WINNIPEG - The Edmonton Eskimos weren’t exactly running on all cylinders.
In fact, they were hardly running at all in last week’s 28-16 loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
With just 87 yards of productivity on the ground, the Eskimos aerial attack had problems taking off, too.
“We were decent with our protection, but our run game let us down,” said Eskimos offensive line coach Tim Prinsen. “In my opinion, that’s where the problems started.”
Becoming one-dimensional on offence, the Eskimos allowed the most aggressive front four in the league to do what they do best in getting after the quarterback.
“We weren’t able to get ourselves established on the ground where we could wear them out,” Prinsen said. “So, in a sense, we played into their game. Credit to them, they are a great front seven, they are a great defence.
“Unfortunately for us, they had a good day.”
Besides four sacks, the Bombers held Ricky Ray to a sub-par 60% completions while forcing him to throw a season-high three interceptions.
It shows just how important it is to the Eskimos to have their ground game rolling.
“Especially against a team like Winnipeg, they’re built to get after the quarterback,” said Ray. “So you’ve got to be able to mix it up against those guys and establish the run just to keep those guys from pinning their ears back and coming.”
There is only one thing to do now.
“We’ve got to get back to basics. I think that maybe we got ahead of ourselves a little bit and I’ll take the heat on that one,” Prinsen said. “I didn’t stress the fundamentals enough maybe over the last couple of weeks, maybe trying to be too creative and just getting away from what had us successful in the beginning of the year.
“That was my fault. I didn’t give the guys the technique work they needed to succeed and that’s what we’re going to get back to this week.”