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Thread: Edmonton Sun Artilces Sept. 8

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    News Edmonton Sun Artilces Sept. 8

    What's the rush?
    Diedrick on his way, but don't expect an instant solution to running problems

    By TERRY JONES, EDMONTON SUN




    Dahrran Diedrick became the first Canadian scholarship recruit at Nebraska and rushed for 2,745 career yards eighth in school history. (File photo)
    Dahrran Diedrick is within hours of becoming an Edmonton Eskimo. But is he within days of becoming the answer to their running game problem?

    It's been a long wait for the Toronto area product to run out of his NFL options, but the running back called Eskimos' GM Paul Jones Tuesday night and it looks like he's decided to finally head home to play in the CFL. He could be in the lineup as soon as a week Sunday in Taylor Field in Regina.

    "We've been talking to him a lot. I talked to him Tuesday night,'' said Jones.

    "We're going the right direction with it now. Danny Maciocia would like him in as soon as he can, learning the plays and settling in. Hopefully this will be taken care of in the next few days.''

    But whoa, says Maciocia.


    "We need to be careful here. I know there's going to be a sense of excitement here. I know how difficult it is to get a quality Canadian. I know there will be a sense of excitement from that aspect alone. But I wouldn't want there to be a sense of excitement that Diedrick is going to be the answer to our running game problems.

    "That's going from one extreme to the other. I'm not ready to say that.

    QUALITY CANADIAN

    "He's a quality Canadian, no question about that. He's a good football player. But to see him as the answer to our running game problem, that's not the case. That would be misleading people.''

    George Reed in his prime might not be the answer to the Eskimos running game problems right now. The answer to the Eskimos running game problem is likely to get the running backs, such as they are, some big league blocking. But Maciocia certainly isn't going to say that. "Potentially he could be the answer,'' said the head coach. "But I don't want to come across that he is the answer to be, a) fair to myself, and b) to be fair to him.

    "What I will say is if you are excited about what Eric Lapointe brings to Montreal and Jesse Lumsden is going to bring to Hamilton, Diedrick is just as good as those two guys, if not better.''

    As with the case of Diedrick with the Eskimos, Lumsden is expected to sign with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the same time frame.

    "There aren't too many Canadians who get scholarships to go to Nebraska and start at running back for their entire college career,'' added the Eskimos' rookie head coach.

    Actually, there's only been one.

    Diedrick became the first ever Canadian scholarship recruit at Nebraska and rushed for 2,745 career yards. That was good for eighth in school history.

    So far this year, Edmonton is eighth in a nine-team league in rushing and have rotated three different people at the position.

    Eskimos' talent recruiter Jones says watching Diedrick has been a priority since the team drafted him in 2002, knowing he'd be headed to the NFL, knowing they wouldn't be seeing him for a while, maybe not ever.

    "He's a quality back. He's somebody we've watched all his career.

    "He's someone I think can come in and have a chance. When you play college at Nebraska, you run inside a lot. They run the 'I' at Nebraska. Anybody playing running back at Nebraska has to be a tough player. They're a run orientated team.''

    SIGNED BY CHARGERS

    The six-foot-two, 225-pound Diedrick was originally signed by the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted rookie free agent in May 2003.

    He was released three months later and signed on for a stint on the Green Bay Packers practice roster before again being released.

    He then joined the Washington Redskins late last year and was added to the active roster for their final NFL regular season game. He also spent a year in NFL Europe.

    The guy will almost certainly be signed between now and game time tomorrow and likely in the Eskimos dressing room when they open the door to begin work on their next game against the Saskatchewan greenwhites.

    But, Danny Maciocia warns, while Eskimo fans are allowed to get a little excited, to see him as the solution for the No. 1 thing that ails his football team right now concerns him greatly.

    "I wouldn't even want to say if he'd play in Saskatchewan on the 18th.''

    Look for similar words from Tiger-Cats head coach Greg Marshall on the subject of Lumsden shortly.

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    Re: Edmonton Sun Artilces Sept. 8

    Sanchez never plays it safe
    By TERRY JONES, EDMONTON SUN




    Davis Sanchez played basketball in the Canada Games as a kid. One of his teammates was Steve Nash.

    Nash you know as the Canadian who became an NBA superstar.

    "I was his back-up guard. I didn't get much playing time. I'm jealous of him,'' said Sanchez.

    Nash isn't likely to be jealous of Davis Sanchez. But he would probably think it's pretty impressive what Sanchez accomplished since those Canada Games days considering, at the time, he hadn't played football, and wouldn't until his second year of college.

    Sanchez takes pride in what he's accomplished as a Canadian so far in his football career. He says a lot of people aren't really aware of what he's done.


