Signing Day

No sooner do I post the Roster Review for the offensive line, the Eskimos go out and sign a couple of import offensive lineman as well as a new wide receiver. The signing of offensive linemen Clifford Louis and Jeremy Parquet, combined with the addition of wideout Rudy Burgess certainly adds some depth to the Green & Gold’s roster heading into training camp. Keep in mind Eskimo fans that all three players are imports, so finding spots on the roster, especially for both offensive linemen might be tough.  Let’s take a closer look at the new additions.

Clifford Louis

Louis is listed as a tackle and at 6’8″ and 315 lbs., he certainly fits the size for an outside lineman. After wrapping up a decent career at Morgan State, Louis bounced around various NFL training camps and practice rosters from 2007 to December of 2009, when he was released from the Arizona Cardinals.  Louis also played in the UFL last year. The concern with someone with his size is always their mobility and athleticism. Can the guy move or will he simply get lost in space? I guess we will find out at training camp.

Jeremy Parquet

Another beast of a man. Standing 6’6″ and 321 lbs., Parquet is also an offensive tackle with limited NFL experience. Originally drafted by Kansas City in the 7th round of the 2005 NFL Draft out of Southern Miss, Parquet never made it past his rookie season with the Chiefs.  Again the familiar story of training camps and practice rosters from 2006 to 2008 before he joined the Las Vegas team of the UFL last year. I should mention that he was activated for a couple of games in 2008 while with Pittsburgh, but really how much experience does that really count for when you are playing three down football. Again the big question will be his athleticism.  If a guy can’t move, he can’t play.

Rudy Burgess

Now if we want to talk about athletes, Rudy Burgess definitely fits the bill, at least when you look at the body of work he produced during his college career at Arizona State. He’s only 5’10” and 188 lbs., but some people are just meant to be football players.  In his senior season alone, Burgess lined up at wide receiver, tailback, cornerback, punt returner, and kick returner. If he’s doing all that, you know the guy has some speed to burn.  And if a coach is using him that many positions, it’s usually because the guy produces.  How that translates to the CFL, well, that’s kind of up the air, but if he arrives in shape and ready to go, Burgess could be a game breaker.

So what does this mean???

Not a whole lot at this point.  The Eskimos may have added a couple of all-stars or all three may not survive training camp. It is extremely difficult to judge how a player will do when coming to the CFL from four down football. One thing I can’t see happening however would be for all three players to make the team, or more specifically both tackles. As I mentioned yesterday, the Eskimos offensive line is filled with Canadians that are just reaching their prime. And in this league, proven Canadian talent will trump an import rookie.

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