On the money!

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:06 AM ET

It's Double 'E' vs Double 'D'.

Edmonton Eskimos vs. Dave Dickenson.

Perfectly predictable, say the Edmonton Eskimos of Wally Buono's decision to go with Dickenson as his starter ahead of Casey Printers Sunday in the West final.

"He's their money guy and it's the big game," said Singor Mobley. "Dave is Wally's ace. He's his guy."

Exactly, says Joe Montford. "Dickenson is his man and has been all along. Dave's healthy. And when Dave is healthy, Wally's going to go to him."

Will Maciocia make the same call, picking his guy, Ricky Ray, despite Double 'R's serious skid during the last five games (only one of which the Eskimos have lost, unlike the six of the last seven the Lions have lost)?

Will Maciocia go to his main man, his starter for the last 55 games here including his last two Western Finals and the Eskimos last two Grey Cup games?

Does this make it easier for Maciocia in effect to make the same decision as Buono?

"It doesn't affect me one bit," says the Eskimos rookie head coach. "We met (yesterday) with the quarterbacks. We'll meet again with them one more time (this morning) and proceed accordingly. The meeting (this morning) will have a large say in how we operate."

THERE'S A POSSIBILITY

Maciocia, who said Monday he won't make the decision on his starter until Sunday, said there's a possibility he could change his mind and announce it today.

You definitely get the idea the quarterbacks will know today.

Maciocia says the Eskimos brain trust wasn't unanimous in guessing Buono would go with Dickenson.

"Some people here thought they'd go the other way here. I know there's a history with those two that dates back to Calgary. So is it a surprise? No, it shouldn't be."

The Lions, who came to Edmonton 11-0, have turned toothless since the Eskimos stopped their streak, losing six of their last seven including a second game to the Eskimos in Edmonton.

Printers quarterbacked the only Lions win over the Eskimos back on Aug. 5. Dickenson has quarterbacked the first Lions loss in Edmonton and Printers the second. Dickenson, prior to the final game of the regular season, hadn't taken a snap since the third quarter on Oct. 1 when he suffered a concussion.

Buono started Printers against Saskatchewan in the final game, gave him the hook and went to Dickenson, who was promptly sacked on four of nine snaps - completing four passes of five on the non-sack snaps for 61 yards. Buono went back to Printers to finish up. Printers was 13 for 25 for 133 yards for his time in the game.

Montford says there's a big difference in playing against Dickenson or Printers. "Dave don't run," he said. "With Dave, you don't have to worry so much about your lanes."

With Dickenson, the defensive line knows they can pin their ears back more and go and get him. But they also know they have to get there - and often. "Dave is a lot like Ricky Ray that way. He keeps getting back up unless you've ringed his neck off. You at least have to rattle him enough to make him throw that little bit off."

DICKENSON IS DIFFICULT

Mobley says Dickenson is difficult.

"We know he's usually amazingly efficient. He'll pick you apart if you'll give him time.

"And it really is hard to rattle the guy. He stays poised and he really doesn't show that much emotion. He's like Ricky in a way. He's a hard guy to read. He doesn't give you any clue if you've got inside his head. He doesn't show his frustrations. On the other hand, you don't have to worry about him getting 40 or 50 yards on a run."

Maciocia says the thing dealing with Dickenson is the defence knows it has to show up and play near perfect football.

"He's like a surgeon back there. He's going to try to dissect you. He's true to his reads. He protects the football really well. He won't force the throw. If there's nothing there, he'll throw it away.

"He plays the position the way it should be played. You have to be damn good to shut him down. You can't be sloppy back there."

Double 'D' double dog dares you.


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