    The Eskimos fact book tells you that he was only the second Canadian-born player to start in the National Football League.

    But, next year, Sanchez wouldn't mind seeing a few more lines in there.

    "I think the most interesting thing considering where I come from is that I was a starting cornerback in the NFL. Hopefully there will be another one sometime in the future. But I'll always be able to claim I was first. To my knowledge, I'm also the only Canadian cornerback ever to lead the CFL in interceptions and ever to be an all-star cornerback. Again, hopefully, there will be plenty more after me.''

    Sanchez says when it comes to Canadians in the defensive secondary, they usually throw you at safety because that's where you're supposed to play - because you're the Canadian.

    "I'll always appreciate Jim Popp in Montreal and Rod Rust, who was the defensive co-ordinator when I got there the first time in 1999.

    "They pretty much threw me in there first. There was no Canadian cornerback in the league at all. Everybody told me I'd be a safety when I got to the CFL.

    "They believed I was a good enough athlete to play the corner. They believed in me from the beginning. I have never played a down at safety.''

    If that sounds remarkable, try this. Sanchez turned into an all-star player at the top of the CFL payroll and never played high school football. In fact, he only played a few games of college football.

    "Football wasn't a part of my life until after high school,'' said the Vancouver-born seven-year pro.

    "In my first year of college, I played basketball.

    "I played soccer growing up and then basketball in high school. In North Delta, soccer was huge. I always figured I'd be a pro soccer player in Europe. I remember once, when I was a kid, my mom asked me to mow the lawn, and I told her I didn't have to because I was going to grow up to be a professional soccer player.

    "When I got to high school, soccer wasn't so popular. All my friends were playing basketball. North Delta High didn't have a football team. I played basketball and went to Butte Junior College as a basketball player.''

    At 5-foot-9 and 183 pounds, he wasn't the second coming of Michael Jordan.

    "I was a point guard and I figured out that a point guard who couldn't make a jump shot probably wasn't going to play pro.''

    Davis admits that he was driven by the idea of playing pro sports. And it had something to do with his idea to switch to football after his first year of college, playing for the Surrey Junior Rams until he went back to Butte Junior College.

    "I played three games of junior and then went back to college and was a walk-on in football at Butte.''

    He liked it.

    "I liked the contact. And I thought maybe I could be a pro football player.''

    A junior college All-American at Butte, he was recruited by Oregon, where he became a teammate of Jason Maas with the Ducks. His defensive coach was former Eskimos assistant coach Rich Stubler - now of the Grey Cup champion Toronto Argos. Also on the staff, as a student assistant coach, was Rick Campbell, now his defensive co-ordinator with the Eskimos.

    "It really was going from small-time to big-time. I went from 2,000 fans in the stands at Butte to 50,000 at Oregon. It was a big-time program.

    "Oregon was very short-lived. I only played six games. I fractured my leg and never played a game.

    "But I was a Canadian, and I was invited to the CFL combine, and I was drafted by Montreal.

    "In my second year with the Alouettes, in 2000, I led the league in interceptions.''

    Danny Maciocia was there as an assistant coach.

    The NFL was all over him.

    "The whole time, I thought I was going to go to the Washington Redskins. But San Diego flew me down there. I'd never been to San Diego before. I fell in love with the place. It was closer to home.''

    Sanchez's career has been littered with CFL connections no matter where he has gone.

    The head coach in San Diego at the time was former Winnipeg Blue Bomber head coach Mike Riley.

    "I started two games as a cornerback as a rookie.''

    San Diego offered him a one-year contract after his first two years in the league."My agent believed it would be best if I looked around for a better situation with more playing time. That ended up being the wrong decision. I left there and ended up not being picked up by another team.''

    He ended up in the CFL with that Calgary Stampeders.

    "Calgary just really put together a good package for me. It was a similar contract to what I had down in San Diego.''

    That was two years ago, when Sanchez received his baptism in the Battle of Alberta.

    "Growing up in B.C., I didn't realize the hatred between the two Alberta teams. In Calgary, it was almost like you could salvage your season by beating Edmonton on Labour Day.

    Of course, you all remember what happened on Davis Sanchez's first Labour Day.

    It was the Labour Day Brawl in which Ed Hervey swung his helmet at Sanchez.

    "Ed and I talk about that now,'' he said of his teammate who had a go with him again, minus the helmet-swinging, at training camp.

    "We should have got a cut of the gate of the game back here on the Friday. Our fight had a big impact on ticket sales.''

    The Friday return match drew a crowd of 62,444, the largest regular-season crowd in CFL history.

    At the end of the season, Sanchez was history.

