Training Camp Cuts 2.0

Turf Issues

The rain and wind that has visited Edmonton this past week has given the Eskimos the perfect opportunity to really get a feel for the new field turf. The verdict is that the new surface is amazing. Any traditionalists who were holding on to the grass field should now be fully converted. The real test of course won’t come until the snow flies in mid-August, okay, mid-October, but so far so good.

Numbers Game

The Eskimos have not made any roster moves since Monday and currently have 34 defensive players, 35 offensive players, and four special teamers still on the roster. On the defensive side of the ball, 24 are imports leaving 10 non-imports. For the offense, not including the quarterbacks, the Eskimos are currently carrying 16 imports and 15 non-imports. All four of the special teams players are non-imports.

So that leaves 40 imports for 19 roster spots and 29 non-imports for 20 places on the Eskimos active roster.  Even if you give all four of reserve roster spots to the imports, it still means that 17 import players will either need to be released or assigned to the eight man practice squad.

It should also be noted that return specialists Tristan Jackson and Skyler Green are included in their respective position places, so Jackson is an import on defense while Green is in the offence count.

Depth Chart Moves

When looking at the Eskimos Training Camp Depth Chart, there are a few items that stick out. The first is that Mark Restelli is not starting at linebacker. Across the field, the Eskimos have Rod Davis, Maurice Lloyd, and TJ Hill as the starters. Restelli was a starter in 2009, his first season in professional football.

Jason Nugent is also slotted a little lower on the depth chart as the fourth outside linebacker on the weak-side. He is behind Davis, Restelli, and fellow non-import Greg Whelan. Nugent was a strong player for the Eskimos on special teams last year, finishing second on the team in special teams tackle. Read more about that here.

By looking at the depth chart, it also appears likely that the Eskimos will be going with two non-import receivers at starting positions as they have all the imports placed in three spots while the non-imports take up the other two. That could mean that there will only be three spots on the active roster for non-imports.

Maybe I am reading too much into the depth chart published at Esks.com, but it certainly raises a few questions about who has the upper hand in certain position battles leading into the first pre-season game against Calgary this weekend.

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