Road, sweet road

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:22 AM ET

The last time the Edmonton Eskimos ventured onto the road they became roadkill.

Precisely 33 days ago, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers handed the Eskimos their worst defeat in seven years by pounding them 46-10 on Canada Day in the Manitoba capital.

But as the struggling Green and Gold - losers of three of their last four games, including two straight at home - board their charter flight today to Vancouver for tomorrow night's game against the first-place B.C. Lions, some players believe a road trip might really help this team.

JUST THE BREAK THEY NEED

"Going on the road - I think it is the break we would need because you hear guys coming in (to the Commonwealth Stadium locker-room) saying: 'The media is saying this (criticism) and the fans are saying this,'" commented veteran Mookie Mitchell.

"It is probably best for this team this week just to get away for a couple of days and come back with a different frame of mind."

There is no doubting the fact the Eskimos have been bombarded with criticism in the last two weeks. Being a disappointing 2-4 and stuck in the West Division basement will do just that.

"After a while you hear all the criticism at home and you do just want to go on the road and play a game there," said linebacker Singor Mobley.

Being on the road also allows the players to be more focused on the game. There are definitely fewer distractions.

"We have been in this atmosphere (in Edmonton) for four weeks and I think the chance to get away and let this football team be with just us on the road - just the guys, no families, no friends - I think it will maybe allow a new focus for us," said receiver Trevor Gaylor.

"Whenever you are a professional athlete you have your family and friends to worry about before a game as far as tickets and transportation and phone calls.

"When you are on the road, they are more likely not to call you as much because they know that you can't get them the tickets.

"And it is just that little bit of stress (that has been alleviated) that allows you to focus on the task at hand."

CARD GAMES AND PLENTY OF TALK

Stuck in a downtown Vancouver hotel, card games are bound to break out tonight, with the game plan against the Lions never too far away from the conversation topic.

"When you are on the road you tend to talk a lot and you tend to figure out what we are going to do to come together to get a win," continued Mitchell.

For the cellar-dwelling Eskimos, a road trip with few distractions, team bonding and more attention to game details could be just what the doctor ordered to snap out of this losing spell.


Videos

Photos