Itty Bitty's high hopes

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:41 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- He's the smallest player on the field, but Ezra Landry could have the biggest impact in today's Grey Cup encounter.

The five-foot-four, 155-pound kick returner scorched the Eskimos in the team's first meeting of the season.

Landry returned a missed field goal 125 yards for a touchdown, and then ran back a punt 74 yards for another against the Eskimos back in July.

Expect to see plenty of punts angled out of bounds today.

"We're going to try to keep the ball away from him," said Eskimos kicker Sean Fleming. "That's the plan."

That may be easier said than done.

Landry racked up 312 yards against the Eskimos in that 32-29 victory back in July. He had the game of his life.

Having been plucked off the Eskimos practice roster last season by the Alouettes, Landry is now looking forward to facing Edmonton in the biggest game of his career.

"Edmonton is a great organization," Landry said. " I have no bitterness towards them. It was a privilege for them to invite me out to be with them. They had just won the Grey Cup against Montreal the year before.

"I left because another team recognized my talent and I just wanted to play. I was fortunate the team that wanted me was one of the best teams in the CFL."

Apart from having to deal with Landry, the Eskimos also have to contend with the fact they are missing two of their better special-teams players in Mike Bradley and Mathieu Bertrand.

"We're going to try and mix it up against him," said Eskimos head coach Danny Maciocia. "I'm not going to say we're always going to kick the ball out of bounds. We may kick it to him at times and at times we may not."

Landry is used to teams trying to keep the ball away from him. When punting, the Eskimos can control that to an extent. The real danger lies in field-goal attempts.

"A lot of teams have been trying to angle the ball out of bounds against me," Landry said. "But Fleming is a real good kicker - a veteran kicker. So I know he's going to have something up his sleeve for us and how he's going to deal with the ball. But I'm ready, I'm ready. I'm going to stay patient and my time will come."


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