Five Players that need to be more Involved

In the first two games of the young season, the Eskimos have relied heavily on a small number of players to carry the mail. Unfortunately football is a team game where all cylinders need to firing for an organization to have a chance to not only reach the playoffs, but win a championship. To date this season, Kelly Campbell has 17 receptions for 245 yards while Fred Stamps has contributed 186 yards on 12 catches. Arkee Whitlock has rushed for 215 yards with Maurice Lloyd racking up 14 tackles. These are the producers. The team’s top players and nothing less would be expected of them, but they still need a supporting cast to help out. In every category, the next closest to this group is a far off second, and it’s not always their fault. Some have been limited by the coaching staff, seeing only a few opportunities in each game. Others need to just be better. It’s time for a few secondary players to start getting more involved one way or another.

Kamau Peterson, SB

In 2008, Peterson had 1,315 yards on 101 receptions. In 2009, his numbers slipped to 788 yards on 63 catches. At his current pace, Peterson would finish the 2010 season with somewhere around 400 yards on 45 receptions. This is not a suggestion that Peterson is headed towards numbers that low, but rather a way to demonstrate how uninvolved he is in the offense this year. Peterson needs to return to being a primary target for Ray, if only to create more space for other receivers.

Andrew Nowacki, WR

Like Peterson, Nowacki’s involvement in the offense has been pretty limited this year. So limited that he does not have a single reception. Nowacki has still been playing hard, and has been effective blocking when needed, but wide receivers are paid to catch the football. Against Montreal, Nowacki was targeted once by Ray on the very first drive, and then never thrown to for the rest of the game. It’s pretty hard to get those reception totals up when the football is not coming your way. Nowacki’s best season was in 2007 when he caught 47 passes for 465 yards, so no one should be expecting the former Murray State Racer to become a 1,000 yard receiver, but he can contribute with a couple receptions every game which keeps a defense honest.

Calvin McCarty, RB

McCarty’s dismal numbers (3 att, 8 yards, 3 rep, 22 yards) fall squarely at the feet of the coaching staff. Three touches per game is not enough for the talented non-import. McCarty has proven that when given the chance, he can produce in big games. The quality that makes the running back so valuable to the Eskimos offense is that he isn’t just a running back. He can be used as a tight end as well as an extra receiver out of the back field. If the Eskimos want to put more import receivers on the field, McCarty offers a great option that isn’t much of down grade in talent from Whitlock.

Kai Ellis, DE

Kenneth Pettway stepped into the lineup for the Eskimos second game and registered four tackles, a sack, and a blocked punt. That was all in one game. On the other side of the defensive line, Kai Ellis has recorded three tackles. That’s it. Last year, Ellis tied TJ Hill for most tackles on the Eskimos defense with 62. Once again, as we did with Peterson, if we project those numbers over the entire season, he would finish with 27 tackles. Ellis has been underachieving in the first two weeks of the season and will need to get more involved if the Eskimos want to be successful at keeping opposing offenses under control this season.

Skyler Green, PR

With Tristan Jackson out until September, Green has been the go to guy in returning punts. The results have been underwhelming to say the least. Nine returns for 28 yards is not what the Eskimos are used to from their punt returner. Green hasn’t looked completely confident when on the field, and it would be interesting to know if something has rattled his confidence. And yes, his blockers have to be better, but the guy returning the ball also needs to make some plays and find a little more yardage for the Green & Gold.

UPDATED: Looks like Skyler Green will have to wait for a chance to make an impression. Jamaica Rector will be taking his place on the 42-man roster for this upcoming weekend.

Everybody contributes, the team wins

When a team is getting production from both its star players and the supporting cast, it makes it much more difficult for an opposing team to know where to turn their attention. Until the Eskimos get everyone involved and producing, it could be very difficult for the team to start notching marks in the win column.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by billyblaze27 on July 15, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    This club just needs to stop making constant mental errors and they will be fine. Clean up the penalties, turnovers and drops. Improve execution in the red zone and they should win a lot of games.


  2. @BB27

    If the Esks don’t get more players involved, how long do you think it will take opposing defenses to key in on Stamps and Campbell. I hate to use them as a model of success, but just look at the receiving stats for the Roughriders top four receivers. None are leading the league, but they do have all four in the top 16 for receiving yards.


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