Goldie's the guy

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:23 AM ET

Ron McClendon has bought another week of job security.

After galloping for 47 yards in one of the key plays of Friday night's 19-15 win over the host Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the veteran Edmonton Eskimos running back will remain on the active roster against Saskatchewan at Commonwealth Stadium on Friday.

When asked point-blank who would start at running back against the Roughriders, Esks' head coach Danny Maciocia replied: "I am not changing anything. My plan is to see how I can get them both (McClendon and Tyler Ebell) on (the active roster).

"It is hard right now. I told Goldie going into the Winnipeg game, 'You're not playing the position with a loaded gun pointed to your head. I don't coach that way. I don't want you to think that you need to go out there and get 150 yards for us to win a football game or for you to keep your job.'

"He's done a great job. He has earned it. He has deserved it. He had a little bit of a setback coming out of training camp. He worked at it - never said a word. And I am very, very happy for him."

Who isn't completely happy is Ebell.

The impressive rookie has more impressive stats - thanks to a 132-yard rushing effort against Winnipeg in Week 1 - but lost his job when McClendon was declared fit to play last week.

Maciocia would have come under immense pressure to make Ebell the starter against Saskatchewan if McClendon hadn't followed the key blocks of Raleigh Roundtree and Mike Maurer for his 47-yard gain in the fourth quarter.

The Eskimos promptly scored the winning touchdown after that run to make it 19-15.

"We needed a play," said McClendon on the fourth-quarter romp. "They (Blue Bombers) did a good job adjusting to the run (from Week 1).

"I told Ricky (Ray) before we went out. I said: 'Ricky, champions are made right here on this drive.' And the O-line did a great job."

Excluding that run, McClendon had just 10 rushing yards during the game. On top of that, he fell to the ground by himself on what could have been a first down catch at one point.

But a win is a win - and McClendon played a big role.

FAN MANIA: Life at the visiting bench at Canad Inns Stadium can be tough to take. The Winnipeg fans bombard the visitors with trash talk.

"It is a hostile environment," said Maciocia.

"It's unbelievable. We took our share of abuse behind that bench. It just shows you they are passionate about their football team.

"It (the trash talk) is not stuff that I can go home and talk to my wife and kids about. But a lot of it was in good fun."


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