Law of the jungle

Edmonton Eskimos' Kamau Peterson (right) fails to catch a pass as he's covered by Calgary...

Edmonton Eskimos' Kamau Peterson (right) fails to catch a pass as he's covered by Calgary Stampeders' Calvin Bannister during the first half of CFL play at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alta., on Saturday August 4, 2007. (Photo by Darryl Dyck/Edmonton Sun)

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:33 AM ET

Danny Maciocia is still in A.J. Gass' corner.

Even though the Edmonton Eskimo middle linebacker got tossed on Saturday night for his involvement in a wild scrap with the Calgary Stampeders - hurting his team on defence - the head coach is backing Gass.

"I spoke to A.J. and I told him that I care deeply about him as a person and as a football player," said Maciocia.

"We have won a lot of games together, a couple of championships together.

"There is no other person I want to line up with - from here on in.

"But he needs to channel some of those emotions in a positive sense - and he realizes it.

"He feels bad.

"But we have talked about it. We have put it behind us. And now we move forward."

Gass was ejected from the game in the second quarter for ripping off John Comiskey's helmet - and then throwing the Calgary Stampeder offensive lineman's lid 35 yards down the field.

The CFL will fine Gass but Maciocia doesn't expect a suspension.

It's unclear what discipline the team has taken on Gass, as Maciocia is keeping that as an internal matter.

This is the second time in less than a calendar year that Gass has lost his cool in an ugly way.

Last fall he kicked Hamilton Tiger-Cat - and former teammate - Brock Ralph.

However, Maciocia still sees Gass as a team leader in Edmonton.

"Those are not the type of stuff that you are looking at from your leader," continued Maciocia.

"But you are talking about two incidents over a career. So, he is a leader in my eyes."

Gass believes the Calgary melee is not in the same category than the Brock boot.

"I would say it (was) completely different than the Brock situation," said Gass.

"The game was over (in that situation) and it was a deliberate shot to injure a player."

The Eskimos clearly felt that night last fall that Brock dove at the knees of defensive end Adam Braidwood.


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