Woodcock feels more at home

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:40 AM ET

BURLINGTON -- What a difference one year has made for Pat Woodcock.

One year ago this week, Woodcock's Edmonton townhome suffered heat damage when a fire ripped through his neighbourhood.

Sadly for the personable receiver, it was par for the course last year as he only played three games for the Edmonton Eskimos.

But the knee injury and trouble off the field is gone this year as the non-import is enjoying a great start to the 2008 campaign with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Through four weeks of this regular season, Woodcock has nine receptions for 179 yards.

That is stark contrast to last year, when he made just four catches for 86 yards in three games with the Green and Gold.

It makes for an interesting sidebar for tomorrow's Eskimos-TiCats game.

"There is a lot less pain in my knee," quipped Woodcock on the difference from last year to this summer.

"I was injured most of last year and it is nice to be healthy and running around on the field."

After two years in Edmonton, Woodcock asked Eskimos head coach Danny Maciocia for his release last winter.

With a young child and a family home in Ottawa, the 31-year-old didn't want to come back to the West for a third-straight year.

"I was kind of gearing myself up to come back East. Obviously, Hamilton was one of those teams that I was going to go talk to," he explained.

"I just didn't think I wanted to come back west again.

"I never really felt comfortable out there."

While it might be a bit of an over-simplification, Woodcock took Brock Ralph's spot in Hamilton. Ralph was traded to Edmonton in February.

Woodcock signed as a free agent in Hamilton in March.

"I know I can play the game. It was just a matter of I took a hit last year and did some damage to my knee. It was my first surgery in seven years, so I guess I was kind of due if you look at it from that perspective," said Woodcock.

"I know when I am healthy I can be a productive player."

FINISH LINES: Woodcock still owns that Edmonton townhome that suffered heat damage in that summer blaze. It has turned into a rental property.


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