Live and learn

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:17 AM ET

For Stefan LeFors there was no adjustment period.

The Edmonton Eskimos rookie quarterback did not get an opportunity to step back, soak in the atmosphere and get acquainted with Canadian football.

As the starter in Friday's 28-3 exhibition loss to the Calgary Stampeders, the former standout at Louisville was thrown right into the mix.

"It would have been nice, especially my first game up here to kind of see what it looked like from the sideline first," LeFors said. "But it was a good experience for me. I learned from it. I'm going to move on and if I get that opportunity again I'm obviously going to try and do better."

DUBIOUS START

It figured to be a tough night when LeFors fumbled the opening snap. He was then sacked on the second play.

"It didn't go as well as I had originally planned," LeFors said. "But that's how the game goes, you have good days and you have bad days. Obviously I'm not the happiest guy about my performance, but you just learn from watching it on film. You move on and try to improve on your performance and learn from your mistakes."

LeFors was signed by the Eskimos this off-season after being released by the Carolina Panthers last September. The Panthers had drafted the six-foot, 203-pound quarterback in the fourth round - 121st overall - in the 2005 NFL draft.

In four years at Louisville, the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, native threw for 5,853 yards and 38 touchdowns. Friday he was 4-for-8 for 24 yards.

"You have to factor in that Stefan LeFors hasn't played a game in almost a year," said Eskimos head coach Danny Maciocia. "That's the reality of it.

"Now that he's watched the film he can see certain things that he left out there as far as receivers running certain routes that we thought we had open at times.

"But he's a talent. He's the type of guy that all you have to do is tell him once what he has to do and he'll get it figured out the next time around no question about that."

LeFors and Steven Jyles played practically the entire game with exception of one drive where Ricky Ray came in and led the team into field-goal range.

With Ray the anointed starter, LeFors and Jyles are battling for the backup position.

Jyles didn't fare much better, going 7-for-16 passing with three interceptions.

"It wasn't satisfying," Jyles said. "There were some bad things that happened out there, but watching the film there were also some good things. The way I look at it, it was bad, but it wasn't too bad."

According to Maciocia the Eskimos went into the contest utilizing only a quarter of their playbook.

They also sat a number of starters and did not prepare for Calgary's defensive scheme specifically.

The game was used as an opportunity for the two quarterbacks to get their feet wet. Jyles is only in his second year with the club and spent most of last season holding a clipboard. He threw more passes Friday than all of last season.

"There were some positives," Jyles said.

"Watching film (yesterday) we might have made a throw here when we should have went one read over. We see guys breaking open everywhere and it's just a matter of getting the ball into their hands. There is a lot to build on. I'm sure going into the next game we'll have a better idea of what takes place during the course of a game."

The next game takes place Thursday (7 p.m.) against the B.C. Lions at Commonwealth Stadium.

Ray will likely see more action than he did against Calgary. But LeFors and Jyles will get their share of snaps as well. Having now been in a game, the two backups expect things to go a little better the second time around.

REAL TIME

"Obviously in practice, things aren't live and your brain kind of slows things down," LeFors said.

"But when it's live, and things are moving fast, you don't have a whole bunch of time in that huddle. You have to call the play, make sure you're not saying things the wrong way. The time clock's ticking down, you have to go break the huddle, get everybody on the ball, you have to snap the ball and you have to try and read a defence before you do that.

"It's tough. It goes by fast, but I think the more you do it, the more you're in it, the more things will slow down for you."


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