Red flag warning

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:48 AM ET

It wasn't the inability to score a touchdown in the pre-season that irked Danny Maciocia the most.

What drew the wrath of the Edmonton Eskimos head coach was the lack of discipline and the resulting number of penalties his team took in the back-to-back exhibition losses to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

"That's a big deal to me," said Maciocia. "It killed drives offensively and kept drives alive defensively. We can't do stuff like that. I don't care who you play - that's just the reality of it.

"I've talked about it the last couple of days. I'll probably mention it again today, tomorrow, the following day and when we get to Calgary. Hopefully at some point in time it sinks in."

Both the Riders and Esks were seeing the officials' flags fly in Regina. Saskatchewan was dinged 15 times for 121 yards while the Eskimos were penalized 11 times for 119 yards.

The Esks didn't learn their lesson from a week earlier and were hit for a whopping 195 yards on 16 penalties.

"We have to cut all the penalties - not some of them, all of them - and we'll be a better team," said defensive back Reggie Durden.

In the pre-season those numbers really don't matter. If that trend continues against the Calgary Stampeders on Friday ...

"It's one of those games where there's a lot of emotion involved," said Esks veteran Singor Mobley. "Especially after last year, they'll want to come out and prove a point that they are the team to beat in the West.

"You don't want to give your opponent any free yards and with penalties that's what you're doing. And against a team like Calgary that can turn into major points for them."

There's going to be the usual run of routine calls. The ones the Esks have to avoid are the same ones that cost them piles of yardage against the Riders.

"It's the retaliation ones when the ref sees you push or hit a guy, the late hits, the major ones - those are selfish penalties," added Mobley.


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