Potential Non-Import Starters

The Eskimos, like every other CFL team, will need to identify seven players that can start in order to respect the import ratio mandated by the collective bargaining agreement. Assuming that the ratio does not change when a new CBA is eventually signed, there are a number of scenarios that the Green & Gold could entertain when it comes to filling these positions.

Potential Offensive Starters

Kamau Peterson, SB: Peterson is guaranteed to be a starter.  Receivers that can catch for over a 1,000 yards don’t spend a lot of time on the bench.

Andre Talbot, SB: The premise of Talbot starting is contingent upon him being fully recovered from an ankle injury that sidelined the talented slotback for most of 2009. If healthy, he could be in the 50 catch, 800 yard range over a full season.

Aaron Fiacconi, C: Fiacconi started all 18 regular season games in 2009 as well as the Western Semi-Final. An organizational commitment to having mostly non-import starters along the offensive line will keep him starting in 2010.

Patrick Kabongo, G: The right guard for the Eskimos continues to show why he one of the best offensive linemen in the league, posting 19 total starts in 2009. Kabongo was the Eskimos nominee for Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman and Most Outstanding Canadian last year.

Kyle Koch, G: Another full season starter on the offensive line, Koch continues to impress early in his career. The one-time Blue Bomber seems to have found a spot for himself at left guard for the Eskimos.

Joe McGrath, T: McGrath started 19 games for the Eskimos at left tackle protecting Ricky Ray’s blindside. Having a steady precence on the left side of the line is something the Eskimos are lucky to have.

Potential Defensive Starters

Adam Braidwood, DT: Braidwood was a starter two years ago before he went down to an injury that hasn’t seen him play a down for two full seasons. He’s healthy now, so the question is if he can regain the form that led to such high expectations for the former first overall draft pick.

Javier Glatt, LB: Glatt started at middle linebacker for the BC Lions for three full years before losing his spot in 2009 to import JoJuan Armour. If Glatt shows up to camp ready to compete, he could allow the coaching staff to have some flexibility when it comes to starting non-imports.

Elliott Richardson, S: Richardson is not the most talented defensive back, but he plays with hustle and competes. Forced into starting 14 games in 2009 when starter Scott Gordon was injured, he holds down the title of starting safety until someone takes it from him.

Saleem Borhot, S: When Danny Machocia was interviewed after selecting Borhot in the second round of the 2010 draft, he went on the record to say that Borhot has the potential to start for the Eskimos as early as this year. This will be a player to watch in training camp and pre-season.

The Chosen Seven

Peterson, Fiacconi, Kabongo, Koch, and McGrath are all but guaranteed to be starters from day one. Those five are the easy ones to take care of. Talbot and Braidwood certainly have proven they have the talent to start, but coming back from a serious injury is never easy. If even one of them is ready to go and can be inserted into the starting lineup, the Eskimos will have a bit of flexibility when it comes to their seventh starter. Starting Javier Glatt at linebacker probably means taking Rod Davis off the field, however, the Eskimos would then have the option of dressing five import defensive backs. If they go with Richardson or Borhot as a starter, it could allow for an all import defensive front seven. There are plenty of options for the Eskimos, and the one positive is that they have left themselves with plenty of non-import depth should injuries arise.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Starters will depend on the formations; if we go with two people in the backfield, you can have Mathieu Bertrand or Calvin McCarty as potential starters as well.


  2. I thought about that, but decided to use a five receiver set instead, leaving five offensive linemen, a single back, and the quarterback. If the Eskimos do go with four receivers and two backs, one would suspect that there would only be one non-import receiver starting (Peterson). As I mentioned, there are numurous possibilities that the Green & Gold could explore. Thanks for mentioning that scenario.


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