    "Owner Michael Feterik decided we weren't successful and traded all the guys who were making money. Joe Fleming ended up in Winnipeg. I ended up in Montreal.

    "It worked out great for me. I was extremely happy to go back to Montreal.''

    At the end of last year, Sanchez became a free agent, however. And he decided to look around the league.

    "Edmonton was always the place where, sometime in my career, I wanted to play.

    "The Eskimos gave me what I was looking for, which was a long-term contract. It's fine to jump around when you're being paid well. But sometime, you want to settle down and be part of a team for a long while.''

    He's settling in nicely.

    "I bought a house. I plan to be here and get involved in the community.

    "The biggest thing for me is how good the organization is at taking care of us. The team is run like an NFL organization. They make it great to come to work every day. And the best part is how much the city cares about their football team. You hardly ever go out and not have somebody tell you 'Good luck next week!' or 'What the heck happened last week?'

    "And I can't wait to play before 60,000 again like I did here two years ago on the wrong side of the field. I play off a crowd like that.''

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    Re: Edmonton Sun Artilces Sept. 8

    Gator always has game
    By TERRY JONES, EDMONTON SUN



    You know that Trevor Gaylor is a first-year Edmonton Eskimos wide receiver who caught 37 passes for 479 yards and three touchdowns in the first half of the season.

    You may know that Gaylor was the Miami of Ohio record holder for receptions (128), receiving yards (2,131) and touchdowns (20) in a single season.

    You also may know Gaylor is a fourth-year pro player having been drafted by the San Diego Chargers in 2000. You may also know he was traded from San Diego to Atlanta and appeared in 13 games with two starts for the Falcons and that he was waived by Atlanta and signed by Detroit in January 2004 only to be released in training camp.

    But what do you really know about Trevor Gaylor?

    FULL NAME: Trevor Alexander Gaylor.


    HOME TOWN: St. Louis, Missouri.

    NICKNAME: Gator.

    SIGN: Scorpio.

    SHOE SIZE: 12.

    CHILDHOOD IDOL: Michael Jordan. It was his dominance and consistency.

    FAVOURITE SPORTS TEAM TO FOLLOWED AS A KID: The Cardinals. Everybody in St. Louis follows the Cardinals.

    FAVOURITE TEAM TO FOLLOW NOW THAT YOU'RE ALL GROWN UP: I try to catch as many San Francisco 49er games as I can.

    SUPERSTITIONS: I have to eat pasta before the game, home or away. It's a must for me.

    WHO WOULD PLAY YOU IN A MOVIE? Laurence Fishburne. His past characters do a good job portraying the type of environment I grew up in, so I think he'd be able to act out me.

    WHO IS THE PERSON WHO HAD THE MOST INFLUENCE ON YOU? My mom. She's been an unbelievable example for me. She grew up in the racial tension of the '60s, found ways to overcome, get her own scholarships, win a degree, get her own occupation and be her own woman and always provide for me. To look back and see what she did for me is an inspiration.

    FAVOURITE MOMENT IN FOOTBALL SO FAR: I scored my very first NFL touchdown in St. Louis against the Rams. I was with the Chargers in my rookie season. To come home to St. Louis and get my first NFL touchdown against St. Louis was a real thrill.

    IF YOU WEREN'T PLAYING FOOTBALL WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING? I'd be in the working class but I think I'd be heavy into real estate.

    GREATEST TALENT OTHER THAN FOOTBALL? I call myself a recreational sport champion. I'm great at bowling, ping-pong, pool and that sort of thing. My hidden talent is all those talents.

    FAVOURITE CITY TO VISIT IN CFL? It has to be Vancouver. It reminds me of California.

    FAVOURITE STADIUM IN WHICH TO PLAY ON THE ROAD? Montreal. Everybody hates you.

    IDEAL VACATION SPOT? Rio de Janeiro. I haven't been there yet but all the things I've heard, I'm pretty sure it's a place I can get into.

    WHEN YOU'RE HUNGRY YOU LIKE TO PIG OUT ON? My mom's soul food. All day. Every day.

    FAVOURITE TV SHOW? Martin.

    LAST MOVIE YOU ENJOYED? Four Brothers.

    LAST BOOK YOU READ? I read The Bible almost every day.

    WHAT DO YOU DRIVE TO PRACTICE? I rent a car.

    CLOSEST FRIEND ON OTHER TEAMS IN THE LEAGUE? Jojuan Armour with the B.C. Lions. We played college football together at Miami of Ohio and were pretty good friends then.

    FAVOURITE WAY TO SPEND A DAY? On the golf course. But I shoot anything above 100. For some reason golf doesn't work for me like bowling, ping-pong or pool. But I love to play the game.

