Higgins hesitant to talk about Esks

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:45 AM ET

Tom Higgins didn't really want to talk too much about the topic, but he truly believes the Edmonton Eskimos aren't a complete mess.

"The Edmonton Eskimos have a good football team," said the Calgary Stampeders' head coach, who has a long history with the Green and Gold.

"There are some challenges, however.

"I think the biggest challenge people have on the outside is they can't see what is right, they can only see what is wrong.

"There are a lot of things that are right.

"I would anticipate a ferocious battle (tonight).

"I don't need to go into any more detail. It's not my football team and nor will I have any more to say about that."

However, in his media conference yesterday in advance of tonight's critical Labour Day rematch, he did admit that he knows what Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia is going through in this city, where frustration is mounting and fans are calling for coaching changes.

"There is a great deal of pressure here, but if you don't keep it in perspective, you are going to drive yourself absolutely crazy and you won't be able to stay in this business very long," said Higgins.

And that's a pretty good message, according to Maciocia.

"That's sound advice," said the Eskimo bench boss.

"We're less than a year removed from winning a Grey Cup and it seems like that doesn't mean anything.

"But when you say that, people say you are living in the past."

WAIT IS OVER: Rhett McLane -- a self-proclaimed history buff -- is willing to test his skills on Jeopardy if a Canadian history category was on the board.

But in terms of his own football career, McLane will make history tonight when he gets his first-ever CFL start for the Edmonton Eskimos.

After waiting three years, he'll get the nod at right guard over Glen Carson, who has been stapled to the bench after a rough first half in the Labour Day Classic.

"I know it is an opportunity but I think I have been here long enough," said the Saskatchewan native.

"I know what's going on.

"And a lot of guys since I have been here have come and gone but played 10-12 years and you learn a lot from that.

"Hopefully I can use that and apply it on the field (tonight)."

FINISH LINES: If someone in the Stampeder receiving core scores a touchdown tonight, expect an Edmonton-themed end zone dance.

"We have a great one," said Nik Lewis."I have never seen it done before."


Photos