On August 27th in Toronto, a Monday night game at Rogers Centre against the Argonauts, the Eskimos notched a 26-17 win to move into second place in the West Division.
Fast forward almost six weeks later and the landscape has changed quite a bit. The Eskimos have lost three games by a total of four points and two games by a whopping total of 67 points.
In an effort to awaken their slumbering offence, Head Coach Kavis Reed made the bold decision to remove Marcus Crandell from his Offensive Coordinator post and make himself the team’s offensive play-caller. The decision stunned many people around the CFL. This columnist had to look at the e-mail on his phone several times to believe it.
Reed might be the first coach in CFL history to be a defensive, special teams, and offensive coordinator.
He admits he’s not very well versed about the offensive side of the ball. He’ll rely heavily on Crandell who remains on as the team’s Quarterbacks Coach. David Kelly’s role increases as he serves as the club’s offensive adviser.
As tough as it seems for the Eskimos right now, a win tonight over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats puts them back into a playoff spot as the crossover team in the Eastern Division. It would also move them one step closer to the Saskatchewan Roughriders for third place in the West Division. The two teams play each other next week.
In the Canadian Football League, one win can change the complexion of a season for a football team. Reed could have stayed the course, or fired Crandell. He did neither. Instead, he decided to take more of a load on his shoulders. He feels he can make a difference to the offence.
"I think that we have the ability to do some things a little bit differently that will allow us to have more explosive plays," Reed said. "I think that we've done a good job with the situation that we've been in. I looked at the numbers, for the most part we're doing a good job of moving the ball, and it’s our own self destructiveness that has been our Achilles heel."
One thing Reed did right away this week was name his starting quarterback for tonight’s game in Kerry Joseph who hasn’t played for the last two weeks because of a lower body injury. He’ll be the third different quarterback to start for the Eskimos after Matt Nichols made his CFL debut last week in Calgary and Steven Jyles started two weeks ago vs. B.C.
Dave Campbell has been on the Eskimos beat since 2004. He’s entering his seventh season as the Eskimo colour analyst for 630 CHED broadcasts. He also hosts The Points After Show, an openline post-game show. Follow Dave on Twitter @Dave_CHED.
|2||Blue Bombers||DE||Mulumba, Andy|
|3||Alouettes via EDM||LB||Edem, Mike|