Eskimos hope to find way to stop Ticats offence
EDMONTON — The Edmonton Eskimos hope a 39-year-old quarterback and a depleted defence can find a way to stop the high-flying Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Mired in a five-game losing streak, the Eskimos made moves this week to try to stabilize their struggling, inconsistent offence. Edmonton declared Kerry Joseph their starting quarterback for the rest of the season and ended the merry-go-round at running back by naming Hugh Charles their No. 1 man.
Putting the team’s fate in the hands of Joseph is ironic, given that the team traded away 32-year-old Ricky Ray because of his age and to give the club’s young quarterbacks a chance to develop.
That experiment is proving to be a failure as Steven Jyles, in his second stint with the Eskimos, hasn’t been inconsistent and third-stringer Matt Nichols basically sat on the bench until recently. With the offence last or second-last in most statistics, head coach Kavis Reed this week took over as offensive co-ordinator and decided to end the uncertainly at quarterback and running back.
“Now we’re going back to square one, like we started at the beginning of the season and hopefully it works out,” said Charles, who has had more than 10 carries only once since the team added Cory Boyd and Jerome Messam to solidify the running back situation.
“We tried something new. Cory got released and found a new home here and we tried that formula and the rotation was OK for a bit. Then you had Messam come and you have it in the back of your head ... you have to play these guys. We tried the formula and it just didn’t quite work.”
The Jyles experiment also hasn’t worked out so Joseph, who hasn’t been a regular starter since 2009, will carry the team’s fading playoff hopes.