Double-E running on E

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:25 AM ET

EDMONTON - The Double-E looked like their emotional fuel tank was running on E.

The Edmonton Eskimos didn’t exactly take a fresh start to a new season in last Sunday’s 25-10 loss to the B.C. Lions.

Going through motions

Instead, they appeared to be going through the motions like a team already eliminated from playoff contention.

“To be honest with you, my biggest concern coming out of the game was our emotional state,” said Eskimos head coach Richie Hall.

“It wasn’t so much the fundamental things or concentration, it’s our state of energy.

“After we turned the ball over on that first drive, we just didn’t seem like we had that energy to go out there and win a football game. If we did win the game, it still doesn’t change the fact of why there was such a drop-off in our energy over those next 55 minutes.”

It’s a problem that doesn’t have one single answer, but 12 different ones to go along with each player on the field at any given time.

“You have to have that energy, that passion, that emotion to play the football game and we didn’t have that,” Hall said.

“As coaches, we can only do so much. I can’t motivate anybody, motivation comes from within yourself. My job as a coach is to challenge you and maybe people look at challenge and motivation as the same thing, but I think they’re two different things.

“The emotional aspect of your feelings comes from within you, and no one can bring that out other than yourself. And that’s what we have to have in order for us to go out there and compete week in and week out.”

This week brings the defending Grey Cup champion Montreal Alouettes.

“I don’t know what I have to do, if I’ve got to walk around and slap my whole team in the face to make them mad at me, so that may be the case,” said Eskimos middle linebacker Maurice Lloyd.

“But we will have emotion next week, we will have effort and we will have enthusiasm. This game is played 85% mental and 15% physical.

“It was just the emotion, and the emotion took a toll on us. The way we practise, so shall we play.”

Goes beyond

But it goes beyond practices and games.

“It’s one of the intangibles of life,” Hall said.

“You play football for the love of the game because it’s like being a kid all over again. We want the soul of the person to play football.”

One noticeable absence last week was veteran defensive tackle Dario Romero, who has been sidelined since the preseason with an ankle injury and is still questionable for this week.

“Just missing a captain like that, with his enthusiasm and effort, it hurts,” Lloyd said.

“Hopefully this is a learning experience, like coach Hall said, and hopefully people know what’s going on.”

IN AND OUT: The Eskimos released DB Randee Drew on Tuesday and placed WR Tremayne Kirkland on the practice roster.

They will likely activate FB Chris Ciezki. DT Dario Romero (ankle) and DE Greg Peach (ankle) remained out.

The Eskimos have invited Edmonton Huskies receiver Malan Roberts to practise with the team.

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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