October 20, 2008
Esks can see for JylesFormer teammate may lead Riders Saturday
By JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA
REGINA -- Steven Jyles has just added to the anticipation level for the Edmonton Eskimos's critical game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders this weekend.
After his best day as a CFL quarterback - coming off the bench to guide the Riders to a 30-29 victory over Hamilton yesterday - Jyles could start for Saskatchewan when Edmonton visits Regina on Saturday.
This is the same Jyles that was traded by the Eskimos this winter to the Riders for Fred Perry.
But in blunt terms, the Eskimos likely didn't believe Jyles would become a top-flight quarterback.
Now, he could burn his old team if he is handed the starting assignment this week.
"I am excited to see those guys," said Jyles on his former teammates with the Esks.
"I talk to a lot of guys on the team a lot.
"We are constantly talking crap to each other.
"I talk to Siddeeq (Shabazz). We are constantly writing on Facebook."
A third-year CFL veteran - who just rode the bench in Edmonton in 2006 and 2007 - Jyles was 12-for-14 passing for 149 yards and a touchdown in Saskatchewan's come-from-behind win over the hapless Tiger-Cats in Regina.
Trailing 29-20 with 8:40 left in the fourth quarter yesterday, Jyles led the Riders on two scoring drives to win.
The Saskatchewan victory means Edmonton is now last in the West Division with 18 points, two points behind B.C. and the Riders for second place. Calgary leads the West with 22 points. There are two games remaining for each team in the division, with Edmonton still having a chance to finish first to fourth.
It all means the Edmonton-Saskatchewan game on Saturday (5 p.m., TSN) has huge playoff implications.
Saskatchewan head coach Ken Miller isn't tipping his hand on who will start at quarterback.
"We will have a quarterback meeting at eight o'clock on Tuesday morning and at that time we will know (who starts)," said Miller.
After watching Darian Durant throw three interceptions in the first 24 minutes yesterday, Jyles replaced the starter.
But Jyles also threw an interception - right to Jykine Bradley for a touchdown in the fourth quarter - which is why he isn't automatically getting the starting nod for Saturday.
"When he has been in games before he's thrown some interceptions," said Miller on Jyles.
"That is just something we have to consider. Certainly he will figure strongly in the mix (on who starts Saturday)."
So, it is a guessing game until tomorrow - at least - for the Eskimos on who they will face this weekend.
Michael Bishop will apparently get consideration from Miller to start, even though he didn't play yesterday and threw two interceptions in the end zone two weeks ago.
Two of Durant's three picks yesterday were also in the end zone.
While Jyles has yet to start a game for the Riders this year and has only appeared in four games this season, teammate Omarr Morgan is lobbying for him to start against Edmonton.
"With that performance I think he deserves a start," said Morgan.
If it happens, Perry could be chasing Jyles around the pocket.
And possibly down the field considering Jyles had 50 rushing yards on four carries yesterday.