Asleep at the zeal

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:42 AM ET

Who knew a no-hitter would be so boring.

The Green and Gold game at Edmonton Eskimos' training camp at Clarke Park yesterday was about as entertaining as watching paint dry.

With defensive players clearly instructed to not hit opposing running backs or receivers with any type of real force, the controlled scrimmage was worse than a sloppy first pre-season game.

But two good things did come out of the estimated 65 scripted plays: nobody was added to the Esks' massive injury list and Danny Maciocia liked what he saw.

"They're clearly buying in to what we are trying to do here," said Maciocia, the Esks' head coach.

There were some obvious bright spots during the exercise.

"(Andrew) Nowacki looked pretty good," said Maciocia. "I thought he did a few things.

"Stefan LeFors did well.

"Defensively, Chuck Alston keeps impressing every single day.

"Stanford Samuels is the real deal as a defensive back," Maciocia added.

Samuels might have been the top defensive player with an interception off of Ricky Ray and a pass knockdown.

But on the negative side for the Green and Gold, the play of back-up pivot Steven Jyles continues to be a topic for all the wrong reasons.

Unofficially, the personable sophomore was 7-for-12 passing with a number of miscues along the way.

In fact, at one point Jyles used one of his hands to smack himself in the head in pure frustration.

He missed an open Kendrick Starling in the end zone, then bobbled a snap from centre and finished the day with a ball being knocked out of his throwing hand in the pocket.

In between all of that he overthrew Trevor Gaylor on one pattern.

"It was good, but then there were some bad things," said Jyles.

"I knew all my reads, got pretty familiar with the offence - I just need to work on a few things."

Jyles's worst throw came when he landed the ball in the middle of a maze of defensive players with a receiver nowhere near.

But in that case, the pivot and receiver just weren't on the same page.

"In a certain protection (this year) we have a chance to go down field and I got a couple of chances," remarked Jyles. "I was trying to take them but me and the receivers weren't on the same page.

"On one, he (the receiver) was, but the other he wasn't."

The good news for Jyles is that he still has two more important pre-season games to come.


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