Esks coach takes rap

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:41 AM ET

EDMONTON - They took responsibility for the loss, but they can’t be blamed for their game plan going in.

Edmonton Eskimos coaches accepted responsibility for last Friday’s 34-21 loss to the Montreal Alouettes.

Despite coming off a CFL season-high 222 rushing yards in Hamilton, the Eskimos focused on their aerial attack and a finally healthy receiving corps to try and exploit a depleted Alouettes secondary.

But that meant giving up on their successful ground game, with just 32 rushing yards in the first half — and 18 of those came from quarterbacks.

“There’s always opportunity to run the football and when we ran it (Friday) night, we ran it very effectively,” said head coach Kavis Reed, who opened the second half with 21- and 18-yard rushes by Jerome Messam, followed by a 15-yarder from Calvin McCarty. “And that’s something that we’re going to take a very serious, hard look at.”

Especially considering that when they run the ball at least 20 times, they’re 7-0.

Friday, it was 14 times for a combined 100 yards.

“We could have (rushed more), but I am not disappointed that we didn’t,” Reed said. “There are some things that we thought were available to us, we just didn’t execute.

“There were matchups that we wanted and that we got, but we just didn’t execute.”

So why, then, would the head coach shoulder the blame when he’s not even on the field?

“He’s protecting the players, like a good coach,” said defensive end Marcus Howard. “But we, as a defence, we sat down after the game the next day and we watched it.

“There are a lot of things we need to correct as a defence up front and in the backfield, we just need to communicate a lot better. If we do that, hopefully we’ll win some more ball games.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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