Esks looking for a spark

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:42 PM ET

EDMONTON - The Edmonton Eskimos secondary has seen plenty of change over the past three years and will see one more on Saturday.

When they line up to take on the B.C. Lions at Commonwealth Stadium (7 p.m., TSN), they will do so without Jason Goss, who has been the only familiar face in the secondary since joining the team in 2007.

In an effort to shake up the starting lineup as the Eskimos search for their first victory of the season, Goss will be replaced at cornerback by rookie Roderick Williams.

“Practice was great (this week), it seemed like the whole team was focused and really keyed in on getting this first victory,” said Williams, who played both cornerback and running back during his four years at Alcorn State in his hometown of Monroe, La. “That’s the main objective, so everybody’s trying to get their mind right and be accountable and take care of it on the field.”

Although the 23-year-old Williams might not have expected to replace a seven-year CFL veteran and former West Division all-star, the youngster isn’t about to pass up the opportunity to make his first CFL start.

“Pretty much I’m willing to do whatever the coaches are willing to do and whatever I can do to help the team,” Williams said. “Whatever happens from then on is cool with me. In college, I played corner so it’s not anything new.”

But being 0-4 is. And being part of the effort to change the team’s fortunes isn’t without added pressure.

“I’m not going to say that the pressure’s on, we’ve just got to go out there and have fun and play football — which is our job, what we get paid to do,” said Williams.

“So there’s not pressure on, we just do what we do every day.”

Head coach Richie Hall isn’t asking for anything more than that.

“We want to be aggressive, we want to be physical,” he said. “Jason’s a good football player, he’s done a great job for us but Rod might give us a little more of a spark that we’re looking for right now with our football team. He did a good job for us at training camp.

“It’s not like Jason’s not playing well for us, it’s just that we’re trying to find something a little bit more.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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