Change certain for Esks

Edmonton Eskimos' Mathieu Bertrand sits in the dressing room after losing to the Saskatchewan...

Edmonton Eskimos' Mathieu Bertrand sits in the dressing room after losing to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the CFL Western Conference Semi-final in Edmonton on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2004. (Edmonton Sun/Darryl Dyck)

GERRY PRINCE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:50 AM ET

There was an eerie quiet in the Eskimos locker room after yesterday's defeat.

Veteran special teamer/long snapper Roger Reinson is rarely at a loss for words, but the 35-year-old struggled as he tried to explain his feelings after the 14-6 setback at the hands of the Roughriders.

"There was no doubt that we thought we were going to walk out with a win," sputtered Reinson. "Any time you get... Aw, (blank), I can't even put words together right now. I'm just a muttering idiot right now."

Retirement clearly wasn't on Reinson's mind.

"You can't even think in that frame of mind, you feel so down right now," Reinson said.

ON THEIR MINDS

But it will be on the minds of some members of the Eskimos.

Offensive line coach Bill MacDermott huddled with his troops in one corner of the locker-room. Receiver Scott Robinson went about shaking hands with teammates.

Defensive back Quincy Coleman, who was a healthy scratch for yesterday's game, put his stuff into a garbage bag and headed out the door.

Change is inevitable.

"It's a really tough feeling to know that there's some guys that are going to question what they want to do with their football careers," said Esks head coach Tom Higgins after the third post-season loss of his career.

"There's always some change that occurs, but this is not the way this group wanted to go out."

Starting defensive end Rashad Jeanty twisted an ankle on the opening kickoff and was relegated to cheerleading duties for the balance of the game.

The loss of Jeanty forced the Esks to shuffle things up on the D-front.

"This is a total shock," said Jeanty, who is eligible for the NFL draft next spring and declined to comment on his future.

"It's something we didn't expect at all. I think the guys came out with intensity and things happened. It's just a total shock. Hopefully, we can regroup and continue what we need to to next year. It's disappointing. We've got key leadership with the veterans here. It's just unfortunate."

A HUGE COG

Sophomore defensive tackle Randy Spencer played two games last season and was a huge cog in Edmonton's defensive machine this season.

Like his teammates, Spencer sat in stunned silence in the almost morgue-like silence of the Edmonton locker-room.

"There's really not much I can say," offered Spencer.

"I can hardly even believe we lost. I don't even know how the game is over. I don't know what to do. I'm going home (to Ottawa) and that's the end of everything.

"We can't change what happened in the game and we can't make changes on decisions that were made. We're just going to have to come back and start all over again."


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