June 10, 2012
Masoli impresses at Eskimos scrimmage
By GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency
EDMONTON - The real bullets don’t officially fly until the Edmonton Eskimos take to the field against a team wearing a different coloured jersey.
But they took some target practice with rubber bullets at Clarke Park on Saturday in a tackle-free trial run during the annual Green and Gold scrimmage.
For what it’s worth, the offence won by a combined 25-7 score over the defence as coaches and fans alike got their first glimpse of some of the new recruits mixed into a game situation.
But the real winner was Jeremiah Masoli, who went head-to-head with Brandon Summers in a battle over the fourth — and likely final — quarterback spot.
“Jeremiah executed a little bit better,” said Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed, adding Masoli has a slight advantage because he signed on earlier with the team.
“He’s more familiar with the nomenclature than Brandon is right now.
“But we saw some pretty positive things from Brandon, as well.”
Masoli put together a pair of touchdown drives to open the first three series, looking comfortable and confident in the ability of both his arm and legs as he spread the ball out among the receivers.
Brandon Summers had his first pass taken back the other way for six points after a ball intended for Edmonton Huskies wide-out Anthony Barret ended up in the hands of cornerback Joe Burnett for a highlight reel-interception.
“I should have read the corner better because there was an open corner route and I just didn’t read it right,” said Summers, who spent last season on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers practice squad.
“Just to get it out of my system now is better than in a game.
“It shows that I’ve still got a lot of work to do, got to get into the playbook and get used to it.”
Summers made up for it, however, by flashing some scrambling ability of his own before finding a leaping Dobson Collins deep down the middle of the field and behind safety Donovan Alexander to set up a field goal.
With Masoli back in, former Saskatchewan Roughriders receiver Cary Koch came up with a deep ball to set up a six-yard reception by Barret.
As much as the Green and Gold faithful wanted to watch some of the more recognizable names on the field, they had to settle for seeing them in the autograph line as the scrimmage was used to evaluate new recruits looking to make their mark.
“I think we got a good preview of the future and are seeing some of the young guys fight for a spot,” Masoli said. “I had help from a great team effort (Saturday) to make me look good.
“This is going to be some good tape to learn from and see some of the mistakes we made so we can keep doing it.”
Overall, Reed said he was happy with the results he saw on the field Saturday.
“They were pretty darn good for the first time they were on the stage,” he said.
“We expected them to play fast and make some mistakes, and they didn’t make that many mistakes.”