Esks add to the PR

Is this the new face of the Esks pass rush?

Last week I posted an article about how there was room on the practice rosterfor the Esks to potentially add some warm bodies to the mix if they were so inclined. The premise was that a 1-6 team should certainly be exploring any and all potential roster moves to help the ball club get a few more wins under their belt with two specific positions mentioned. On offense, the likely place to add non-import talent would have been at receiver while the defensive line certainly looked like the obvious choise on the defensive side of the ball. Enter Brad Lester and Earl Heyman.

Brad Lester, Running Back

The addition of Lester is a little curious due to the fact that the Esks have Arkee Whitlock producing at clip that should make him the team’s MOP candidate for the first half of the season and Daniel Libre already on the practice squad. Lester will not have a chance at making the active roster as long as Whitlock stays healthy, so it will be interesting to see if the Esks are going to part ways with Libre, who made the practice roster after being a late training camp addition. In his only live action on a CFL playing field, Libre carried the ball five times for 24 yards against the BC Lions in the Esks second pre-season game. Certainly not outstanding stats, but the organization has invested two solid months in Libre and vice versa. Libre knows the playbook, and barring some type of internal issue, should stick with the team.

As for Lester, after wrapping up his college career at Auburn University in 2009, he worked out for the Houston Texans but was not offered a deal. He turned up on the BC Lions practice roster last year in October, but was not resigned at the end of the season. He apparently had a deal with a CFL club back in March of this year, but elected to try and catch on with an NFL team instead. The opportunity he was hoping for seems to have never panned out and he is now with the Esks. He posted a 4.48 40-yard dash time at his pro day while with Auburn so he has some speed.

Earl Heyman, Defensive Tackle

Heyman replaces the departed Andre Coleman on the Esks roster, and unlike Lester, is an addition that makes a lot of sense for the football team. Heyman spent the entire 2009 season on the New Orleans Saints practice roster, but was cut during training camp this summer on July 29th. He’s been active in football and should be able to contribute once he learns the nuances of playing in the CFL and the Esks defensive playbook. Here is a link to an interesting readabout Heyman.

With Dario Romero as the only import defensive tackle on the roster, adding Heyman addresses a lack of depth for the Esks. At six-foot-one and 310-pounds, Heyman certainly has the size to be effective along the interior line. How fast he gets up to speed will determine when he gets a shot a playing.

Step in the Right Direction

Bringing in new players to compete for roster spots is certainly a positive move as the players whose jobs Lester and Heyman are competing for are going to feel a little pressure. Despite the addition of Lester being a bit curious, the old saying about taking the best players available is something every team tries to follow, and the Esks are no exception. If he is better than Libre, so be it.

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