Pride is on the line in Edmonton

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:48 PM ET

With Saskatchewan Roughriders fans preparing to invade Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday, the Edmonton Eskimos offensive line is looking to make sure their opponents don't do the same to the pocket.

"They've got a good team, they've got some talented players and their scheme is difficult, too," said blindside tackle Calvin Armstrong. "That helps them, for sure, but individually they're talented, too.

"If we get a body on a body and give our quarterback a chance, we could be successful."

Two Roughriders finished in the top two spots in league sacks last season, with Stevie Baggs in a three-way tie for first with 12, followed by John Chick with 11. Despite both moving on to join NFL clubs this season -- Baggs in Arizona and Chick in Indianapolis -- the Roughriders are leading the West Division with 20 team sacks so far.

"Some of it is the (defensive) scheme, that you get a lot of free guys," Armstrong said. "But they're talented. It seemed like they didn't miss a beat losing two of the best D-linemen in the league this year.

"They've got some talented players up front. They play hard and they really take pride in getting to the quarterback. I think we take just as much pride in protecting ours, so it will be a fun battle."

Last week's 56-15 loss to the Calgary Stampeders was far from fun for Ricky Ray, who left the game early with a sternum injury. The bye week wasn't much better for the offensive line, who watched unit coach Jeff Bleamer lose his job.

Pride is as much on the line as a victory for the Eskimos offensive line this week.

"We got roughed up a little bit," Armstrong said. "But it is one game. No matter how bad you lose, it's still only one game. We had a week off there, we had some rest. Our bodies are healthy again and we'll come back hungry.

"We've got to get a win."


Videos

Photos