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Players looking forward to taking on former teammates

Romero and Alexander face former team
Reported by Jamie Nye
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The route between Edmonton and Regina was well travelled over the offseason as both teams swapped talent.

On Sunday as the Roughriders and Eskimos battle in their season openers at Mosaic Stadium a few players have the opportunity to stick it to their former team. The Roughriders have four former Eskimos on their opening day roster with defensive tackle Dario Romero, receiver Efrem Hill, defensive back Tristan Jackson and fullback Graeme Bell. The Eskimos have a few former Roughriders but only two wore Green and White last season, safety Donovan Alexander and defensive end Joe Sykes.

Romero setting sights on Ray

For the veteran Romero he says there is no doubt he'll use his release from the Eskimos as extra motivation.

"It's always motivation to play the team that let you go. You want to show them that they made a mistake and I'm looking forward to it."

Romero is known for his nastiness along the defensive line and he knows he should be able to get a shot in on his former quarterback Ricky Ray, "Ricky likes to hang on to the ball but he's tough. We should be able to get to him because he likes to stay in the pocket and throw the ball so that's what I know about Ricky but you're going to have to hit him good because he's tough."

A hit from Romero is exactly what the Eskimos quarterback wants to avoid.

"It's been nice having (Romero) in Green and Gold the last couple of years because I still remember a hit when he played with Montreal in 2007 when he caught me right under the chin so hopefully that won't be happening this Sunday."

Alexander getting safety shot

Donovan Alexander is on the other side of Mosaic for the first time in his career. Alexander was a starter for the Roughriders on the corner spot for 2009 but was relegated to a backup role last season before the team let him go.

Alexander isn't as emotional as Romero about facing his former mates, "It will be a different experience, as in coming out of a different tunnel, but I think once the balls kicked off it will go back to just being regular football but it will be fun playing in this atmosphere, I've never been a visiting player here before."

Alexander has made the move to safety for the Eskimos, where he'll start on Sunday. He knows what challenge is a head of him, facing Darian Durant, who he's only played against in practice.

"I've been telling some of my teammates 'you have to cover whistle to whistle' because he's very elusive and can get away with his legs and he's built a very good chemistry with his receivers. Whenever there's a broke down play that's when he's at his most dangerous as he can light you up when you least expect it."

Photo of Dario Romero taken by Jamie Nye on June 29th, 2011

Edited by News Talk Radio's Jamie Nye