    LEAST FAVOURITE THING TO DO? Grocery shopping.

    IF I COULD MEET ONE PERSON FROM ALL OF SPORTS HISTORY WHO WOULD THAT PERSON BE? I'd love to meet Jackie Robinson and talk about breaking the colour barrier in baseball.

    IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND IN THE PACIFIC WITH THREE OTHER PEOPLE, WHO WOULD YOU WANT THEM TO BE? I'd pick my fiance Desrene, my mom Jean and my father Howard.

    WHO IS THE FUNNIEST PLAYER YOU'VE EVER PLAYED WITH? Rod 'He Hate Me' Smart. He was in San Diego when I was there.

    MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT? Leaving my helmet in the locker room for practice in Atlanta and not realizing it until we were just about through stretching.

    PET PEEVES? I'm very impatient. My pet peeve is anything that wastes time.

    PEOPLE DON'T KNOW THIS ABOUT YOU BUT: I can't change a tire. I have no clue how to change a tire. I live in fear of one day having to change a tire

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    Re: Edmonton Sun Artilces Sept. 8

    Stampeders finally mean business
    By TERRY JONES, EDMONTON SUN




    Much of the focus in Edmonton has been on Tom Higgins.

    Around the rest of the league, and particularly in Saskatchewan, it's been on Henry Burris.

    But they're the front men for the real story of this Calgary Stampeders season coming off Michael Feterik's ownership disaster - ending in a 4-14 season last year with Matt Dunigan as coach and general manager.

    The story has been the new ownership group headed by Ted Hellard, John Forzani and Doug Mitchell.

    They head the Stampeders' new ownership group and represent a return to Stampeder stability.


    It all starts with stability. That's how it started when Normie Kwong, the ex-Eskimo who is now Alberta's Lieutenant Governor, took over in the S.O.S. (Save Our Stampeders) days of the franchise in the late '80s.

    Kwong, at the time, made the statement:

    "The problem with this franchise has been a lack of stability. All we have to do is look north to the Eskimos. They're the team we're always going to be compared to and they're the team which has set the example for everybody. What's the key to the success of the Eskimos? Stability!''

    The F-Troop days of Fred Fateri and Michael Feterik was classic instability. You could make a case that, despite success on the field, the days of Larry Ryckman and Sig Gutsche ownership were more than a little shaky behind the scenes.

    Hellard, Forzani and Mitchell represent a real run at finding the stability upon which success is based.

    And take it from the franchise from the north, they're more than on the right track.

    "What we've seen so far with the new ownership in Calgary is the beginning of a stability I haven't personally seen with the Stampeders going back to '82, when I was a member of the Eskimos board of directors and chairman of the '84 Edmonton Grey Cup committee,'' said Edmonton COO Rick LeLacheur.

    "With the stability, the Stampeders are going to be a lot better organization and a lot better team on the football field.

    "The best thing about the ownership is that they are people who are known in the community. Doug Mitchell is involved in everything in Calgary. Forzani has been around a long time. They are both identified with football. The new owners gave a lot of instant credibility.''

    Forzani is the founder and chairman of The Forzani Group, Canada's largest sporting goods retailer with sales over over $1 billion. He's the chairman.

    Mitchell is the Calgary lawyer you remember as a former commissioner of the CFL who represents the Stampeders as governor.

    Hellard is the founder and chairman of Critical Mass, a Calgary-based interactive marketing agency with revenues of about $40 million U.S. per year and clients including Mercedes Benz, NASA, Dell, Hyatt and even Pampers diapers. He's the president.

    Forzani told the Calgary Herald last weekend that the club could actually turn a small profit this year.

    "After the shenanigans that have gone on there the last five seasons, that's ahead of any projections we could have dreamed of,'' he told columnist George Johnson.

    "When we took over the team we understood there would have to be further investment. What's been so heartening is to see the support we've received from the community. Our revenues are way up. We're happy with the football end of the operation. We're ecstatic with the business end.''

    Calgary won't totally be perceived as returning to the team they were - before Wally Buono was forced to flee - until they return to the playoffs, however.

    Higgins and Burris have to get them there.

    When they leave Commonwealth Stadium Friday night, the Stamps proceed to a steady diet of Eastern opposition for the rest of the month. The 4-6 Stamps (currently tied with the Saskatchewan greenwhites) visit Hamilton next week and then parade Ottawa, Montreal and Hamilton into a rare three consecutive games at McMahon Stadium. Calgary also has away games in Winnipeg and Saskatchewan before finishing up at home against the Eskimos

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    Re: Edmonton Sun Artilces Sept. 8

    Provincial pride's on the line
    By TERRY JONES, EDMONTON SUN




    It's not that the Saskatchewan greenwhites and Edmonton Eskimos have to invent something to get something going between the two teams.

