Eskimos staff defend O-line

Edmonton Eskimos quarterback Steven Jyles (3) gets sacked by Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive end...

Edmonton Eskimos quarterback Steven Jyles (3) gets sacked by Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive end Brent Hawkins during second half CFL football game in Regina, Saskatchewan July 8, 2012. (Reuters/DAVID STOBBE)

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:03 PM ET

EDMONTON - The Saskatchewan Roughriders defence came up with more than their share of hurries on Sunday, but the Edmonton Eskimos are just as quick when it comes to defending their offensive line.

After barely being able to make it into field-goal range in a 17-1 loss, it is easy to point the finger of blame at ineffective quarterbacking.

But how much should be put on the pressurized pivots and how much goes to the lack of protection in the pocket?

“And how much is on the coach?” head coach Kavis Reed added. “Our players play hard, their execution obviously wasn’t there. We have to make certain that we minimize a lot of things that we’re doing to put Steven (Jyles) and the offensive line in situations that can give them high-percentage success early.”

That wasn’t the case in Regina, where the Eskimos gave up six sacks — which were about the only plays their quarterback wasn’t hurried into throwing the ball.

“Saskatchewan’s front four, they had a pretty good ball game. Those guys get paid just like we get paid and some days a team has your number,” said Jyles, who was an ineffective 10-for-19 for just 91 passing yards and an interception. “And that day, they had our number.

“We made corrections, I watched film with the O-line and those guys are very concerned. That’s a plus for me because they’re more upset than anyone else.”

And they have good reason, aside from Sunday’s performance.

The group is already down three starters, with left tackle Devin Tyler serving jail time following a fight in a D.C. bar, right tackle Joel Bell breaking his ankle in the preseason and Greg Wojt joining the nine-game injured list with a knee injury prior to Sunday’s game.

“Here we go again, it’s the same thing as last year,” said Eskimos offensive line coach Tim Prinsen, whose squad didn’t play more than two straight games with the same personnel due to injury in 2011. “You’ve got to make the most with what you’ve got.”

They were far from their most on Sunday.

“It wasn’t awesome. Things just kind of steam-rolled, which can happen in that environment,” Prinsen said. “A missed assignment here or there and the next thing you know, people think you’ve got the worst O-line in history, which isn’t the case but that’s just how this game is and that’s what we’re fighting right now.

“We played pretty decent against Toronto and things were fine. You blow up a little bit and next thing you know it turns the other way. It’s how we bounce back.”

IN AND OUT: WR Greg Carr (leg) did not practise and is doubtful for Friday’s game against Winnipeg. WR Aaron Hargreaves and SB Matt Carter (leg) returned to the practice field after coming off the one-game injured list.

Adarius Bowman has been lost until Week 12 on the nine-game injured list, but it appears early reports of the slotback’s season being completely over due to a torn ACL and MCL in his knee may have been erroneous.

“It is a knee injury, we are going to learn the extent possibly in a week or so,” Reed said following Tuesday’s practice. “The swelling is such right now that we need to let that clear up to know the extent of it.

“We can’t say right now that he’s out for the season.”

Dobson Collins, Matt Carter and Canadian draftee Shamawd Chambers are options being explored as a replacement.

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/SunModdejonge


Videos

Photos