Eskimos shift lineup

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:10 PM ET

Apparently, it is how you start, not how you finish.

After the Edmonton Eskimos offence was finished before it even had a chance to get started in last Saturday’s 47-21 loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, changes will be made to their starting lineup for this week’s game.

The Eskimos juggled their ratio numbers on offence and defence, bringing in non-import defensive tackle Adam Braidwood in place of import Justin Brown to allow import offensive lineman Jeremy Parquet to replace non-import Joe McGrath at right tackle.

Roderick Williams also replaced fellow import cornerback Jason Goss on first-team defensive drills at Commonwealth Stadium on Tuesday.

Although fans have been calling for the heads of the coach, manager and players, the club has opted to go with changes from within instead of bringing in outside help.

“Before you look at bringing in things from the outside, you always have to look at what you have inside because that’s the reason why you have them here,” said Eskimos head coach Richie Hall.

“There’s a learning curve when you start talking about bringing in guys from outside. The other thing is, if you’re not going to play the guys that you have here, then why are they here?

“To resolve situations, you always look internally before you go externally.”

Although only three positions are affected by the changes, Hall said he expects the new faces to provide some pieces that have been missing this season.

“I think aggressiveness, more physical, more stout, a bit more firm,” Hall said.

“There’s going to be some excitement and some energy there because they haven’t played all year. We’re 0-4 and there’s got to be some changes because what we’ve done in the past hasn’t worked. And if you do nothing, that means you’re not trying to get better.”

Although Ricky Ray threw a pair of interceptions that resulted in 14 points for the Bombers, the veteran quarterback was back taking first-team reps in practice.

While the pair of picks overshadowed a 200-yard performance where he completed 18 of 25 passes and two touchdowns, backup Jason Maas only went one-for-nine for 29 yards in relief of Ray in the fourth quarter.

The lineup changes come on the heels of public comments by Eskimos president and CEO Rick LeLacheur putting everyone in the organization on notice that no one’s job is safe — including his own — if the team doesn’t find a way to win games.

“It is fair,” said Hall.

“We’re 0-4, we haven’t played the kind of football that we’re capable of playing. We’re a veteran team and we’re just basically not getting it done.

“We all know that this is what we signed up for and we all know that there’s always that possibility, especially when you’re not very successful on the football field.”

IN AND OUT: KR Skyler Green (leg), DL Justin Cooper (leg), FB Mathieu Bertrand (head), FS Saleem Borhot (groin), K Noel Prefontaine (illness) ... The Eskimos signed non-import receiver Tyler Scott, who had 37 catches for 521 yards and a touchdown in the past two seasons with the Toronto Argonauts. He has been placed on the practice roster.

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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