Esks put premium on scrambling

Edmonton Eskimos' head coach Kavis Reed speaks to the media in the Eskimos' locker room, as he...

Edmonton Eskimos' head coach Kavis Reed speaks to the media in the Eskimos' locker room, as he announced his 2012 coaching staff, April 20, 2012. (David Bloom/Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency)

Gerry Moddejonge, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:53 PM ET

EDMONTON - Kavis Reed doesn’t often pull stats from his pocket.

Usually the Edmonton Eskimos head coach is the one fending off obscure statistics regurgitated by members of the media desperate to drum up a story during a long week between games.

But this time, it was Reed offering up a much more meaningful numerical outlook on the 2011 CFL season, after crunching some numbers of his own.

“Second-and-seven, league-wise, there’s probably about a 40% success rate,” Reed said. “That’s not a whole lot and we want to make certain that we’re living in a world where it’s second-and-medium or less.

“That’s why there’s a premium on having guys who can hit the perimeter.”

So, instead of relying heavily on passing out of the pocket to set up a more manageable second down, the Eskimos are envisioning a different kind of offence from the one fans are used to seeing during Ricky Ray era of the past 10 years.

“In terms of how our system is evolving offensively, we have a premium on first-and-10, and that is vitally important,” said Reed, who a stable of much more mobile quarterbacks coming into training camp in June.

Overall, the five current pivots on the roster have more ability to not only get out of harm’s way and extend the play with their legs than in the past, but to also chase down any free yards that a defence happens to offer.

“We have a very athletic group of guys,” said Kerry Joseph. “When you can actually make plays and move around with your legs when things break down, it puts a lot more pressure on the defence.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca

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