Esks' Cup run no cakewalk
By GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency
|Head Coach Kavis Reed talks to the team during an Edmonton Eskimos' team practice at their indoor facility at Commonwealth Stadium, Tuesday Nov. 15, 2011. (DAVID BLOOM/QMI Agency)
The first-round ousting of the two-time defending champion Montreal Alouettes has left the door swinging wide open in the CFL playoffs.
But the Edmonton Eskimos aren't taking anything for granted, pointing out the welcome mat hasn't exactly been set out for any of the remaining teams in contention.
"Like everyone else in the league, we have tremendous respect for Montreal and what they've accomplished," said Eskimos general manager Eric Tillman. "But there is a very healthy respect for the other two clubs in the East.
"That's one of the unique things about football. It's single- elimination that makes this time of year nerve-racking and interesting."
Especially for a rookie CFL head coach, who won in his inaugural play-o ff as Edmonton Eskimos downed the Calgary Stampeders 33-19 on Sunday.
"To be quite honest, their last field goal put us in a situation where we knew we needed to move the ball offensively," Reed said of the game's final series. "My nerves got a little bit shoddy when we missed that field goal, but it was a lot better when we went three-and-out with them."
But as for the Als going one-and- out, Reed said he's not about to bet the farm on any of the remaining contenders.
"I think regardless of what two teams meet in Vancouver for the Grey Cup, it's going to be a very good football game because the parity in the league has been there since the start of the season," Reed said. "I'm not surprised by what happened based on the parity that we've seen all year. Any of the four teams remaining have a good opportunity of winning it."