Tillman takes rap for Eskimos' scoring woes

Eskimos general manager Eric Tillman is taking the heat for his team's offensive woes after trading...

Eskimos general manager Eric Tillman is taking the heat for his team's offensive woes after trading quarterback Ricky Ray to the Argos in the offseason. (IAN KUCERAK/QMI Agency)

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:10 PM ET

If Eric Tillman is as good at picking quarterbacks as he is at media relations, the Edmonton Eskimos will be fine.

The general manager went directly to the Eskimos beat reporters Sunday night after starting quarterback Steven Jyles was pulled twice during a 17-1 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He told them to ask him anything.

Smart move, because if the scribes are upstairs talking to the GM they're spending less time downstairs grilling the two quarterbacks who would have had trouble moving the football in a Brinks truck against the Roughriders.

Tillman said his team's offensive struggles so far are on him, and rightly so. He made the decision to trade veteran quarterback Ricky Ray to Toronto, and with Jyles struggling that makes it Tillman's fault.

It's early, but it looks as if Tillman may have taken too big of a risk this time. Jyles has always had OK numbers in the CFL, but he has never been able to get over the hump.

Four years ago when Tillman was the Saskatchewan GM he traded quarterback Kerry Joseph, but he had three familiar names behind new starter Marcus Crandell: Darian Durant, Drew Tate and Jyles. The Riders somehow won 12 games during that season, but Crandell got hurt, Durant and Jyles weren't quite ready, and Michael Bishop ended up being the reason the Riders flamed out in the West Division semifinal.

The way Jyles and Joseph are playing in Edmonton, the West Division semifinal is dreamland for the Eskimos right now.


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