Maciocia has his eyes aimed at red zone

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:16 AM ET

The Edmonton Eskimos have to turn the red zone into the green zone in a big hurry.

In their nine trips inside the red zone this season - which is within the opposition's 20-yard line - the Green and Gold have scored just three touchdowns, two field goals and a single while turning the ball over an embarrassing three times.

Of a possible 63 points in those nine trips, the Esks have produced just 28.

"It's kind of what has been hurting us," said quarterback Ricky Ray, who fumbled on Winnipeg's one-yard line last week.

"We need to focus harder.

"We have to know that we have to protect the football and can't make mistakes.

"We can't just think that we are going to take it down field, we have to make some big plays."

For that reason, head coach Danny Maciocia put his beleaguered crew through its paces in the red zone in practice yesterday.

"Everything works (on this offence) until you get down there," said Maciocia.

"You have to convert when the ball is on the one-yard line.

"So, we have gone back and studied it and have put in countless hours trying to examine what is the problem.

"And I think we have found the solution."

While Maciocia isn't going to tip his hand to the B.C. Lions, who'll roll into Commonwealth Stadium today to prepare for tomorrow night's clash, he does admit that part of the problem is mental.

"I think it's just a question of having an attitude when you get down there," said the coach.

"There is no finesse. It's me versus you and the best man is going to win."


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