Coach coy about QB sneak

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON

, Last Updated: 9:22 AM ET

On the eve of the most important regular-season game to date for the Edmonton Eskimos, nobody is officially saying the short-yardage game is going to change for the Green and Gold.

But offensive co-ordinator Jacques Chapdelaine is playing coy on whether he's going to change the quarterback who runs the sneak plays.

All year the Esks have refused to use marquee starter Ricky Ray to run the quarterback sneak.

But after failing to convert twice on short yardage at key times in the second half against Saskatchewan on Aug. 18 - including a second-and-one botched sneak by Steven Jyles that led to Sean Fleming aborting a punt on the next play - there could be a change coming.

It's definitely possible that Ray could be running that play tomorrow in Calgary.

"The biggest thing that I have noticed is not so much the success rate of short yardage with Ricky there or not - (it) is what happens (to Ricky) when you miss the short yardage," said Chapdelaine.

"I really feel when we fail at converting at second and short - when we fail at getting a quarterback sneak - the following series that Ricky comes in with the regular offence that is really when it plays harder on him than people understand because he now he wants to try to make sure things work.

"And that puts pressure on him in a different way than people maybe understand.

"I think that if he is in there (on short yardage) whether we are successful or not, I think he comes in (for the next series) and he knows at least he was part of that."

To Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia - who has heard the fans and the media cry for Ray to take over that play - he believes everyone plays a role.

"It comes down to execution," said Maciocia.

"Short yardage is not a one player play.

"And I think you just can't put it on the quarterback.

"If you don't get a push up front, the quarterback will not convert."

Earlier this season the Esks used Stefan LeFors for quarterback sneak plays. He failed to score a key touchdown against Calgary on Aug. 4.


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