Esks' Reed a man of the words

Gerry Moddejonge, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:21 PM ET

Kavis Reed has tunnel vision when it comes to preparing his players to take to the field on game day.

It hasn’t taken long for the Edmonton Eskimos head coach to become known for the words of wisdom he comes up with in the lockerroom

With TSN cameras showing clips of the head coach’s pre-game speeches last week in Regina and during the preseason, Reed said it’s all about motivating his players and not about putting on a show.

“I don’t put in time and think about what to say because, quite honestly, when you speak to guys freely they respect that more,” Reed said. “They know when something is orchestrated or whatever the case may be, and I’m not that type of coach.”

There is only so much of an impression a coach can make — the rest is left up to the players, he added.

“Those things only get them through the tunnel. Once that ball’s kicked off, they actually have to play football,” Reed said. “Like I tell them, if they need a hug, comfort, I’ll do whatever it takes to get them on the field.

“After they’re on the field, I can’t protect them anymore.”

Reed learned from the best during his time as a defensive assistant in Toronto under Argonauts head coach Don Matthews.

“Don was, in my opinion, one of the top motivating coaches in terms of his speeches,” Reed said.

But inspiration is a two-way street between players and coaches.

“When I see guys on the road who say, ‘Coach, don’t worry, I’ve got this guy. I’m going to spend time with him,” the coach said. “Andrew Nowacki refusing to have his own room when he could have as a veteran, he chose to stay with Nate Coehoorn as a roommate so that he can go over the game plan with him.

“That’s when you know that you’re reaching these guys. I am truly blessed that we have a room of guys who want to win and want to do the right things.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca

@SunModdejonge


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