Eskimos' pieces in place

Centre Aaron Fiacconi, centre, says the key to success on the field for the Eskimos is to stay...

Centre Aaron Fiacconi, centre, says the key to success on the field for the Eskimos is to stay focused on teamwork.

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:00 AM ET

Just because they haven’t had much success so far doesn’t mean the Edmonton Eskimos are backing down from what’s to come.

After spiralling to a 1-6 record heading into their bye week, the meat of their schedule still lies ahead of them. Over the next five weeks, they face the two top teams in the West, in the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Labour Day Classic series against the Calgary Stampeders, before taking on the two top teams in the East in the Montreal Alouettes and the Touchdown Atlantic game against the Toronto Argonauts.

“I’d rather win these games coming up with this tough schedule,” said Eskimos centre Aaron Fiacconi. “I’d rather win those games and take solace in knowing that we played like a team and we won as a team and we beat some top competition.

“There hasn’t been a team this year that looks like there’s going to be any openings in the schedule ahead. It’s going to be a tough sled the whole way.”

But one that new Eskimos O-line coach Tim Prinsen said can be accomplished.

“The pieces are definitely there, it’s just a matter of changing up a few things here and there, a couple of technique things and getting the guys ready to play,” said the former Eskimos centre-turned-coach.

If the focus of the group hasn’t been on teamwork so far, it certainly will be from here on out.

“We’ve got all the talent in the world in this room and we have to play like a team, not individuals,” Fiacconi said. “We got really good at playing like individuals it seems over the last little while here and we lost what it means to be a good team, pick each other back up and build success.”

FAMILY TIES: Eskimos head coach Richie Hall has some moral support this week, as some family members will be in the stands Saturday.

“My mommy and daddy and my aunt and uncle are here. They arrived Wednesday,” said Hall, whose parents, Richard and Jean, live in Denver, Col. “Especially with the season we’ve had so far, it’s welcome company. I get to be a little kid all over again and they’re very excited.

“Any time you’ve got a chance to work in front of your parents, I think it’s very special. They’ve been very supportive. They were here last year.”

And they’ve brought some luck in the past.

“One of the things, too, is no matter what team I played for, no matter how good or not so good we were, whether as a coach or as a player, there’s not many games we’ve came up on the short end of the stick,” Hall said. “They’ve kind of been our good-luck charm, and maybe this is the final shot that we need to get over the hump.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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