Life's a Peach for Esk

GERRY MODDEJONGE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:54 AM ET

There's no rest for the wicked.

So we'll have to call Greg Peach something else.

Look up its antonym, virtuous, and you have a word that might describe his return to a starting role on the defensive line last Friday following a two-week rest.

In his rookie season, the Eastern Washington product started the first 11 games for the Eskimos this season before being relegated to the bench in Weeks 12 and 13.

He marked his return with a pair of sacks. For those keeping score, that's one more than league sack leader Ricky Foley had on the night.

"I was just happy to be back on the field and I just wanted to take advantage of the opportunity I got to come back and just go hard and try to make the plays to win the game," Peach said. "Basically, I had a lot of games under my belt and it was time for me to show that I could play. It was big for me and I just hope to add onto it."

He returned to a defensive line that was gutted with injuries to defensive tackles Dario Romero and Eric Taylor. Defensive end Kai Ellis was questionable for last Friday's game after not practising the entire week, but he ended up starting.

"Those are the familiar guys and they've been the staple of the d-line and the defence because they're right in the middle, they're the ones getting the push. To have them out is difficult," Peach said.

"It's a big accomplishment for us to do that well with virtually a new group of guys in there. It's hard to do."

Sitting him out was never a question of Peach's passion to play.

"It looked to us at about a couple weeks back that Greg had hit a wall," said defensive co-ordinator and d-line coach Jim Daley. "He had played a full college season plus, and sometimes the first-year guys just hit a wall after 13 games or so. We just decided to give him a little break, let him recover and he has come back in fresh and rested and mentally fresh and rested. And he just flew around and had a great game."

A little rest can go a long way, while Sean Richardson filled in admirably for Peach those two weeks.

"We were fortunate that Sean Richardson was here and ready to go," Daley said. "He gave us a couple of good games and let Greg recover."

"I just kind of stepped back and I could really see what I needed to do in order to be successful and I just tried to work on that in practice," said Peach.

The Eskimos front seven on defence shut down the league's leading running back in Martell Mallett last Friday.

"We've played with a little bit of an altered group because of injury," said Daley, who lost Romero for the season with a torn bicep and Taylor to a knee injury. "Having him come back just bolstered everybody's confidence and familiarity and it was very good to see."

Extra points ...

DT Eric Taylor (knee) is expected to return to the starting lineup tomorrow, while DB Kelly Malveaux (hamstring) will see playing time.


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