Garrett's words speak volumes

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:44 AM ET

The longest-standing member of the current Edmonton Eskimos is not trying to hide the apparent importance of the Labour Day battle with the Calgary Stampeders.

Linebacker Shannon Garrett stepped up to the microphone and put a very blunt spin on Monday's tilt with the provincial rival at McMahon Stadium (2 p.m., TSN, CHED).

"This game is going to be super important because it is kind of like a playoff game," said Garrett, who joined the club in 2000.

"This can make or break our season right here. Just one win and we (can) be ahead of Calgary."

Garrett is right on that account in two areas.

If the Esks beat the Stamps on Monday, they will be one game ahead in the standings, as both teams are currently tied for second place with 5-3 records.

But an Edmonton victory also gives the Green and Gold the series win this year.

The provincial rivals only meet three times this season, with Edmonton already claiming the first contest courtesy of a 34-31 win on July 3.

If the teams are tied in the standings at the end of the regular season, their head-to-head match-up will be the first tiebreaker.

If Calgary wins on Monday, the rubber match in the season series will be Sept. 5 at Commonwealth Stadium.

The Stamps are currently listed as 4.5 point favourites for Labour Day - and part of that is surely based on their high-powered offence.

"Their offence is scary," said Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia.

"You watch Henry (Burris) throwing the ball to Nik Lewis, (Ken-Yon) Rambo, (Jeremaine) Copeland. And handing off the ball to (Joffrey) Reynolds. They are exciting to watch. They are very well coached.

"If I would tell you that I am not overly concerned, I would be lying to you.

"We are going to have our hands full and we are going to have to play really, really well to try to contain them."

The Stamps have scored the second-most points (239) in the CFL, are averaging 29.9 points a game and are holding the ball for an average of 31:13 a contest.

Rambo leads the league in receiving with 722 yards, while Lewis is ninth.

QUICK HIT

The Eskimos have accumulated the fewest penalties this year with just 55, according to the statistics from the CFL head office.

That is nine fewer than their nearest competitor.

"It is all about taking ownership. (The players) have taken ownership. And we are going to stay on top of them," said Maciocia.

"We are coming off a win here and we have got about $525 in fines to collect.

"We want to make sure that we are not going to self-destruct out there by giving somebody an opportunity to keep a drive alive on a silly penalty."

The Eskimos have a fine system in place this year for penalties. The money collected goes toward team functions.

FINISH LINES

The Eskimos are not interested in signing defensive back Tay Cody, who was cut by Montreal this week.

Cody is a four-year CFL veteran who had a brief stop in Edmonton in 2005 before being dealt to Hamilton as part of the trade that brought Dan Comiskey and Troy Davis to the Esks.

While the Esks need more depth in their secondary, it appears the team is targeting at least one defensive back in a current NFL camp.

The major cutdown day in the NFL is tomorrow.


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