Eskimos inside men produce most sacks
By CON GRIWKOWSKY, QMI Agency
|Marcus Howard and Ted Laurent (R) put the clamps on Saskatchewan's Darian Durant at Commonwealth last year. (Codie McLachlan, QMI AGENCY)
EDMONTON - They’re giving a new meaning to the term bull rush.
A trio of Eskimos’ beefy, yet speedy defensive tackles — Ted Laurent, Almondo Sewell and Don Oramasionwu have been leading the charge in the team’s sack attack.
Between them, they have dumped opposition quarterbacks eight times, while leaving the rest of their defensive teammates just four sacks.
It’s not just a question of having in the shortest path from point A to point B.
Before last Friday’s game in B.C., Laurent made a statement that he believed the Eskimos defence was the best in the league.
As it turned out, that was no idle boast and a lot of the credit has to be given to the pressure the interior linemen bring.
“I said it and I’m going to keep saying it,” said Laurent. “I feel like we have the best defence in the league. We proved it last week. Each of the guys keeps the others going.”
Laurent knows the time will come when the defensive ends will rack up their own numbers, but for now the inside guys are having fun leading the way.
“Everybody’s doing their jobs,” said Laurent, who’s tied with Sewell with three sacks apiece. “Me, Almondo and Donny O are in a friendly competition every day just to get us motivated, just to see who gets the most sacks.
“It’s just for fun, but while we do that, we make each other better. We’re going to keep doing that the rest of the season.”
Oramasionwu knows part of the reason for their production is the opposition offences are concentrating on the Eskimos coming off the edge.
“We have two great ends and there’s a lot of focus on them,” said Oramasionwu, about Marcus Howard and Julius Williams.
Howard, who will be out because of hamstring injury against Winnipeg, led the team with 11 sacks last year.
“They’re rushing well on the outside and the quarterback’s flushing to us. We’re getting lucky. We’re just taking advantage of it right now.”
One of the reasons Oramasionwu signed here as a free agent was a chance to become a starter.
He already has two sacks, one shy of his career-high three he had in each of the last three seasons.
“Now that I’m starting, I’m supposed to get more sacks,” said Oramasionwu. “I’m making the most of it here. We have great players across the board and everybody’s doing their job. Nobody’s greedy and everybody’s happy to see everybody else succeed.”
EXTRA POINTS: Even though Esks offensive lineman Simeon Rottier has forgiven B.C.’s Khalif Mitchell for twisting his arm, the CFL has brought down the hammer.
Commissioner Mark Cohon has slapped Mitchell with a two-game suspension.
“This type of behaviour has no place in our game and will not be tolerated,” said Cohon in a statement. “Any play that puts one of our players at risk of serious injury will be met with discipline.”