December 6, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
EDMONTON -- The strange case of who calls the plays for the Edmonton Eskimos is quickly spiralling into an issue of who calls the shots.
One day after general manager Ed Hervey publicly guaranteed offensive co-ordinator Doug Sams was done calling plays, Sams announced Wednesday he will still be the one sending the signals to quarterback Mike Reilly when Edmonton hosts the Calgary Stampeders on Friday.
"(It's) business as usual," Sams told reporters after the Eskimos completed practice under the sticky heat and hot sun at Commonwealth Stadium. "Nothing's changed, guys."
So Sams was asked why Hervey announced Tuesday a change was coming?
"I don't know," Sams said. "You'd have to ask him.
"I don't have an opinion or a comment."
On Tuesday Hervey, the former Eskimos wide receiver in his first year as GM, was adamant Sams was out as play caller.
"I can guarantee you that the current person who is making the calls (Sams) will have a limited role in calling them," Hervey said. "I've been very disappointed with some of the play calling at critical times especially on the offensive side... I assure you we will see a different offence in how the game is called."
Hervey promised the game plan will see more straight-ahead, smash-mouth football.
"We will be very simple in how we do things," Hervey said. "We're not going to spend a lot of time trying to create different things."
But on Wednesday, Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed refused to say who would be making the calls Friday night. On Monday, Edmonton scored 27 fourth-quarter points to erase a 37-7 deficit, only to lose a heart-breaking 37-34 decision.
"Being that it's a short week, we want to make certain we keep as much as close to the vest as possible," said Reed. "We're still sorting through Calgary."
Hervey's critical remarks were not limited to the play calling. He also said he wants the team to run straight ahead in short-yardage situations and the defence to attack more and react less. He also ordered the benching of underperforming offensive lineman Simeon Rottier, an Alberta native.
-- The Canadian Press
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 5, 2013 D2