    But they have anyway.

    They invented the Centennial Gridiron Challenge.

    The teams from the capital cities of the neighbouring provinces both celebrating their 100th birthdays this year have decided to have a go at a celebration showdown.

    A two-game total-point series has been created out of the two games from the CFL regular-season schedule and a bowl designed to present to the winner.


    The Eskimos, after they finish up with the second game of the Labour Day return match with the Calgary Stampeders tomorrow, have the greenwhites up next on their schedule a week Sunday at Taylor Field in Regina. The bowl presentation will be made after the Oct. 15 game in Commonwealth Stadium between the teams.

    You should know that in the previous two years the greenwhites and Eskimos have also played each other twice and split the series down the middle.

    Last year the Eskimos lost 31-7 at home to the greenwhites and then went over to Regina and thumped the 'greenwhites 40-16.

    Two-game total point: Edmonton 47. Saskatchewan 47.

    The year before, Saskatchewan won 32-14 at home and the Eskimos won 49-31 at Commonwealth Stadium.

    Two-game total point: Edmonton 63. Saskatchewan 63.

    From somewhere in there and the fertile mind of Eskimos COO Rick LeLacheur, who has been a committee member for Alberta's 100th anniversary, the idea was born.

    "It kind of evolved,'' said LeLacheur, who points out both teams have carried crests promoting the birthdays of their provinces.

    Originally the idea was for a $10,000 donation to be made to either Football Saskatchewan or Football Alberta, depending on the winner of the game. But some spoilsport at the league office suggested this might be a little dicey from a betting-on-games perspective so it was agreed to give each body $7,500 and battle for a bowl.

    "I don't know if there's enough room in the time capsule for the bowl but somebody is going to have bragging rights for the next 100 years,'' said LeLacheur.

    Meanwhile, some creative side bets are being put together. One involves the idea of provincial ministers of the losing province serving the meals at the other team's annual dinner. Long-time equipment men Normie Fong of Saskatchewan and Dwayne Mandrusiak of Edmonton, who have a half-century of employment with the two teams, may have something cooking.

    "Both teams were looking at things to partner with the centennial committees,'' said LeLacheur.

    "These two teams and these two provinces have enjoyed a great history and a great rivalry,'' said greenwhites president Jim Hopson.

    "Two of the most storied CFL franchises going head-to-head is a wonderful way to celebrate the centennials,'' says Gary Mar of the Eskimos becoming Team Alberta for the two games.

    "The rivalry between Alberta and Saskatchewan goes back to the birth of the two provinces and continues to play out on the football field year after year.''

    There's more involved here that turning the two games into a total-point series.

    The games give both teams an opportunity to use the games for their own celebrations.

    For the Edmonton game, the Eskimos are bringing in the 100 Centennial Ambassadors from around the province to the game.

    And probably the most interesting aspect of it is both teams, in conjunction with the project, are picking their Teams Of The Century on their internet sites.

    "We don't have coaches on the teams so if Hugh Campbell is going to make it he'll have to make it as a Saskatchewan Roughrider,'' says LeLacheur.

    "On our site, you'll call up the page and it will give you a depth chart. You call up each position and a number of players will pop up to vote for. For example, at quarterback, it would include all the great Eskimo quarterbacks from Jackie Parker to Ricky Ray.''

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    Re: Edmonton Sun Artilces Sept. 8

    Thu, September 8, 2005

    School's out for Morris
    By JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, EDMONTON SUN




    You can call it a juggling act with a slightly new twist.

    After balancing a teaching job and his duties as right offensive tackle for the Edmonton Eskimos for nearly a decade, Chris Morris is having to deal with morning practise times for the first time in his career.

    Due to a CFL rule, head coaches must declare injured players by 2 p.m. two days before a game.

    For that reason, the Eskimos now practice that particular day - commonly referred to as Day 3 of the practice week - in the morning.

    It means Morris can't be teaching social studies at M.E. LaZerte High School on those mornings.


    "I just get a substitute teacher," said Morris, who just teaches a.m. classes.

    Yesterday marked the first conflict of the school year. On Day 1 and Day 2 of the practice week, Morris can teach until lunch because practice is in the afternoon.

    "I'm a professional. I understand Day 3 is an important day," said Morris. "You have to come to Day 3."

    And his principal seems to understand.

    "My kids do well in their departmental (exams)," explained Morris

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    Re: Edmonton Sun Artilces Sept. 8

    Punted
    Sean Fleming wants his job back

    By JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, EDMONTON SUN




    Sean Fleming isn't slinging mud at Danny Maciocia.

