Michael Jenkins has a keen sense of what's going on around him.
After two games of sitting on the Montreal Alouettes' practice roster, Jenkins figured he'd gone from big off-season acquisition to becoming an extra warm body so he wasn't surprised when he was given his release.
Jenkins was quick to figure out, though, that with the struggles the Edmonton Eskimos were having with their running attack, he wouldn't be out of work long.
"This is definitely the right situation," said Jenkins yesterday after agreeing to a contract with the Esks. "When I was looking around wondering where I wanted to be, this was it.
"I thought Edmonton would be a good fit because they have the best receiving corps in the league and a running back would add to that.
"Right now the biggest thing is learning the offence. I don't have the benefit of training camp and I'm behind the 8-ball, but one thing about the CFL is it's X's and O's.
"I have to just learn the terminology and get out there. I'm hoping to contribute immediately."
The Eskimos will start Ron McClendon at tailback tonight against Montreal, giving Jenkins a chance to study the playbook and perhaps be well-versed enough to suit up for the Labour Day Classic in Calgary.
The Esks can certainly use the former all-star who had seasons of 1,050 and 1,484 yards on the ground with Toronto before spending all of 2002 with the Houston Texans. Jenkins went back to Toronto in 2003 and rushed for 814 yards before missing all of last season with a serious ankle injury - a setback he claims is 100% healed.
"After leaving that situation it was almost a relief being back at square one," said Jenkins of his departure from Montreal.
"All the anxiety and miseries ... it was hard to just sit down and watch when you know you can do it and know you can contribute and you're not given the opportunity. That's harder than not being around football at all."