Esks squad puts ‘team’ in special teams

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:29 PM ET

EDMONTON - It's the teamwork that makes them special.

The Edmonton Eskimos special teams has been a big contributor to opening the season with a pair of wins, putting its offence in good position to score and getting them out of trouble when they can't.

Sophomore Eskimos safety Corbin Sharun led the league with five special-teams tackles after Week 2.

"It's good, it's the biggest way I can contribute to the team," said the former Edmonton Wildcats junior, who played minor football in Leduc before winning three high-school championships with the Scona Lords. "We've got a team and that's the biggest thing I can do is help the team in any way I can."

Rookie teammate Mike Miller is tied for second with four special-teams tackles, making for a big one-two punch to spearhead the coverage squad.

"That credit goes to the coaches and just the guys coming together and working together," said Sharun, who has carved a place for himself on special teams with 16 tackles last season, which led to him returning for the 2011 season while every other non-import safety found himself looking for a new job.

While Sharun is happy to have the duties, seeing special teams as a proving ground to earn added responsibilities, punt and kick coverage can take its toll on the body.

"It's good, you've got to take care of your body with ice tubs and working out and things like that, but other than that I'm doing good," he said.

As good as special teams has been on coverage, the return game is another matter.

"I need to see better blocking," said head coach Kavis Reed. "All too often returners get faulted for a return game that is average or below average.

"In this particular case, it's part blocking and part decision making. We've had a good meeting with Brandon (James) where he's now seeing things a little bit better. Hopefully our blocking is a lot better to give him more space and opportunity."

@SunModdejonge


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