    He's not complaining or crying.

    Instead, the 2004 CFL western all-star punter/kicker is cruising on the high road, even though he will be a healthy scratch tomorrow night for the second straight game when the Eskimos host the Calgary Stampeders.

    "To be honest, I'm not ticked off," said the 14-year Eskimo veteran, who lost his kicking job after the Aug. 20 game against Toronto and his punting duties after Montreal's visit Aug. 26.

    "This is how the roster shakes out. It's not because of (my punting) performance; it's a ratio issue."


    By scratching Fleming for tomorrow's tilt and using rookie Hayden Epstein for punting and kicking chores, Maciocia can use an extra Canadian player at a different position.

    BEST YEAR PUNTING

    "I've done everything (the Eskimos) have asked me to do," said Fleming. "In fact, I've exceeded what they've asked (of me) on the punt team. This is probably my best year punting ... and with me out there punting, it gives us the best opportunity to win. I think there are certain things I can do that Hayden can't - and that's not a (slap) on him."

    Maciocia agrees with Fleming. "Sean seems to be the better punter," said the head coach, as he walked off the practice field yesterday.

    Indeed, the numbers - which are just part of the punting game - are in Fleming's favour. The 35-year-old Burnaby, B.C., native has a 41-yard average on 64 punts this season. Epstein has a 40.6 average from 10 punts on Labour Day, his first game handling both chores. But the rookie's field-goal numbers are perfect. The 24-year-old California product has yet to miss on five field goal attempts, including three last Monday. Fleming had a 58% success rate before being pulled from that job in mid-August.

    "The kicking game is huge," said Maciocia. "Take those three field goals away (from Monday's 25-23 win) and you know the outcome."

    However, Maciocia hasn't given up on Fleming, a four-time CFL western all-star. "He's clearly, clearly, clearly not finished," said the head coach. "Physically, he has all the tools to be a premier kicker. There is only one thing Sean needs to do ... he has got to regain that confidence. There is only one way to do that: come to work ... line up and kick field goals and punt."

    And bring the right attitude.

    BARGE INTO MY OFFICE

    "You really have to approach it with an attitude and take everybody on, saying I'm going to show people I can do this. And maybe there will be a day when he will barge into my office when the door is shut and he looks at me straight in the eye and he'll tell me: You need me on this football team, kicking field goals and punting.

    "When that happens, we'll address it."

    The fire to kick field goals still burns within Fleming, but he's being realistic. "I'm hopeful I will (kick field goals this year) but for that to happen Hayden is going to have to wet the bed," stated Fleming.

    "But I don't want that to happen. In the best interests of the team, I hope he goes 100% (with his field goals)."

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    Re: Edmonton Sun Artilces Sept. 8

    Jenkins to sit out; McClendon back in
    By JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SPECIAL TO THE EDMONTON SUN




    Danny Maciocia has started shuffling his deck of cards.

    After just one game wearing green and gold, running back Mike Jenkins has been forced to the sidelines with a foot injury, meaning Ron McClendon will start tomorrow against the Calgary Stampeders at Commonwealth Stadium. "It's more of a bruise on his foot," said the head coach of Jenkins' injury.

    On a normal practice week, with more than four days between tilts, Jenkins wouldn't be scratched. "If we had two more days, he'd be ready to go," continued Maciocia.

    McClendon returns two weeks after being benched in favour of Jenkins. "Obviously, we would like to establish our running game (tomorrow) and be a little more balanced, like we were against Montreal," said Maciocia.

    McClendon started against Montreal on Aug. 26th, rushing for 69 yards.


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    As a team, the Eskimos gained 100 yards on 14 carries that night, while quarterback Ricky Ray threw 39 times. In comparison, the Esks managed just 41 yards on 11 carries on Labour Day in Calgary, while Ray went to the air with 42 passes.

    Defensive back Malcolm Frank will join McClendon on the roster, after spending one week resting his battered body. "Now the only question is do we take (Gerald) Dixon or (Tay) Cody (off)?" said Maciocia.

    LATE HITS: Canadian running back/special team demon Mike Bradley will be healthy enough to play tomorrow. The four-year vet re-aggravated a knee injury while scoring a touchdown Monday on a blocked punt. "And then on the opening play of the second half somebody just landed on (the knee) funny," said Bradley. "But I'm ready to go (Friday), no doubt."... The Stampeders are expected to use an identical roster from Monday ... After sacking Ray three times on Labour Day, Calgary linebacker John Grace was named CFL defensive player of the week ... Edmonton's Cedric Scott was the runner-up for lineman of the week.

