'Drastically different'

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:51 AM ET

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Eskimos are going to run the ball a little more now that they have Jesse Lumsden in the backfield.

"He's a big, bruising, big-play, wear-down-your-defence type of back, and we're looking for big things out of Jesse," Esks first-year head coach Richie Hall said yesterday.

The Bombers, meanwhile? No one is exactly sure what the Blue and Gold are going to roll out on offence. Head coach Mike Kelly, who will call the plays, vows it will be something new.

"What we do is so drastically different from what the Eskimos do," said Kelly, who coached Edmonton's receivers last season. "I really didn't take any of the Eskimos playbook with me. We're doing our own thing."

Hall, who spent the last eight seasons as Saskatchewan's defensive co-ordinator, is intrigued, but you can't say he's concerned.

"No one's inventing the wheel," Hall said. "It's just a matter of the illusions and how you want to camouflage things."

That doesn't mean the Green and Gold are completely comfortable with their game plan to stop the Stefan LeFors-led attack.

"We're not exactly sure what to expect in terms of their schemes," said Jim Daley, the Esks' defensive co-ordinator and former Bombers head coach. "So that's been our challenge, to adjust to a new offence with very little preparation."

Kelly, meanwhile, believes he still has a firm grasp of what the Eskimos are doing on offence.

"When I looked at patterns that were being run, I could name them for (the Bomber defence)," Kelly said. "Hopefully our scout team executed them fairly well so we had a good look."

Bombers defensive co-ordinator Mark Nelson, who returns to the CFL after a 13-year hiatus, didn't get into specifics when asked what kind of defence the Bombers will be.

"We've got a chance to be good," he said. "We've got good players, and we've got an excellent group of coaches.

"We're going to do what we need to do to win. Normally do I like to attack? Yeah, I like to attack. I've done that before. But you know what? I've also learned you do what your players can do best. Don't ever ask them to do things they can't do. As long as we do that, we've got a good chance."

FAMILIAR FACES: Nelson, coincidentally, has ties to Edmonton. His father, Roger, is on the organization's Wall of Honour after a stellar career as an offensive lineman.

"It's always good to come here," Nelson said. "I grew up here on this field right here, at Clarke Stadium, going to watch my dad practice."

Nelson was also an Eskimos assistant under Ron Lancaster when they captured the Grey Cup in 1993.

Nelson is one of 19 players and coaches who are facing their former teams tonight, including 12 who moved this past off-season.

One of those players, Esks outside linebacker Kelly Malveaux, can't wait to get things going with his latest CFL squad.

"As I get older I'm looking for another ring," he said. "I played in three, got one, and I think we have an opportunity to make a great run here."


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