Add being not prepared to the list

The Esks came out absolutely flat on Sunday and showed that not only does the team lack physical talent, but mental fortitude as well. There was no attempt by the team in the first half of the game to offer even an inkling of fight as the Alouettes outscored the Green & Gold by a margin of 26-7.  Spotting a team, especially one as good as Montreal, that type of lead is a good way of allowing fans to save a little of their time by turning off the television and pursuing other activities.

Making defensive plays

Kenny Pettway managed to record a sack and Javier Glatt intercepted a misthrown Anthony Calvillo pass, but apart from those two notes on the stat line, there wasn’t much going right for the Esks on defence. The tackling was not very good and those players who need to be Edmonton’s best players, failed to show up on Sunday. Although on special teams, the missed tackle by Rod Davis on Diamond Ferri’s kick return for a touchdown was especially significant as Davis had a chance to make the play, but instead of wrapping up the Alouette’s return man, opted to go with the knockdown, which if anything, simply gave Ferri a push out of what was a closing hole. The Esks need to be better on defence, and sooner or later, someone has to start making plays.

Why the defence?

It’s quite simple, the offense was terrible on Sunday as they have been for most of the season. The have not been able to break the 30 point plateau this year and have six games where they have scored 20 or fewer points. That doesn’t cut it in the CFL. If the team is going to win football, the defense is going to have to make plays that affect the outcome of the game.

Looking at the offense, there is always one player or two players that have a good performance, but football is a team game and all of the players on the field have to be contributing in a positive fashion. This week it was Jason Barnes, who pulled in four receptions for 120 yards. Last week it was Marko Mitchell. The week before that, well, we all want to forget about the Labour Day game. The point is that the Esks appear disjointed, out-of-sync, and disorganized when they have the ball. Maybe some more changes might be worth exploring.

Speaking of changes

The Eskimos release offensive tackle Calvin Armstrong a couple of weeks ago. He was immediately scooped up by the Toronto Argonauts, as Armstrong had been quite recently a tackle worthy of a CFL All-Star selection. Curiously though, the Argos released Armstrong this past week, emphasizing that even strong talent on the Esks roster is not considered good enough for other teams around the league.

The team might want to explore making some other bold roster statements. Players, especially imports, are replaceable and for the Esks, the grass may very well be greener on the other side. Identifying talent is a tough job, but Tillman is one of the best in the business at finding players that can contribute. Starting a rebuild right now might be a good idea.

Touchdown Atlantic

The Esks are now moving on to Moncton for a historic game against the Argos. In addition to playing the game, the team is going to be doing a little bit of brand promotion in the Atlantic provinces before getting down to preparing for the game on Sunday. It should be positive distraction for the team, and sometimes, those types of activities can actually be more beneficial to a team that is underachieving.


5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Festus on September 20, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Time for Lloyd to go. How many times does he simply run into a blocker and then quit on the play, never any extra fight to get back into the play.


  2. Agree with most of what you have said. Responding to your comment about mental fortitude……I would have worded it differently……..It appears they just don’t give a #$%&!!!! I have said this before, change the logo on the side of their helments to read…..” this space for rent ” because clearly there is nothing inside of those helments now! As for roster changes, I agree as long as they are not changes for change sake. They have to be positive. Get Campbell out of the locker room, it may be a talent drop, or maybe not considering the amount of dropped balls,but it will be a positive change. Get Strausser out. His offence is based on what he wants done, not on the strengths of his players. Montreal comes out with quick hit passing game, happy to get the short yardage, ( which adds up to first downs), and keep their still bruised QB untouched. We continue to try for the home run when we cant protect our QB. When was thast time we saw the “hot” pass, a center screen, a shovel pass etc.? Nope. We continue to throw intermediate to long passes, or we throw to a stationary target on the sidelines, which has contributes to the interception totals, and have all but abandonded the run. Most of the time our opponents know what we are going to do before we do it, and they are better at our plays than we are! But before any of these things happen, the players have to show a want and desire to actually play the game, not just put in the time and collect a paycheck.!


  3. Excellent comments Sec.F Bill. Have to agree with pretty much everything you said.

    As for the changes, the ones that I am refering too would be similar to the ones made by the Oilers this past off-season. It would boil down to a complete cultural shift, keeping a nucleus that can be built around, although the Esks are as of this moment lacking any big prospects besides Bulcke. They do have some young guys to build around, but probably need another year to get enough of them.


  4. You are right, a complete culture shift is required, and likely cant be accomplished short term. But as long as there is still a chance, and as stupid and embarrassing as it is, that chance still exists, then I would hope that Tillman is going to make every effort. His track record indicates he will. Read this morning he has changed his plans and is going to Moncton, that tells me he is getting ready to shake things up.But it still comes down to the players, od should I say the bodies filling in the uniforms. Unless he can identify what is causing the dont give a #$%^ attiutde , and I believe it is only one or two people, ( coaches and players ), the all the new bodies in the world won’t solve the problem. Just to show I am not completely negative, it says here the Esks will win their next two.
    Damn that was hard to say!


  5. Bold prediction my friend, but at the same time, one that could very well happen. Toronto and Hamilton are two teams that can be beaten. Then again, the Esks need to come out and play a full sixty minutes, otherwise, it could be two more losses.


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