  9. #9
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    Re: Edmonton Sun Artilces Sept. 8

    He's kickin' in the wind
    Import kicker showed early that he could play in cold, difficult conditions

    By TERRY JONES, EDMONTON SUN




    Hayden Epstein. Torrey Pines High.

    If you're a scout, are you really going to go watch this guy? Or go golf?

    Paul Jones admits he didn't intentionally go to scout the Eskimos new import kicker. It all sort of happened by accident.

    "I didn't intentionally go look at him. I was watching other players at a Michigan game in Ann Arbor. It was cold and the wind was blowing. And he kicked a couple nice field goals. Any time you see somebody handle those cold Canadian-type conditions and do well, you tend to remember him no matter what position he plays.''

    Jones is the Eskimos talent scout who carries the title of general manager in the new CEO, COO setup with the flagship franchise. And he's not out there combing the woods for import kickers.


    ON THE READY LIST

    "I always keep a ready list at every position including kicker in case of injuries. I put Hayden's name down on the ready list and started following him a little bit.''

    First thing he noticed was that the kid was in four bowl games in college, the Citrus three times and the Orange Bowl once and won three of them and kicked well in all those big games.

    He also noted Michigan thus had to practise in the cold in December in Ann Arbor every year.

    "It's not Edmonton but it gets pretty cold in Ann Arbor, Michigan.''

    The other thing he noted was that he was a punter and a kicker.

    "It's pretty hard to find a guy who does both. He was definitely a guy for the ready list when Jacksonville drafted him with their seventh pick. Any time an NFL team takes a kicker in the draft, he has to be pretty good.

    "When you only have seven rounds in a draft, you aren't going to waste one on a kicker unless you think he can be pretty good.''

    While he cashed paycheques from Jacksonville, Minnesota and Denver in the NFL, Epstein played in but 15 games and is five-for-nine lifetime as an NFL kicker to go with his five-for-five in the CFL.

    He missed an entire season due to injury in Minnesota.

    He went to NFL Europe and won the World Bowl with Berlin.

    Kicking in the cold and winning. Hmmmm.

    That's why Hayden Epstein was chosen by Danny Maciocia to break the import kicker barrier in the CFL, if that indeed is what we're dealing with here. Not to mention something not too far from being the Jewish barrier in pro football.

    OK. There have been other Jewish football players. Lyle Alzado. Sid Gillman. Sid Luckman. Benny Friedman. That's about it, of any note, in the NFL, I think. Al Davis and Marv Levy both made it into the NFL Hall of Fame as coaches. If the idea is that we might as well get to know Hayden Epstein because he's going to be here for a while, maybe we start there.

    "I don't see myself having a chance to be some sort of inspiration for Jewish kids,'' he said. "Right now, I just feel lucky to be playing a game for a living and if I could inspire any young person, let alone a Jewish young person, that would be great.''

    It's hard to believe, but Epstein swears he came to the Eskimos not having a clue that they had this import/non-import ratio thing going up here and there's no history of import kickers lasting any length of time.

    "No. I came in kind of blind about all of that. I heard everyone talk. I've learned a lot about it lately. But it didn't make me look at it differently. The numbers game is something the coaches have to deal with. The athlete just has to go out there and perform.

    "I came here with no expectations. I just planned to go out there and perform, to do the best I could.''

    He says he never planned to be a pro football player.

    GAVE IT A TRY

    "I grew up in San Diego playing soccer. But all my friends went out for the football team in high school. So I gave it a try and went 12 for 13 with a longest of 42 in my first year. We won our high school championship. I did well. I ended up an All American in high school and accepted a scholarship from Michigan.

    "I had a great experience in my four years at Michigan. Great coaching. Four bowl games. We beat Alabama in the Orange Bowl to be No. 1. Won the World Bowl playing for Berlin. That was a great experience.

    "Grey Cup? That would be nice. But that's a long way away. All I'm looking at right now is playing this next game.''

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    Re: Edmonton Sun Artilces Sept. 8

    Thanks E4E !

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    Re: Edmonton Sun Artilces Sept. 8

    pant.. pant... and finally...

    Extra Points Column
    By TERRY JONES, EDMONTON SUN




    Peanuts, popcorn and other items on which to chew as you await Friday's second half of the annual Labour Day double header.


    ON THE REBOUND - With the 25-23 win in Calgary Monday, the Eskimos are now 26-16-1 in the 43-year history of the Labour Day Classic. In the younger 17-year tradition of a Friday return match, the Eskimos are 12-5 including a three-game winning streak with scores of 44-12, 38-0 and 45-11. The Eskimos all-time record against the Stampeders coming off the Labour Day win is 115-67-4.

