Sad sack total

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:54 AM ET

There are droughts - and then there is the drought Fred Perry is in.

The Edmonton Eskimos defensive end has failed to record a sack in 14 of his last 15 regular-season games - spread across 2007 and this year.

A key off-season acquisition by the Green and Gold, Perry entered this season with 56 career quarterback sacks in 89 career CFL games.

That worked out to an average of one sack every 1.5 games.

Making his seventh regular-season start tonight for the Eskimos, Perry hasn't recorded a sack this year.

The last time he dropped a quarterback for a loss was Oct. 8, 2007, when he had two against Calgary while playing for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

That's two sacks in his last 15 regular-season games.

At 33, Perry has been one of the feel-good stories for the Esks this fall because he has returned after breaking a leg and dislocating an ankle in Week 4.

He claims his body is in good enough shape to play and blames his lack of sacks on double-team attention from opposing clubs.

"When you get a double team it makes a big difference," said Perry.

"I just got to beat (the double team) and get to the quarterback.

"But I got Dario (Romero) and ET (Eric Taylor on the D-line), so if you double team me you are letting those two guys go one-on-one. If I was a betting man, I would be putting my money on them."

In his third start tonight since returning from rehabbing the broken leg, Perry's grace period is over.

Edmonton defensive line coach Don Wnek appreciates everything Perry brings to the table, but wants more.

"We love his leadership. He contributes in the meetings and on the field. He helps everybody out," said Wnek.

"He has been a good leader for us and we are expecting a lot more production out of him."

The good sign for the struggling Eskimos is that Perry has been improving in his last two games.

After producing just one tackle and one hit against B.C. on Oct. 17, he had six tackles, six hits and a tackle for loss against Saskatchewan last Saturday.

Perry also played a critical role in Jonte Buhl picking off Saskatchewan pivot Steven Jyles in the first quarter last weekend.

Perry played Jyles extremely well - keeping him contained just outside the pocket - and forced the errant throw that landed in Buhl's hands.

But the Esks also need more pressure on the quarterback and momentum-turning plays like sacks in this final regular-season game tonight and through the playoffs.

It's time for Perry to turn it up a notch.


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