CFL

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Mike Reilly using legs to run Eskimos to 4-0 record, clash with 3-0 Stampeders

  • Print

EDMONTON - Edmonton Eskimo quarterback Mike Reilly is 4-0.

He's also a promise breaker.

The six-foot-three pivot, coming off a 4-14 season of scrambling for his life out of a collapsing pocket, promised at the start of this campaign that his days of leading the team in rushing were over.

Four weeks later, the Eskimos are undefeated and sit atop the CFL west heading into Thursday's clash of unbeatens against the 3-0 Calgary Stampeders.

Reilly leads the Eskimos in rushing with 24 carries for 199 yards, good for sixth overall in the CFL.

What about your promise Mike?

"Hah!" he snorted after practice Wednesday. "I also said I want to win, too."

The numbers, he said, are misleading.

"We're not basing our offence around (my running). It's just a reaction to what the defences are doing," he said.

"If they're going to bring pressure on the edges and the middle is open, you've got to take advantage of it. If they're going to drop everybody off and not account for the quarterback you've got to take advantage of it."

It's not that Reilly isn't getting help.

Running back John White, after two starts, is just eights yard back (191 yards on 33 carries) and should soon overtake Reilly.

The five-foot-eight sparkplug has also done what head coach Chris Jones has demanded above all of his running backs: throw blocks and stand up defenders to protect Reilly.

In Edmonton's 26-3 win last week over Winnipeg, Reilly was a miracle worker, twice ducking out of sure sacks to scramble for big gains and keep drives alive.

He credits some of that to bulking up in the off-season, adding 20 pounds to reach his current weight of 225.

"I feel like my speed is the same. I feel like my strength is definitely higher," said Reilly.

"I feel like it's harder for guys to tackle me. If they're just going to stick an arm out it's not going to bring me down as easily."

Last year, he ran 84 times for 709 yards to lead the Eskimos and finish fifth overall in league rushing.

Much of that was out of desperation and the price was multiple shots, blindside shivers, sternum blows, and one particularly vicious battering ram helmet to helmet hit against Toronto that left him woozy.

He'll have his hands full against the Stampeders' defence. Led by end Charleston Hughes and his three sacks, the defence has allowed just 30 points and one touchdown in three games. Hughes also leads the league in forced fumbles at three.

The Stamps are allowing just 71 yards a game rushing, best in the league.

In the momentum-changing giveaway-takeaway category, Calgary is plus-four, good for second place but far behind Edmonton's league leading plus-10.

Edmonton's defence has also been on a roll — literally and figuratively — having recorded a league-best 18 sacks, including five from defensive tackle Almondo Sewell.

Sewell said he expects Thursday's game will be a violent chess match with Edmonton's stunting defence going against a physical yet tricky Calgary O-line.

"They give you so many variations, like slide protection or whatever they do, you can never get a good guess on exactly what they're doing," said Sewell.

Edmonton is second to Calgary, allowing just 14.5 points a game.

Sewell has also started a team trend of celebrating quarterback takedowns with a somersault.

"It (the tumbling) kind of caught on a little bit. We were trying to figure something to do as a team this year … so we're all doin' it," he said.

Notes: The Stampeders have placed running back Jon Cornish on the six-game injury list. The CFL's most outstanding player in 2013 is still recovering from a concussion sustained in the season opener when he was drilled in a flying clothesline tackle by Montreal's Kyries Hebert.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Brian Brohm on standby for Willy

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local- A large osprey lands in it's nest in a hydro pole on Hyw 59  near the Hillside Beach turnoff turn off. Osprey a large narrow winged hawk which can have a wingspan of over 54 inches are making a incredible recovery since pesticide use of the 1950's and  1960's- For the last two decades these fish hawks have been reappearing in the Lake Winnipeg area- Aug 03, 2005
  • KEN GIGLIOTTI  WINNIPEG FREE PRESS / July 23 2009 - 090723 - Bart Kives story - Harry Lazarenko Annual River Bank Tour - receding water from summer rains and erosion  damage by flood  and ice  during spring flooding -  Red River , Lyndale Dr. damage to tree roots , river bank damage  , high water marks after 2009 Flood - POY

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Which Jets prospect has the best chance of making NHL team this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google