    - - -

    DECIDING SEMI-FINALIST? The Eskimos, if they can't catch the undefeated British Columbia Lions to finish first in the CFL West this season, at least have some control of which team they'll play in the semifinal. Five of their last nine games are against the Calgary Stampeders and the Saskatchewan greenwhites, including tomorrow's second game of the Labour Day double dip and the final game of the regular season back in McMahon Stadium in Calgary.


    - - -

    QUIZ No. 1 - Which former Stampeder went on to appear in 72 motion pictures in Hollywood?

    a. Gene Filipski.

    b. Chuck Zickefoose.

    c. Woody Strode.

    d. Sugarfoot Anderson.

    e. Tony Pajaczkowski.

    WHERE'S THE BEEF? - One team is from the Cowtown. Both are from the province famous for Alberta beef. But together, they're playing the Pork Bowl? Well, that's not what they call it, but the two-game home-and-home series on Labour Day in Calgary and the following Friday now has a title sponsors. It's now the 'Alberta Pork Labour Day Classic' followed by the 'Alberta Pork Labour Day Rematch'.

    - - -

    QUIZ No. 2 - Only one Calgary Stampeder, Harry Hood (1948 to 1952) ever wore No. 5. His number was retired when he retired. Only one other Stampeder number has been worn by only one player - No. 00. Who was the player who wore the double zero?

    a. Gene Filipski.

    b. Chuck Zickefoose.

    c. Woody Strode.

    d. Sugarfoot Anderson.

    e. Tony Pajaczkowski.

    - - -

    ESKIMO EFFICIENCY - The Eskimos lead the league in both pass efficiency and the lowest percentage of opposition pass completions.

    - - -

    BY THE NUMBERS - Due mostly to the weather, last year's second game of the Labour Day double header, while still the largest crowd of the season in the CFL, failed to hit the highs of recent years with an attendance of "only 50,366. The all-time top Labour Friday crowds:

    1. 2003 - 62,444.

    2. 2002 - 61,481

    3. 2000 - 53,248

    4. 1999 - 52,458

    5. 1994 - 51,180

    6. 1998 - 50,856

    7. 2004 - 50,366

    8. 1995 - 49,434

    9. 2001 - 48,279

    - - -

    NEXT UP: The Eskimos travel to Regina for their first meeting of the season with the Saskatchewan greenwhites and Game 1 of the Centennial Bowl. They return home Saturday Sept. 24 for the first of two home games this season against the league-leading B.C. Lions. The Eskimos play host to the Lions again on Oct. 28.

    TRIVIA ANSWERS: No. 1 - c. Woody Strode won a best supporting actor nomination for Spartacus in 1960 and appeared in movies such as The Ten Commandments, Pork Chop Hill, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and Genghis Khan. His last picture was The Quick and the Dead in 1995 ... No. 2. d. Sugarfoot Anderson. Ol' Sugarfoot wore No. 00 from 1949-54. The Stampeders factbook lists 11 men who wore No. 99. The last one on this list is Wayne Gretzky. Yeah, right.

  12. #12
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    Re: Edmonton Sun Artilces Sept. 8

    Quote Originally Posted by shawnjit
    Thanks E4E !

    just a tad early there

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    Re: Edmonton Sun Artilces Sept. 8

    Diedrick? Yawn..... We are going to sign Barry Sanders? Yawn.....

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    Re: Edmonton Sun Artilces Sept. 8

    Many articles. Many thanks.

    So its back to McClendon for sure now. I wonder how his play will be knowing that hes only in due to injury and that no matter what he does this game he will most likely be sitting out the next one.

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    Re: Edmonton Sun Artilces Sept. 8

    Quote Originally Posted by Esks4ever
    Provincial pride's on the line
    By TERRY JONES, EDMONTON SUN


    Last year the Eskimos lost 31-7 at home to the greenwhites and then went over to Regina and thumped the 'greenwhites 40-16.

    Two-game total point: Edmonton 47. Saskatchewan 47.
    How ridiculous can Terry Jones get?

    Edmonton WON at home, 31-7, and LOST in SSK 40-16. Sheesh.
    We're cheering Fight Fight Fight On Eskimos...

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    Re: Edmonton Sun Artilces Sept. 8

    Quote Originally Posted by esks4life
    Many articles. Many thanks.

    So its back to McClendon for sure now. I wonder how his play will be knowing that hes only in due to injury and that no matter what he does this game he will most likely be sitting out the next one.
    He has had to over come obsticles all his life. He will give a 100% effort, that is his spiritual make up. Who know's maybe those other guy's may have to wait.
    He will at least have a chance to add to his experience, and who knows who else is WATCHING?
    #24 Biggest fan
    Doc Holliday

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