Braidwood sacked

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:06 AM ET

Adam Braidwood is tasting adversity for the first time with the Edmonton Eskimos - and he hates it.

The club's first-overall draft pick last year has lost his starting defensive end job to Chuck Alston.

"I am pretty pissed off about it," said Braidwood. "I have been pissed off all week.

"I practised real hard and I think I kind of opened the coach's eyes a little bit."

That is certainly true, as defensive co-ordinator Rick Campbell believes Braidwood had his best week of practice all year.

But the bottom line is that Alston starts. Braidwood will still play at times throughout the game, rotating with Alston and Rahim Abdullah.

On one hand, Braidwood - a 23-year-old Canadian - believes he's not starting partially because of import/non-import ratio issues.

But that doesn't really seem to be the case.

More appropriately, if Braidwood was making big plays on a weekly basis, he would be starting tonight against Hamilton.

The demotion - even though he is still going to be involved in many plays through rotation - has certainly stoked a fire under him.

"I haven't been making big plays," said Braidwood, who doesn't have a single sack this year.

"But a lot of us haven't been getting sacks.

"I guess I have to over perform and make it so they can't take me off the field.

"Every time I step on the field, every time I get rotated in I am going to go balls to the wall.

"I don't really care what it takes. I am going to do whatever it takes to get my starting job back."

As a rookie last year, he had four quarterback sacks and five forced fumbles.

He admits that defences are paying more attention to him this year, but the Esks feel Alston gives them something extra in a crucial game against the Tabbies.

"We are trying to get a big crew on the field to stop the run," said Campbell yesterday, before adding, "we just want to get a good push (from the front four)."

Edmonton is last in the league with 10 sacks. The Esks are also giving up a league worst 396 offensive yards per game.

FINISH LINES: LINEBACKER ANTICO DALTON BECAME A SURPRISING SCRATCH YESTERDAY WITH A BACK PROBLEM.


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