Esks 'holding' the line

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:01 AM ET

Random thoughts and observations as the Edmonton Eskimos get set to play the Winnipeg Blue Bombers tomorrow.

HOLD THE WHINING: AS IF THE AGUSTIN BARRENECHEA HELMET-TO-HELMET HIT ON KEVIN GLENN WASN'T ENOUGH TO STOKE THE FLAMES FOR TOMORROW'S GAME AT COMMONWEALTH STADIUM (5 P.M., CHED, TSN), NOW WINNIPEG HEAD COACH DOUG BERRY SEEMS TO BE INFERRING THE EDMONTON OFFENSIVE LINE IS GETTING AWAY WITH HOLDING.

In an interview clip on Winnipeg's CJOB radio this week, Berry seems to be suggesting the Bombers have notified the league head office about the Esks getting away with holding along the line.

To be clear, Berry doesn't mention the word holding in the interview clip, but that is definitely the apparent tone of the conversation.

The Bombers defeated the Eskimos last Friday - in a game that featured Barrenechea's hit and Eskimo Ricky Ray having plenty of time to throw for 434 yards.

Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia is definitely aware of the Bombers' allegations.

"If we are all honest, you can call holding every play - and it doesn't have to be on the line of scrimmage," said Maciocia.

"I am sure they (the Bomber coaches) are trying to get their message across to the officiating crew that is going to be here this weekend.

"And that is fine.

"I have already addressed it with the league. It is easy to go to the office and put a (tape together) of holding plays (for the league office to see).

"It would take the bulk of my day because there is so many you can put together."

CHANGING PLACES: CALVIN MCCARTY STILL SEEMS SET TO BE THE STARTING RUNNING BACK TOMORROW FOR THE ESKS.

And receiver Kelly Campbell made it through all three practice sessions this week, which means he should return to the roster.

For Campbell to play tomorrow, Greg Prator likely sits.

DOGGETT RETURN: WATCH FOR THE ESKIMOS TO REPLACE MCCARTY ON SOME SPECIAL TEAMS UNITS WITH A COMBINATION OF DERRICK DOGGETT AND OTHERS TOMORROW.

Getting Doggett on the roster is a wise move.

The rookie is an impact special teams player - and the Eskimos need that on special teams.

He forced a fumble on Labour Day in Calgary on a Stampeder return. The Esks need those type of momentum-swinging plays tomorrow.

BACKING BARACK: THE U.S. PRESIDENTIAL RACE CONTINUES TO BE A QUIET TOPIC AROUND ESKIMOLAND IN ADVANCE OF THIS WEEKEND'S GAME.

Maciocia and defensive line coach Don Wnek were scheduled to watch the vice-presidential debate last night over supper.

The Eskimos' dressing room is definitely divided on the topic of American politics.

Some support John McCain (Republican Party), while Maciocia is behind Barack Obama (Democratic Party).

"The last eight years have been fairly tough," said Maciocia.

"The president (of the United States) is the president of the free world.

"It extends itself beyond the U.S.

"I think it is time for a change."

DOLLAR DAZE: THE PROBLEMS WITH THE UNITED STATES ECONOMY IS DEFINITELY STARTING TO IMPACT THE ESKIMOS' LARGE STABILIZATION FUND.

The financial markets have been on a roller-coaster ride for quite some time, with many dips along the way.

"Our stabilization fund is down," said Eskimos president and CEO Rick LeLacheur.

"But not to the extent of many other funds.

"Our stabilization committee has always taken a very conservative investment philosophy and a substantial portion of the fund is in cash and fixed income."

At the start of the year, the Esks' stabilization fund sat at $8.76 million.

Where the fund sits now is unclear.

The club has not revealed the extent of damage to the fund.

To be fair, that number surely fluctuates these days.


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