It's time to spank 'em

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:36 AM ET

The bus leaves at 7 a.m. Be under it.

That's the message Danny Maciocia should have given his team in Hamilton.

Instead the Eskimos didn't even need to run in the cold and rain when they returned home yesterday. And they get the next four days off.

It's time, Danny Maciocia, to turn the Edmonton Football & Country Club into a sweatshop. It's time to stop being a player's coach and let the volcano erupt.

You're not Tom Higgins. Why give these guys one more reasonable, logical, let's-sit-down-and-talk-about-this break? You're an emotional guy. The score was 40-14. Blow the gasket!

I know he's ready to erupt. I never heard Maciocia swear before yesterday.

"I'm @#$%ing pissed off!'' he said.

"Obviously I had a long night thinking about it. I'm still thinking about it today. I'm still @#$%ing pissed off!''

Good. Tell them. Show them.

NO LEADERSHIP

You can throw a bunch of veteran free agents together. But can you make them Eskimos?

Where is the veteran leadership?

Where is the ''play for each other'' pride instead of the ''play for the pay cheque'' mentality we've been watching here?

"Most of these guys don't know what it is to be an Eskimo. They just got here. They don't know. This is their first time around playing with each other,'' says Maciocia.

"Conversations are going to take place with some of our so-called leaders. It's their football team. It's time to take ownership of it. What you put into it is what get out of it. We had great leadership against B.C. We need to get the same leadership every week.''

It goes past that. I think it's time to stand up and question who these guys are playing for and if the answer isn't the Edmonton Eskimos, then maybe somebody like, oh, Joe Montford quickly jumps to mind after that one, who needs to be made the example.

DISAPPOINTING RECORD

Maciocia has won only three of his last eight and one of his last four. If he wins one of his next four, he's 9-9. The last guy who was 9-9 here was fired.

Maciocia's players keep putting him on and taking him off a hot seat, which he shouldn't have to deal with here this year.

And where's Hugh Campbell and Paul Jones in all of this? Hamilton added an import offensive lineman from NFL cuts named Travis Claridge, and wow what a difference that made to their offensive line! You don't think Ricky Ray wouldn't like to see a Claridge in front of him instead of a couple of the turnstiles he has there right now?

Maciocia keeps saying they have the players and they proved that against B.C.

Sorry. Not if they keep picking and choosing when they feel like playing.

"I'm extremely disappointed. I think this football team needs to figure out if they want to take ownership of it. Quite a few things are going through my head but that one is up there. This team has to decide what they want to do. To go out and play like that ...

"It's really, really hard to explain. We came off a game in which our team proved we could play with the big boys. And then to go to Hamilton and lose the way we lost ...

"To lose the way we lost delivers the message to everybody that mentally we clearly weren't there.''

To go from seven penalties for 44 yards to a league-leading lack of discipline (18 penatlies for 139 yards) has to be read as a reflection on the respect the players have for their rookie Canadian head coach.

"It always reflects on me at the end of the day,'' says Maciocia. "How do you go seven for 44 and then go back to taking as many penalties as we took? It's really unacceptable. It's something we will discuss.''

Whoa. It's been discussed to death.

"Obviously you've heard it before. Now we have to sit down and have one-on-one conversations.''

Forget talking. It's time for shouting ...

And no damn days off.


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