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EDMONTON — It took nine years, but Greg Marshall is back in Edmonton.
Hired by the Eskimos on Friday as their new Defensive Coordinator, a position previously held by Mark Nelson, Marshall returns to a CFL sideline for the first time since being relieved of his duties as Head Coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2011.
While his stint as the main man in Regina lasted all but eight games, as his Riders got off to a sluggish 1-7 start, Marshall vowed that very day that we in the CFL community had not seen the last of him.
He was right.
Thanks to Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed, Marshall will have the chance to prove once again that he can make a positive impact on a team.
Reed believes that Marshall’s excellent resumé speaks for itself.
“He has a tremendous about of CFL experience as a coordinator. He’s done a tremendous job and his record speaks for itself,” said Reed.
The Eskimos also hired a new Offensive Coordinator in Doug Sams, someone who Reed thinks will improve Edmonton’s offensive output.
“He is a seasoned veteran, has been a lot of places and has CFL experience,” said Reed.
“He has the ability to develop young quarterbacks as his resumé has shown and he’s a proven signal caller both on the CFL and NCAA level.”
Last week, the Eskimos released veteran QB Steven Jyles, stating that they are in the hunt for a young pivot that they hope they can develop into one of the league’s premier quarterbacks.
Reed, who has seen a revolving door of sorts under centre in Edmonton since being hired in 2010, believes that the addition of Sams to his coaching staff only brings them closer to achieving the team’s aforementioned goal.
“When you look at the direction of the football team and more so the direction of the football club, you want to make certain that every time you take inventory as to whether or not you have the right people in leadership positions,” said Reed.
“What we’re looking for based on how our roster is set up right now and the way we plan to have it set is guys that have certain skill sets. We knew that a quarterback coach was necessary, someone that has a proven record of developing young quarterbacks was necessary, so we went with Doug Sams.
On the defensive side of the ball, Reed believes that his players are well equipped to succeed, but require a system that can help them reach the next level.
“Our defence is very young and talented. Systematically we know what those guys are able to do. Greg will provide that system to best utilize our talents there.”