EDMONTON -- J.C. Sherritt will be a marked man by offensive linemen this CFL season.
The Edmonton Eskimos linebacker registered a league-record 130 tackles last season and was named CFL defensive player of the year.
The problem for opposing teams, however, is first they have to get through Edmonton's formidable defensive line before they can get to Sherritt.
And that, says head coach Kavis Reed, will not be an easy assignment for any opponent, including the visiting Saskatchewan Roughriders who are in Edmonton for the Eskimos' home opener this afternoon.
"One of the most important things about the position he plays, it matters who is in front of him," said Reed when asked if he expected teams to key on Sherritt. "If we did not have a formidable group in front of him, it might be the case, but being that we have arguably one of the best groups of inside guys, it's going to be difficult for offences to scheme to get to J.C."
Sherritt, who signed in Edmonton as a free agent prior to the 2011 season, also doesn't think opponents will be able to key on him.
"With the D line we have, they can't do that. For the same reason, when we play Saskatchewan, I'm not going to focus on Cory Sheets," he said. "You just can't focus on one player."
Which means the third-year pro could be looking at another great season of bringing down opposing running backs, receivers and quarterbacks. Besides his record-breaking number of tackles last season, the 5-9, 218-pound Sherritt also had three sacks, three forced fumbles and five interceptions.
-- The Canadian Press