Jaime Elizondo pleased with practice debut of ‘huge addition’ Derrick Moncrief

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders/Electric Umbrella/Liam Richards

Edmonton Elks’ head coach Jaime Elizondo liked what he saw from former CFL all-star Derrick Moncrief on his first day of practice with his new team.

“I saw him unblocked in the hole one time and I looked up and said, ‘That’s what they’re supposed to look like.’ Derrick’s great. He’s going to be a huge addition to us. It looked like he fit right in and that’s a credit to the coaches getting him ready,” said Elizondo in his media availability on Tuesday.

The Elks signed Moncrief on September 6 after he was waived by the Los Angeles Rams. The 28-year-old was recruited by a number of CFL teams — including the Saskatchewan Roughriders, with whom he played in 2019 — before signing a deal with Edmonton that makes him the highest-paid linebacker in the league on a per game basis.

Moncrief developed into one of the top defenders in the league over a three-year stretch with Saskatchewan, recording 132 total tackles, five interceptions, four sacks, and one forced fumble.

“I think size, speed, strength — when I was in Ottawa, you always had to account for a guy like him. I think he’s going to be uplifting and it was good to see him get his feet back,” said Elizondo.

The Elks play three of their next four games against the first-place Winnipeg Blue Bombers, which Elizondo said would be “crucial for the race in the West.”

Moncrief should be in the starting lineup where he’ll look to make an impact in coverage, run support, and rushing the passer against one of the CFL’s top offences.