MONTREAL -- Up close, Ezra Landry looks more like 5-foot-1 or maybe 5-foot-2 than the "5-3 or 5-4, somewhere up there" he figured himself to be yesterday.
And his long, braided hair has to be at least 3-foot-2.
The last time it was cut?
"Four years ago," said Landry, who ironically enough owns a barbershop in his home town of New Orleans with his father Wayne.
The trick is getting up close long enough to tell.
In his CFL debut as a return specialist for the Alouettes last week in Toronto, the 22-year-old Landry was an immediate hit (or would that be a miss?) when he took a missed field-goal attempt 110 yards for a touchdown.
Tonight, he'll play his first game at Percival Molson Stadium in Montreal, with the Renegades providing the opposition.
"I can't wait to play in front of the home crowd," he told the media swarm outside the team's dressing room at the Big O. "I think they may be expecting a lot out of me. I'm willing to go out and give them more.
"I've been small all my life," he added, when asked about the perils of being a moving target in a huge man's game. "I'm just going to go out there and do what I have to do, use my size to my advantage. I stay hidden as long as possible, then I go for the opening. It's a real thrill, knowing those guys are coming downfield just for you. There's nothing like it."
The Als lifted Landry from the Edmonton practice roster and now coach Don Matthews is beaming at the coup. Where the fans see the 155-lb. Landry as the league's newest novelty or gizmo, Matthews thinks he's the next Gizmo.
That's as in Henry "Gizmo" Williams, the best return specialist in CFL history.
"He's as good as I've seen in this league, with his speed and quickness," Matthews said of Landry and his one game's worth of experience. "He's going to be a fun guy to watch.
"His position does not demand height or size, but the ability to catch the ball, run fast and make people miss. He certainly qualifies in all those areas."
The Renegades' cover team has excelled this season, shutting down both Winnipeg's Keith Stokes and Toronto's Bashir Levingston, the two best returners in the league.
Now, the challenge is for it to fold up and put away the Landry.
PAT'S BACK: When the Renegades brought WR Pat Woodcock home by signing him as a free agent and making him one of the league's highest-paid receivers, their fans probably didn't think he'd be the league's 28th most productive receiver after three games. Yet with 11 catches for 121 yards, that's where Woodcock sits on the leader list as he makes his first visit back to Montreal in an enemy jersey following two seasons as an Alouette. "Certainly, the numbers are smaller than some expected, but that's just fine," said Woodcock. "We've been passing for 400 yards a game and scoring points and winning games. That's all that matters. There was the assumption I'd be the go-to guy, but I never said that and nobody in the organization said that. Something like that is to be determined by the defence we face. When I get the opportunity, I have to take advantage of it." Woodcock did savour scoring his first TD as a Renegade last week at Frank Clair Stadium, however. "To get my first one at home was pretty cool," he said. "I kept the ball, it's something that's going to go in the trophy case."
EXTRA POINTS: The Alouettes will have their 48th consecutive sellout tonight at the 20,002-seat Percival Molson Stadium ... DBs Byron Capers and DB Greg Bearman are making their first starts of the season for the Renegades, replacing DT Clinton Wayne (back) and CB Donnie Ruiz (knee), respectively ... Montreal's injury list includes SB Jermaine Copeland (hamstring), FB Bruno Heppell (knee), WR Dave Stala (knee), WR Sylvain Girard (shoulder), DB Reggie Durden (groin), T Neal Fort (ankle), G Aaron Fiacconi (knee) and QB Eli Roberson (shoulder).