Special effort

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:19 AM ET

The Edmonton Eskimos can boast about having the most dangerous punt return specialist in the league and a very well executed blocking scheme in front of Tony Tompkins.

But when it comes to stopping opposing returners, the Esks aren't at the top of the chart.

The Green and Gold have given up 739 punt return yards this season, third most in the league.

More importantly, Edmonton has given up two return touchdowns in the last three games.

Kahlil Hill took one 80 yards to the end zone in Hamilton in late September.

"That one was a letdown in coverage," said Esks' assistant coach Malvin Hunter, who calls the special teams plays.

"Not to disrespect Hill, but our guys know that we let our guard down for one play."

Saskatchewan's Corey Holmes followed suit by romping 53 yards for a major in the last game.

"He caught it, took two or three steps and was outside of our contain. Now we are chasing him - and you are chasing a jackrabbit and it's impossible to catch him," explained Hunter.

"It's not acceptable, but he is a hell of a player."

It doesn't get much easier for Edmonton tonight facing Aaron Lockett of the B.C. Lions, who has two touchdowns and averages more yards than almost anyone in the CFL.

The key, according to Hunter, is keeping him inside the contain men and from finding a lane up the sideline at Commonwealth Stadium.

SHORT YARDAGE: The Eskimos have had two weeks to find a way to solve their lack of touchdown production inside the red zone.

"We have a plan for that," said receiver Ed Hervey. "I think we worked at it (in practice) until we were blue in the face.

"(Tonight) we will be far more aggressive I think."

The Esks have just three touchdowns in the last three games from inside the 20-yard line.

LATE HITS: Superstition rules in the Eskimo locker-room, as the team will wear its green on green uniform tonight, hoping to win a fourth consecutive game in the new duds ... Lion QB Dave Dickenson has been medically cleared from concussion symptoms and will dress as a backup to Casey Printers.


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