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JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:07 AM ET

How does Jason Johnson at quarterback and Ron McClendon in the backfield sound?

Or how about Steven Jyles throwing to Toby Zeigler?

It certainly sounds very different, but it could become a reality.

Danny Maciocia is about to attempt a very delicate balancing act.

With the Edmonton Eskimos playoff hopes toast, the head coach's game plan has changed for the final two games of the year: he wants to win, but also try to assess talent.

IN RIGHT POSITION

"What we want to do is put ourselves in a position that we look for answers (on certain players) and yet feel like we can line up and win a football game," said Maciocia yesterday afternoon.

"You are hoping that going into the off-season you have some answers regarding some of these guys and you don't have to wait another training camp or two more pre-season games to get those answers."

"We are going to sit down and see who we want to take a look at and get a good feel for where we are headed."

In other words, it appears there will be many auditions for 2007 when the Esks wrap up their season on Saturday afternoon in Montreal and the following Friday at home against Saskatchewan.

But while fans are already clamouring for Johnson or Jyles to start this weekend against the Alouettes, Maciocia isn't saying he's going that far.

"I don't know about starting them," he remarked.

"But there is a possibility we may see them play some."

When pressed further on the issue of seeing them in real game action, the coach admitted: "I think it would be important."

Johnson has appeared in just three games this year, going 11-14 for 135 yards as the second-stringer to Ray.

Over his three years in Edmonton, Johnson has only attempted 19 passes.

But Jyles is considered the more intriguing prospect. A first-year pro, he likely has the strongest arm in the organization and the most mobility.

The question surrounds his knowledge of the playbook and ability to read defences.

"If they call my number, I will be ready to go in," said Jyles, who has only attempted one desperation long bomb pass this year.

"I know the offence."

According to Maciocia, Ray will definitely see action in Montreal. How much isn't clear.

But the highest-paid pivot in the league doesn't seem opposed to the idea of sitting on the bench for a portion of the final two games.

"It is not up to me. I just do what I am told," he remarked.

At running back, Maciocia and his coaches aren't sure if Troy Davis will finish the year with the majority of the carries.

Ron McClendon may get his first taste of regular-season action this year.

"That is one that is up for discussion to be quite honest - we will take a good look and see what we want to do," said the bench boss.

In the receiving core, Zeigler intrigues the coaching staff and might see the field for the first time.

RAW ROOKIE

What is certain is that raw rookie Brandon Guillory will be auditioning the rest of the season for a defensive end job.

He had a solid performance in his CFL debut on Saturday.

"I am really excited about him," gushed Maciocia after seeing the 23-year-old lead Edmonton in tackles (four) and register a sack against the Argos.

"He did an outstanding job."


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