receivers Greg Carr, Aaron Hargreaves and Matt Carter.
“It’s not strange. I think Kavis being the head coach and having coached all of us in 2010, he already knows what we’re capable of doing,” Kent said of Reed’s time as defensivie co-ordinator in Winnipeg. “He knows all the ins and outs, so that’s why we’re here.”
While he is not currently in a starting spot, Kent has been brought in as a designated import for the past two weeks, playing on special teams and rotating into the defence.
“They’ve got different packages for me on defence and I’m playing a lot of special teams,” Kent said. “I don’t know, I’m just glad to be playing. Whatever I can do to help the team, that’s what I’m doing right now.
“I used to be a starter, but I really don’t worry about those things. I just show up to work and work hard every day. Everything will take care of itself.”
His time practising against Winnipeg’s offence over the past two seasons isn’t without its advantages, as Kent has a good ideal of what to expect to see coming at him this weekend.
“Yeah, I do, with certain receivers,” he said. “They’ve got some younger guys or whatever, but I kind of know some ins and outs.”
Though he has proven effective against less-familiar opponents, as well.
“Very effective for us. He came in and fit in right away,” said Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed. “He’s a very smart football player, understands the system that we’re running. He’s able to communicate with the guys very effectively and he’s done tremendously good work for us.”
Which means Reed doesn’t want to see any extra in the way of motivation in Friday’s game from Kent or any of his other ex-Bombers.
“No, it’s a big game because it’s the game that we have to play and even bigger based on the results that we had Sunday,” Reed said of a 17-1 loss in Regina. “There are only eight teams, a lot of us have been on a lot of the teams. If that’s the case, every week is going to be a rivalry week for most teams.”
IN AND OUT: WR Greg Carr (ankle) returned to Wednesday’s padless practice, shifting his status from doubtful to probable for Friday.
“Greg should be fine,” Reed said of the injury sustained in Sunday’s game in Regina. “It was a slight ankle situation.”
The Eskimos signed seven-year CFL veteran OL Belton Johnson to their practice squad in time to get him on the field Wednesday.