HAMILTON – Following a tough road loss, Edmonton Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed deserves some credit with how he handled his post-game media scrum following a 51-8 defeat to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday afternoon at Ivor Wynne Stadium.
"Whenever something like this happens, whenever it goes bad it is absolutely my fault," Reed said. "One hundred per cent me. I have to look at what I'm doing how I'm doing it and who I'm doing it with.
"It's absolutely on me."
Following a lopsided loss and two close games the weeks prior, both of which couold just as easily gone in Edmonton’s favour, the Eskimos character is being tested. It is something that Reed has confidence that his club can rebound from.
“I asked [the players] what do they want this season to be?”, Reed stated. “We are not out of it yet and we have to make certain that commit to doing the things that are going to allow us to once again play winning football. The last three weeks we have not”.
Veteran pivot Kerry Joseph made his third consecutive start against the Tiger-Cats and after successfully moving the ball in the first quarter, the Hamilton defence buckled down and presented numerous challenges for the former league MOP, forcing him to the sidelines and beginning what would become a quarterback shuffle in the second half.
“We knew coming in that Kerry was about 80 per cent and he did what he had to do in terms of fighting through it”, Reed said of his quarterback. “He made a couple of plays but that injury didn’t allow him to continue on”.
Joseph would re-enter but not until after Steven Jyles made one of two appearances as did third-stringer Matt Nichols. Nichols left the game after feeling the effects of a hit laid out by a Hamilton defender and Reed said it was the game scenario which forced his hand to go to his third pivot of the day.
“We needed to get Matt Nichols some reps, knowing that the score was starting to get a bit out of hand and we needed to see what the young kid had. He came in and threw the ball very well but we had a bunch of penalties that stopped us from getting a touchdown”.
Regardless which player was behind centre, the Eskimos just couldn’t seem to break a very focused Ticats defence that shut out Edmonton in the final three quarters and held its much-feared ground game to just 56 yards.
"I give them credit for how they played," said Reed about the Hamilton defence. "They were very well prepared. They defended very well. The things they tried to do, they got a lot of pressure on our quarterback. But we did not execute. We did not execute to give ourselves a chance to score."
The Eskimos will quickly turn their attention to the league-leading BC Lions who come to Commonwealth next Saturday. The bright side for the Green and Gold is they already have one victory over the Leos this season – a 27-14 win back in July in Vancouver.