Father knows best

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON

, Last Updated: 8:49 AM ET

Neil Lumsden left his son with one piece of advice before he battled the Edmonton Eskimos.

The father of the CFL's rising star - Hamilton running back Jesse Lumsden - actually warned him about the often-criticized Eskimo defence before last night's game.

"The one thing that I did say to him: 'Don't be fooled by all this talk about the Edmonton defence. It is a bunch of crap. These guys (in Edmonton) are players. They are coached well. Don't think for one minute that they won't be ready to go,' " relayed Neil.

Edmonton entered the tilt at Commonwealth Stadium with the CFL's worst rushing defence.

NO. 3 IN CFL

On the flip side, Lumsden entered last night's Edmonton-Hamilton game as the league's No. 3 rusher.

But that piece of advice is just another example of a very unique father-son relationship. Neil - a former Eskimo with three Grey Cup rings from his time in this city - talks to his son after every game.

"Sometimes it's right after the game when we meet him in the parking lot (in Hamilton)," said Neil. "Sometimes it's two or three days later."

It is definitely appreciated by Jesse, who's in his first full season with the Ticats.

"He's kind of been my personal coach ever since I started playing football ... and he still is," said Jesse.

But the chats are very specific.

"The only thing we talk about is next week," said Neil, referring to the next opponent on the Hamilton schedule.

"When we talk football, it's normally because he asks the question - what to do you think (about this)?

"I don't critique him after every game. We only talk about it when he wants to talk about it.

"We talk about the game and how I can help. From seeing him and knowing him better than anybody else, I know when tendencies start to happen and just point them out.

"Every player has a tendency to forget about certain things. You just get into a routine. Sometimes you can get into bad habits."

That means Neil hasn't offered his son any advice about his upcoming option year. Jesse can escape to the NFL this winter, if he so chooses.

It's widely thought that Hamilton will make him a major contract offer before this season is over.

If the financial numbers make sense, he might sign long term in the CFL. If he does, it will give Neil another chance to pull together the trip he had been thinking about this year.

Neil had considered a motorcycle tour in Alberta this month, returning to Edmonton in time to watch the Ticats at Commonwealth Stadium.

Watching his son play in his old stomping grounds would have been quite an experience. Instead, he planned to watch last night's game on TV at home in Burlington, Ont.


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