Inglis vows to be better

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:39 AM ET

Taylor Inglis is on the hot seat.

The temperature soared to 32C on the Edmonton Eskimos practice field yesterday, but Inglis is dealing with a different kind of heat.

The team's long snapper knows if his performance doesn't get better right away, his job will be in major jeopardy.

"This is professional sports," said the second year Eskimo.

"I need to step up so I don't get replaced.

"I snapped perfect all of last year and then in the first three games (this season) I have had two high snaps (on punts) and a couple of botched field goals."

In the first regular-season game, Inglis sailed a snap over punter Rodney Williams's head. The Stampeders recovered the fumble and promptly turned the gaffe into three points.

"My ass came up (on the snap) and I followed through high," explained Inglis, an Edmonton native.

TAKING THE BLAME

Earlier in the game, Sean Fleming missed his first extra-point attempt since 2002, which Inglis also takes responsibility for, although holder Jason Johnson spun the ball in the wrong fashion.

"It could have been a better snap," stressed Inglis.

In his mind, those two mistakes cost the Esks four points - and that four-point swing played a major role in the final two minutes of that game.

If the Esks had been leading by one point - instead of trailing by three points late in the fourth quarter and, subsequently, needing to push the ball down the field - they could have tried to kill the clock.

But trailing by three, quarterback Ricky Ray passed into the heart of the defence and was picked off, sealing a Calgary win.

And if that wasn't bad enough for Inglis, he sailed another snap over his punter's head in Winnipeg last weekend.

"I hurried myself and screwed myself up," said Inglis. "We try to rush the other team's punt team, so they don't get set and we get a jump on them."

Instead, the Bombers jumped on Fleming, who had to concede a safety, giving the raucous Winnipeg crowd something to cheer about after watching Edmonton shove the ball down the Bombers' throat on the first drive of the game to take a 7-0 lead.

Following the safety, Edmonton had to kick off to Winnipeg - and that drive turned into more points.

Momentum was gone from the Eskimo bench - and it never returned.

"Taylor just needs to focus and if he does what he is supposed to do, I don't think there are any better (long snappers) in the league," said head coach Danny Maciocia.

Besides concentration issues, the brace on Inglis's right knee due to ACL surgery might be part of the reason for his technique problems.

"I'm a little wider (in my stance) and I'm having to follow through a little more narrow so I don't hit my elbow on my brace," said Inglis.

But he's adamant the mistakes won't happen again.

"I'm not going to have another suspect game," he stated.

"That's the truth."

FINISH LINES: While it has been a rough start on the field, Inglis now has to adjust to life without Rodney Williams, who had become a close friend.

The import punter was cut Sunday.

"He had been living at my house for the last month or so," said Inglis.

TOUGH LOSS

The pair constantly worked on the sidelines through the last four weeks on snapping - and Inglis is going to miss the free advice while he tries to snap out of this slump.

"I am just going to have to grab somebody else and snap to them," he said, knowing Fleming spends practice following his own routine.

"But it's different when you have an NFL punter (to work with) who says - 'Listen man, your butt is pointing a little one way and your one hand followed through more than the other.' "


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