WINNIPEG - Jason Barnes made some noise as the top receiver in last Friday’s loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
But the Edmonton Eskimos slotback couldn’t compete with the 29,533 in the stands at Canad Inns Stadium.
“We got that early touchdown, a good play to him. They just kind of left him open,” said quarterback Ricky Ray, who hit a wide-open Barnes 22 yards downfield on the opening drive of the game for Edmonton’s lone touchdown. “After that, he just was the guy that was getting open on some of those zoe coverages. It was nice to see him have a good game.
“We’ve just got to do a better job, offensively, executing.”
Not to mention communicating.
“Honestly, their crowd played a huge role in that,” said Barnes, who finished with a game-high eight catches for 125 yards and the TD. “They were definitely loud and they were making it hard for us in the huddle.
“So we were having miscommunication errors like that. We just need to go back to work and clean it up.”
Especially since Barnes’s 396 receiving yards makes him Ray’s next go-to guy with Fred Stamps sidelined from abdominal surgery.
“That’s probably the guy that defences are going to look to now. It’s only going to help us out offensively,” said Ray. “If Fred’s the only guy getting those big gains, then defences are going to try and shut him down. But the more times we can throw the ball into other areas, get other guys involved and let them have big games, it makes it tougher to defend.
“Now is the perfect opportunity for the rest of us to step up our play and pick up for not having our best player out there.”
That title now falls to Barnes.
“I’m anticipating getting more eyes on me,” Barnes said. “But either way, I’m going to go out there and make plays when I can.”