Emotional homecoming for Reed

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:45 PM ET

WINNIPEG - Kavis Reed’s professional homecoming has been a battle of its own.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive co-ordinator last season, Reed returns to Canad Inns Stadium for the first time as head coach of the undefeated Edmonton Eskimos, with a plan of attack to thwart his former players.

“It’s a little bit weird. For me, it was a test of my emotional IQ in terms of being able to coach against these guys when you have such an emotional affinity to them,” he said. “Really watching them grow last year, watching them fight through a lot of adversity and stay strong and stay true to their talents and their loyalty to each other.

“And then coming back on the opposite sideline, it is an emotionally taxing thing but it is football as well.”

The reunion pits Reed against his counterpart in Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice.

“The good part about this whole thing is neither Paul nor I will put on pads,” Reed said. “We won’t be on the field playing.”

It is also Reed’s first time back since the death of close friend and fellow coach Richard Harris, who suffered a heart attack two weeks ago.

“It is extremely difficult being here right now and not being able to get a hug from the gentle bear,” Reed said. “The only solace I get is I know that God called an angel home and he will be watching the game (Friday).”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca

Twitter@SunModdjonge


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