Eskimos take giant strides in improving return game

Jamal Miles, shown here in action in Toronto, has given the Eskimos a glimmer of hope, averaging a...

Jamal Miles, shown here in action in Toronto, has given the Eskimos a glimmer of hope, averaging a league-leading 10.6-yard average on punt returns. (CODIE MCLACHLAN/QMI Agency)

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:58 PM ET

If the Edmonton Eskimos can salvage one thing from a three-win season, it may just be the emergence of a long-lost return game.

Well, OK. Behind quarterback Mike Reilly emerging as a full-fledged starter in the league and a legitimate leader on the team, of course.

But don’t discount the steps this team has taken in 2013 on special-teams returns, which is an area that has been severely lacking since the long-past glory days of Henry ‘Gizmo’ Williams.

While there is still too far to go before someone even comes close to any of his dozen team records on both kickoff and punt returns, the baby steps the team has taken recently are even more pronounced amid this hopeless season.

“We’ve been searching all year to make certain that we have a viable return game,” said Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed. “I always joke with the offensive guys: ‘I know when we’re returning well because you’re not complaining about field position.’ And we haven’t had that issue in the last


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