A special kind of drought

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:18 AM ET

It turns out that farmers aren't the only people worrying about drought conditions during this hot summer.

CFL teams and fans are starting to see the early signs of their own kind of drought.

Entering Week 6, there hasn't been one punt or kick return for a touchdown in the league, compared to eight majors at this point last year.

GET EXCITED

"Oh man," said Eskimo kick returner Tony Tompkins, "I want to give the fans something to get excited about again."

Tompkins, who led the league with four special teams touchdowns last year, believes there is one simple reason for the drastic change that's found its way across the league.

"(Cover) guys are starting to get the hang of all the good guys returning (punts and kicks)," he said.

"A lot of teams are taking more time (in practice and film sessions) for special teams to get everything right."

Adding to the problem in Edmonton is the fact the Esks are dealing with new faces.

"We have a lot of new guys blocking and they have to get the hang of things," continued Tompkins.

There are other theories for the drought, including the fact officials are calling more illegal block penalties.

But those penalties aren't wiping out several TD returns.

EXPANDED ROSTER

Another theory involves the expanded roster size this year, with teams using the extra two spots for special teams demons.

"But you can make the argument that those extra individuals should create more openings," said Esks coach Danny Maciocia.


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