Win an Esks confidence-builder
By GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency
EDMONTON - It was just one game.
But more importantly, it was a win, which is one more than the Edmonton Eskimos could scrape together in the first four games of the 2010 season.
Instead, the team that came into 2011 with 21 new starters on their opening-day 42-man roster came out of Regina with a 42-28 victory.
Still more importantly, was they came away with a feeling of confidence.
“When you go into a tough place like Regina and get a win over one of your western foes, it brings a lot of confidence and that’s what you look for early in the season,” said Ricky Ray. “If you can get some good wins early in the season, it just builds the confidence of your team.”
Even Ray’s personal achievement of making it into the top 10 in all-time CFL passing yards was overshadowed by impressive all-round production Sunday from an offence that spent most of last season misfiring.
“Any time you go out there and you play well as a team or as an individual, it builds confidence,” Ray said. “Being a professional athlete, that’s one thing you want to have. You want to feel good when you’re out there.
“That’s huge for not only myself but the rest of the guys in this locker-room, that if we just go out and play our game we can get a lot of good things done out there.”
Head coach Kavis Reed said no added pressure was put on the players following an 0-2 preseason, preferring instead to create an environment where the team can feel good when they’re out there.
“I think enthusiasm is a good thing,” said Reed. “We were very satisfied as a coaching staff at the progression those guys were making toward the start of the regular season.
“They went out and they did a very good job, so they should be very pleased with the job that they did.”