Esks' Reid credits team for honour

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:11 PM ET

EDMONTON - The Edmonton Eskimos went into the off-season with improving Canadian talent as their top concern.

Now, with two out of the three Canadian Player of the Week awards so far going to Eskimos, early indications are they have done just that.

One week after fullback Jerome Messam got the nod as top non-import in the league for a 104-yard rushing performance against the Hamilton Tiger-cats, Jermaine Reid followed up with a rock-solid outing against the B.C. Lions.

"I just found out (Tuesday) morning. It came as a shock to me," said Reid. "I just thought I was doing my job.

"It's nice to be recognized. It's a great honour to get that notoriety, so I'm really excited about it."

The defensive tackle had four tackles and a sack last Saturday to lead the charge in a dominant defensive effort that held the Lions to just three first downs in the first half, while the Eskimos also forced a fumble and two interceptions.

"We are just playing hard together," Reid said. "We're kind of getting behind (defensive co-ordinator Rich) Stubler's defence here and really enjoying it and just having fun playing out there.

"When you have fun and the pieces are falling, this is what you get."

Well, it's what Reid got, but his first-ever weekly honour is something he's more than happy to share with his teammates.

"It was a team thing," said Reid. "It wasn't just on one guy. We all just went out there and left it on the field and that's what we have to continue to do.

"I came off the field knowing I had a really good game. I felt like I was really accomplished that game, and it turns out some other people thought so, too."

Including his head coach.

"I think (general manager) Eric (Tillman) has done a fantastic job of brining in quality talent and depth," said Kavis Reed. "The biggest thing is that those guys are playing very well and getting what they deserve in terms of recognition, but it's Week 3.

"I've got to keep emphasizing that it's Week 3. Hopefully those guys continue to be hungry and contine to fight hard."

But the GM said the award, despite its title, speaks to more than just the Canadian contingent on the Eskimos roster.

"I think we're developing a good, young nucleus, both Canadian and American," Tillman said. "It's certainly very encouraging to see our young guys play so well.

"I keep using the qualifier that it's still early in the season, but this team has demonstrated many reasons to be optimistic as we go forward."

IN AND OUT: SB Fred Stamps spent practice working out on the sidlines and resting some bumps and bruises but is expected to practice Wednesday, along with RB Jerome Messam (thigh). WR Andrew Nowacki (leg) remained on the sidelines riding the bike after being a scratch in the game against B.C. and is doubtful for Saturday's game in Calgary. Also sitting out were LB Rod Davis (hamstring) and FB Sam Fournier (shoulder).

RB Arkee Whitlock was practising again on Tuesday and could be ready to return against Calgary.

"We'll see Wedesday how he responds to the practice and make a decision from there," said Reed.

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