Blame me: Maurer

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:50 AM ET

Mike Maurer ran around Clarke Stadium during yesterday's light Edmonton Eskimo workout.

But the backup fullback and special teams player isn't running from the nightmare that unfolded on the final play of Sunday's critical game in Regina.

Maurer lined up across from Reggie Hunt and Omarr Morgan as the ball was snapped for Hayden Epstein's 31-yard field goal attempt with 10 seconds left.

As Maurer and almost every Eskimo fan now knows, Morgan sprinted off the far edge of the line to block the kick to give the Saskatchewan Roughriders a 37-36 win - and put them just two points behind Edmonton for second place in the CFL Western Division.

After yesterday's practice, Maurer faced the media, almost 24 hours after facing his teammates and accepting the blame for the loss.

"I felt responsible for the blocked kick. The pressure came from the back side and that is where I am and I made a formal team apology (after Sunday's game)," said Maurer. "I had to get (the apology) out there. I was feeling it inside of me. I was hearing guys wondering what happened ... and I happened to catch (the video highlight) on the jumbotron (at Taylor Field). So I wanted to let the team know."

When the ball was snapped, Maurer tried to block both Riders - and was successful on Hunt, who is usually the key player.

"You got to protect the inside (of the line)," explained Maurer. "The man on the outside shouldn't be able to get there. (Morgan) had an incredible jump on the snap."

Some fans and some people at yesterday's workout suggested Epstein's slight stutter step just before kicking the ball contributed to the block. But the rookie kicker vehemently denies that notion.

"If you guys go back to my film," stated Epstein. "I think the first two kicks I kicked for the Eskimos I think I had that (stutter step) in there."

The Eskimo coaches and players aren't making Epstein or Maurer wear the loss. When asked if there was a breakdown in coverage, Malvin Hunter - the Esks' defensive assistant and special teams boss - blamed nobody on his team. "Sometimes people make plays and (Omarr Morgan) made a play," he said.

Added Maurer: "My teammates have been awesome, they have been very supportive."

LATE HITS: Defensive end Rashad Jeanty doesn't have a separated left shoulder, but is day-to-day ... Chris Morris has an ankle sprain and will be available to play on the o-line this week ... Steve Charbonneau (back) and Gerald Dixon (chest) will be evaluated throughout the week.


Videos

Photos