Esk vets want to make it personal

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

REGINA -- The word 'embarrassed' floated around the Edmonton Eskimos dressing room after Saturday's ugly loss against the Saskatchewan Roughriders - and that is good news to veteran Kevin Lefsrud.

"If guys get embarrassed by (the loss) that is good," said the offensive lineman after the 54-14 whopping at the hands of the Riders. "Take it personal, that is even better."

It's easy to see where Lefsrud is coming from. If that embarrassing feeling turns to a desire to get some sort of redemption this coming Saturday against Calgary, the Eskimos could bounce back with a home win against another key West Division opponent.

On the positive side - and there weren't many from Mosaic Stadium after the Esks produced six turnovers and were beaten in every facet - the players do realize the biggest problem.

"We came out flat (in Regina)," said safety J.R. LaRose. "We've got to learn to come out on top right from the beginning. We can't try to be a second-half team."

For back-to-back games, the Esks spotted the Riders a massive halftime lead.

On July 20 it was a 20-1 halftime lead for Saskatchewan.

On Saturday in Regina, it was a massive 34-8 cushion.

But LaRose believes the club has the bodies to solve that first-half funk problem.

"We have the athletes on this team to do it," he remarked. "We just need to come together."

That process officially starts tomorrow during the first day of practice this week.

But there will be no state of panic among the veterans as they prepare for the Stamps at Commonwealth Stadium.

"Everything that could go wrong went wrong (on Saturday)," said kicker Sean Fleming. "I certainly don't think we are as bad of a team as that score indicates. There are lots of things that we need to do. We gave them lots of points (36 points) on turnovers. You cut that down."

No Flower Power

While Tyler Ebell has been roasted for two days for his mistake of not picking up the ball on a Rider punt Saturday - letting Saskatchewan punter Jamie Boreham get it - there is another part to the story.

Rookie defensive back Jason Flowers - playing in just his second CFL regular-season game - was supposed to block Boreham down the field.

For a brief moment, Flowers stuck with Boreham, but then let him go. It turns out, Flowers didn't know the rules.

"Yes it is my job to cover the punter," said Flowers. "I was covering him and I didn't know that if nobody was getting on the ball that he could get the ball. I saw everyone clearing away from the ball, so I cleared away as well."


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