Esks kicker's debut less than auspicious
By GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency
|Brody McKnight, shown warming up prior to practice with the Montreal Alouettes, was traded to the Eskimos last week. His debut Saturday in Hamilton ended up as a blocked field that was returned for a touchdown in the Eskimos 512-8 loss to the Ticats. (Martin Chevalier/QMI Agency)
One swing of a leg led to a swing in momentum that the Edmonton Eskimos couldn’t bounce back from on Saturday.
A 48-yard field-goal attempt that would have given them an 11-9 lead heading into halftime turned into a 10-point swing in the Hamilton Tiger-Cats favour, after it was blocked and taken back for six the other way.
After Grant Shaw missed a 48-yard field goal that went for a single on their opening drive, the Eskimos enlisted the services of new arrival Brody McKnight — who had just one practice under his belt after coming over in a trade with the Montreal Alouettes.
“We were trying to get points. A long field goal and, again, a critical mistake by me,” said Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed. “We knew at the end of the day that he had a very difficult get-off time. That was not a good coaching decision to allow that kid to kick that field goal knowing his get-off time.”
While Shaw had to be waived back off the field for McKnight to go out for the kick, Reed said it wasn’t a split-second decision.
“No, I had asked (special-teams assistant) Terry (Eisler) to have No. 14 warm up earlier in the series because we wanted to give him an opportunity,” Reed said. “Grant (Shaw) had missed a 48-yarder. We dressed a kid and wanted to see him kick.
“Unfortunately, it was a bad result.”
For the Eskimos, but not for the Ticats, who went on to score 51 unanswered points.
It wasn’t the way McKnight expected his CFL debut to turn out.
“I really don’t know what to say,” said the former first-round draft pick. “Coach told me to be ready and I was awaiting any opportunity.
“It doesn’t change anything for me. It doesn’t change anything for this team. I’ve got to go back to the film and take a look at what happened.”