The talk about not talking

GERRY PRINCE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:36 AM ET

Jason Maas is an unhappy camper.

But Maas's discontent has everything to do with media reports of his taking the fifth and nothing whatsoever to do with his new role as the Edmonton Eskimos' No. 2 quarterback.

Maas railed against the local and national media outlets who concluded his decision to wave off interview requests following the team's Saturday afternoon run down session as the early stages of a quarterbacking controversy.

"I was as shocked as anybody to wake up Sunday morning on my day off and to read that I was unhappy, that I was a little miffed for the sheer fact I'm not," offered Maas yesterday.

"And then not only to see that, but to get on the Internet and see my name plastered there and that I'm not happy. Then to be watching something on TSN and see it go across the ticker that I'm not happy."

Hindsight being 20-20, Maas now believes facing the media would have prevented all the unnecessary innuendo and speculation.

"I was walking off the field after a run down, my daughter and my wife were waiting for me in the west end. All I wanted to do was get there," explained Maas, the Esks' starter last season.

WANTED TO LEAVE

"That's where my mind was. I just wanted to leave. Our PR guy called me and said, 'They want to talk to you.' I just gave them the 'I'm good, I wanna go.'

"If I had played in that game, I would have (talked) definitely. That's part of my job, part of my responsibility. I didn't feel Jason Maas was a story.

"I blame myself. I should have just went over there. I really wanted to leave. It wasn't a shun or a problem that I'm not happy."

Ricky Ray, who has already been named the Green and Gold's starter for Thursday's game in Winnipeg, says the story was grossly overplayed by all media outlets.

"They just assumed he wasn't talking because he was p---ed off or he's not happy," said Ray, in Maas's defence. "That wasn't the case.

DIDN'T PLAY IN GAME

"From talking to him, he just felt, 'Hey, I didn't play in the game. I'm trying to get out of here. I've got some things going on today.'

"He just declined to do an interview and everybody just kind of ran with it that he was upset."

"To me, there is no controversy," Maas said.

"I'm a competitive guy. Yes, I want to play just as badly as anybody. But I'm No. 2 right now and I understand my role as No. 2."

Head coach Danny Maciocia made it clear prior to the start of the regular season he planned to ride the arm of his starter for as long as that individual was effective.

There would be no two-quarterback system as long as he was at the helm.

And in the event of a slump, the Esks' No. 1 pivot would have ample opportunity to extricate himself from the doldrums before being replaced.

As for the notion of a quarterback controversy, the Esks rookie head coach is blunt.

"There isn't one," said Maciocia. "We just have a lot of depth at the position."


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