Eskimos doing it right: Reed

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:49 PM ET

EDMONTON - Kavis Reed treated his team to a little dinner and dancing on Wednesday.

Sure, it was just the Edmonton Eskimos head coach cutting a rug — make that turf — at the end of practice, but at least he followed up with barbecued steaks for all 66 players.

“The biggest thing about football is this right here,” Reed said in the players lounge, with hungry Eskimos chowing down around him. “Those guys go out there every week and it’s truly gladiator. You want to make it as fun as possible for them. You want to make sure you get your work done, you want to make sure that they enjoy coming to work and at this particular time, take the focus off the playoffs. Take the focus off not being in first place by two or three games. You want to make certain that those guys are comfortable and relaxing so when they come in on game day they’re ready to play football.

“I don’t mind if I have to shake my booty. They didn’t throw any loonies at me, so ...”

Not that he couldn’t have used a few after shelling out for a herd’s worth of beef.

“We wanted them to eat well. I made that commitment last week that we would have steaks ,” Reed said. “We’ve been blessed and fortunate to have those guys who are learning this game, and while they’re learning we’re winning some football games.

“So we want to always make certain that they understand that we care about them, and that was just a sign. So the money really doesn’t matter.”

But will there be macaroni and cheese on the menu next week if things don’t go well in Vancouver on Friday?

“It’s not bribery,” Reed said. “It’s just the kind of culture we want to create, to be honest with you. This is a tool where when guys talk about the Edmonton Eskimos, they’re going to talk about things like that — doing things the right way and making certain that we are truly committed to the players.”

But it goes beyond simply a coaching philosophy for Reed.

“We’re all on loan,” he said. “So while we’re on loan let’s make certain we’re enjoying it and have fun.”

IN AND OUT: LB Greg Peach sat out again on Wednesday and is questionable for Friday’s game, but he will be making the trip to Vancouver on the team charter Thursday. SB Fred Stamps also sat out for the second day in a row, but will lineup against the B.C. Lions.

“I’ve been feeling fine, I’m just a little sore from last week,” said the Eskimos leading receiver. “I just had a little soreness, a little thigh bruise or whatever, so I’m all right.”

PRACTISE UP: The Eskimos began taking advantage of a league-wide increase to the size of practice rosters Wednesday by bringing in two import players, DE Lee Robinson and WR Earl Alexander.

A Mississippi native, Robinson played in three games with the NFL’s Denver Broncos in 2009 before spending time on the practice rosters with the Arizona Cardinals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Alexander is a true rookie out of Alabama.

“While his career statistics for the Crimson Tide are far from eye-popping,” Eskimos GM Eric Tillman said of his 23 catches for 303 yards. “It’s important to note that Earl spent much of his collegiate career as a backup to Atlanta’s No. 1 draft pick, Julio Jones.”

LEE ROBINSON, #93

Defensive End (Import)

Alcorn State

Born: April 23, 1987 – Gloster, Mississippi

Height: 6-2 Weight: 256lbs

A four year starter at Alcorn State, Robinson made the First Team All-SWAC as a senior. He recorded 111 tackles, 10.5 for loss, 3.5 sacks, three interceptions and three forced fumbles in his senior year.

EARL ALEXANDER, #82

Wide Receiver (Import)

Alabama

Born: November 22.1987 – Phenix City, Alabama

Height: 6-4 Weight: 210lbs

Earl Alexander is a free agent who played his college football at the University of Alabama. The Alabama native finished his career with the Crimson Tide in 2010, recording 23 catches for 303 yards.


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