Esks crying over hankies

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:37 AM ET

The Edmonton Eskimos are one of the most penalized teams in the CFL.

While it's not the only reason they're sitting at 0-3 right now, it's probably the most easily fixable problem and the one that evokes the most emotion from players, coaches and fans.

In three games, the Eskimos have been called on 36 penalties that cost them 365 yards, only slightly better than the Montreal Alouettes and B.C. Lions, while the Toronto Argonauts -- who committed the most penalties over the past two seasons -- are the most disciplined with 17 fouls for 90 yards.

"Am I in panic mode? No, I'm not because we've still got 15 games left but am I in a pissed-off mode? Yes, I am. You're going to make mental mistakes, the mental mistakes I don't get mad at because you're human. It's the same mental mistakes that we keep getting week in and week out."

In Week 2, the Eskimos committed 18 penalties that cost them 204 yards. They improved last week, cutting the calls against them in half, but still gave up 75 penalty yards.

"It's that same old thing, the little things starting to add up to the big things are starting to take a toll on me mentally because I can only control myself," Lloyd said.

While the statistics could be better, the Eskimos' opponents have also been called for 34 penalties for 328 yards. But the only full pardon that exists is winning games.

"We're still not a good enough team to overcome those things because any mistakes that we make hurt us," said head coach Richie Hall. "It's a concern because of the timing of them and what it takes away.

"If we don't know the play and we can't get the snap count, we can't execute so it comes back to repetitions and for each player to discipline themselves to take care of their responsibilities."

It comes down to watching the ball, whether they're on offence or defence.

"Unless we can get those things corrected, the play's dead," Hall said. "We can't even get going.

"It's those small mistakes that stop us from going forward."

Some of the worst penalties come from not moving their feet.

"If you make a mistake, don't compound it by making two mistakes. If a guy beats you, you've got to let him go," Hall said. "There are some penalties that are good penalties, per se. You want to protect your quarterback at all costs. You don't want to say, 'Well, I'm not going to move my feet, I'm going to grab him right now.

"You've still got to move your feet."

On special teams, the main rule is if you can read your opponent's name on the back of his jersey, don't touch him.

"If you can read his back, I think that's a stupid penalty if you push him and then throw your hands up like: 'I didn't do anything.' "

That's almost as bad in Hall's book as an unnecessary roughness call, which happened twice last week.

"Those are 15-yarders," Hall said.

"You can't win football games like that, especially in crucial situations and especially for our football team where we're struggling to score points and struggling to win football games."


Videos

Photos