Eskimos react to Pless's accusations

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:14 PM ET

Accused of predictable playcalling, the Edmonton Eskimos reaction to Willie Pless's comments earlier this week was not.

Head coach Richie Hall doesn't dispute the comments made by the legendary linebacker, who laced into his former team on Sportsnet.ca.

"I think when you look at what all offences do, it's pretty much a predictable thing," said Hall. "It could be predictable that Michael Jordan's going to shoot the basketball. You've still got to defend it and you go out there and you execute.

"Really, it doesn't matter what you do, if you don't execute it, it doesn't matter. You know that certain people are going to get the football."

The problem lies not in other teams knowing what the Eskimos are going to do, it's the Eskimos not being able to do what they want to do, Hall said.

"If we execute, then to me, people wouldn't be saying the things that they might be saying," he said. "When you're not successful, when you're not doing the things that you're supposed to so, then it's always something else.

"But you can do something else, and if you don't execute it, it's going to be something else still."

Instead, the Eskimos are focusing on continuing with the game plan they started with and working out the kinks.

"If you block the guys that you're supposed to block, if you catch the ball that you're supposed to catch and if you make your reads and you throw the ball where you're supposed to throw it, then the predictability is we've got to out-execute them," Hall said. "It's other teams are making plays and we're not making plays.

"Every team pretty much does the same thing. But some teams are more consistent as far as executing than others."

The Eskimos have been accused of not throwing the ball deep.

"Montreal doesn't throw the ball up the field, but they execute and they score," Hall said. "It comes back to executing, believing in what you do and going out there and doing it. Then you put all the critics to rest.

"I believe in the guys that we have here, I believe in the system that we are doing, When you look at what has transpired, it hasn't been like we haven't done anything. It's we haven't done anything on a consistent basis."

PIVOTAL DECISION: While head coach Richie Hall hasn't announced a change at quarterback for Saturday's game against the visiting Saskatchewan Roughriders, backups Jason Maas and Jared Zabransky were back taking more reps under centre Wednesday. Zabransky had the lion's share of activity as Ray is still recovering from a sternum injury suffered last week against the Calgary Stampeders.

"I'm feeling a little bit better every day, so that's a good thing," Ray said. "I'm not supposed to talk about injuries. I don't want to get the old fine coming my way. I took my fair share of reps, but the other guys are getting reps too, just in case."

IN AND OUT: DB Jason Goss returned to practice Wednesday, while DE Kenneth Pettway (migraine) did not participate but is expected to return Thursday.


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