Quite the scene to welcome three new kicking candidates to Bomberland Sunday morning.
Winds gusting, the rain falling and a real October-like chill in the air.
"Hey, if I was a coach these are the exact conditions I’d want for us to be kicking in," grinned Warren Kean afterward. "After all, we’re going to have to kick in this stuff."
Kean, the former first-round draft pick of the Edmonton Eskimos (2nd overall) in 2007, showed the biggest leg of the three candidates airlifted in on an emergency basis for the injured Louie Sakoda, but it’s not like Justin Palardy and Ryan Elaschuk didn’t also impress while under the microscope Sunday. All three men will get a good look over the next couple of days before the coaches decide who accompanies the team to Montreal Wednesday morning.
This background stuff on the three newcomers straight from the Bomber press release:
Kean (6-1, 200, Concordia, DOB: June 21, 1984 in Dundas, Ont.) spent part of the 2008 season with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers after being released by the Edmonton Eskimos who drafted him second overall in the 2007 CFL Canadian Draft. Kean played in one game for the Eskimos in 2007, making three of four field goal attempts. He was a three-time conference all-star with the Concordia Stingers and holds the CIS record for most made field goals in a single game with nine.He was an All-Canadian in 2005 and is third in Quebec University Football League history with 53 career field goals.
Palardy (5-11, 200, Saint Mary’s, DOB: May 24, 1988 in Truro, Nova Scotia) was drafted by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the fifth round (36th overall) in the 2010 CFL Canadian Draft. He appeared in five games with Hamilton this season punting the ball 27 times for an average of 42.1 yards. He played four seasons at Saint Mary’s where he connected on 65 of 84 field goal attempts. Palardy kicked the third most field goals (65) and scored the fifth most points (320) in CIS history. He earned a spot on the AUS All-Star team three times as a place kicker and twice as a punter.
Elaschuk (5-10, 215, Edmonton Wildcats, DOB: October 5, 1986 in Winnipeg, Manitoba) played five years with the Edmonton Wildcats of the CJFL and is the all-time points record holder in the league. Elaschuk signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders last season after attending training camp with the Edmonton Eskimos and was released during this year’s training camp. In his final year with the Wildcats, Elaschuk punted 65 times for an average of 36.9 yards, kicked off 40 times for a CJFL-best average of 60.1 yards, went 10-for-18 on field goal attempts and was 30-for-30 on convert tries. He was named the CJFL’s All-Canadian place-kicker in 2008.
A fourth kicker was working out after practice, but head coach Paul LaPolice said ‘the younger guy from Calgary’ was not in the running to replace Sakoda, who pulled a calf muscle last Thursday and aggravated it further in the warm-up to Friday’s 39-28 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. That development forced the Bombers to use punter Mike Renaud and reserve linebacker Chris Smith as their placekicker on an emergency basis. It also meant the Bomber staff was on the phone seeking help immediately afterward.
Meanwhile, QB Buck Pierce was a spectator Sunday and LaPolice said he was experiencing some soreness in his knee. Steven Jyles will start Thursday against the Als and the Bombers hope Pierce might be good to go for the Labour Day Classic in Regina after next week’s bye. Left guard Brendon LaBatte also did not practice, but should be OK for the Als’ game.