September 23, 2012
Eskimos on roller-coaster ride
By GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency
EDMONTON - It's been a hectic week for the Edmonton Eskimos.
On Saturday, it was Khalif Mitchell coming into Commonwealth Stadium as public enemy No. 1 for a rematch with Simeon Rottier.
Earlier in the week, offensive co-ordinator Marcus Crandell's job came into question after an offensive Ôadvisor' was brought in to look over his shoulder.
But it hasn't just been this week.
Before a ball was snapped on the 2012 season, the Eskimos traded away their franchise quarterback in a deal that paved the way for a season of controversy.
If it wasn't Ricky Ray coming back to Commonwealth in the season-opener, it was Steven Jyles returning to Toronto for the first time since he left Ñ which was overshadowed only by Cory Boyd's first game against the team that cut him loose even though he was leading the league in rushing.
Then Jerome Messam came back only to have too many cooks in the kitchen as the run game plummeted. And Eskimos fans were kicking themselves after the first-round draft pick was dealt away for a kicker.
And don't even ask about the DeLorean ...
Week to week, it seems, the Eskimos have had to deal with some sort of controversy or another that has created a constant buzz outside their locker-room.
"The biggest thing about football is that there is always going to be noise outside and it's how you deal with it," said Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed. "This very young team has handled it exceptionally well.
"And, as a leader, it is my responsibility to make certain that we accentuate that."
And by handling, Reed means ignoring.
"The character of this football team is going to be displayed on the field and off the field," Reed said. "In order for us to do that, we have to be focused on what is important.
"The things that we can control are things that are important. Things we can't control, we don't need to focus on."