Winds of change

JASON HILLS -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:38 AM ET

Danny Maciocia's hand is forced.

Sitting last in the Canadian Football League's West Division and with no help in sight, the bench boss of the Eskimos is going to start looking elsewhere, via free agency or trade to help and improve his football club.

"There will be a few additions here; I just have to get some of it confirmed over the phone and talk to a few people," Maciocia said after practice yesterday.

In the new CFL collecting bargaining agreement, the league has an agreement with the National Football League where contracts with released NFL players can be negotiated between Sept. 10 and Oct. 10.

That's an avenue Maciocia plans to travel to try to help turn the Eskimos fortunes around.

"We have a one-month window where you can increase your practice roster from seven to 12 in the course of the month, and I have full intentions to do so," said Maciocia.

The Eskimos are thin on both the offensive and defensive line as well as the secondary.

With the release of defensive end Rahim Abdullah and the loss of offensive lineman Dan Comiskey and Kevin Lefsrud for the season, Maciocia will look to get some depth at those positions - and possibly more.

"O-line, D-line, probably another defensive back, another receiver and maybe another returner will be areas we are going to look to upgrade," explained Maciocia.

The chopping block came out this past weekend with Abdullah's release and more could come if the Eskimos don't start improving on their 3-6-1 record.

"For the most part we have a good core and a good foundation, but it's not a birthright to have a job here the whole year and we are going to bring in some other players," Maciocia said.

"We need to get better; there are certain positions that we aren't playing as well as we should be playing."

Yesterday, defensive tackle Charles Alston, newcomer Isaac Keys and Kenny Hollis all rotated into the vacant defensive end position once held by Abdullah.

"Right now it will be one of those things by committee, not one guy is going to be able to step in right away," said Alston, who has been in and out of the lineup all season.

"I am very happy to get back in the lineup. Right now I am not focused on who is here and who isn't. I just want to help the team win."

Meanwhile, new Eskimo Aaron Fiacconi hopes he's found a home here.

After three seasons with the Montreal Alouettes and two with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the versatile offensive lineman was acquired Sept. 5 from the Bombers.

That opportunity may come quicker than expected. With the season-ending injuries to lineman Kevin Lefsrud and Dan Comiskey, Fiacconi was given multiple reps at left guard yesterday.

"We have got him into a couple of practices and I like what I've seen," said Eskimos offensive line coach Carl Brennan. "He's a pretty versatile guy who can play all positions on the line."

Fiaconni is is hopeful.

"One of the things I pride myself on is my versatility," he said. "At some point I'd like to stick with one position, but now I just want to be able to play and help out the team."


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