Realty One

Access

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

ESKIMOS GM STANDS BEHIND HIS HEAD COACH

EDMONTON - Head coach Jason Maas has the full support of Edmonton Eskimos general manager Brock Sunderland and both men have already moved on from the controversial call in the final moments of Sunday's 32-28 Western Final loss to the Calgary Stampeders.

"Everything Jason Maas does is to win and when he has a conviction about something I trust him and support him,'' Sunderland said Tuesday as the players packed their bags and began another disappointing off-season. "The philosophy behind it, I understand where he was coming from and I support him. In the CFL in the last two years only one coach has won more games than he has and that says everything.''

Opinions on the call have dominated conversations in Edmonton since Maas elected to kick a field goal rather than gamble on a third-and-four situation inside the Calgary 15-yard line with less than two minutes remaining in Sunday's game. Edmonton's defence forced the Stampeders to punt with less than 30 seconds left but kick returner Jamill Smith fumbled the punt and Calgary recovered to ensure their trip to the Grey Cup.

Maas faced a barrage of media questions about the call Tuesday and reiterated time and again that he doesn't regret the decision and he did what he thought was right at the time.

"I went back and forth on the drive home, talked to my coaches, talked to the players and at the end of the day I made a decision,'' he said. "There was a fork in the road. You could take one direction, I chose the other direction.

"My initial thought was, yeah probably should go for it. Then I started to think for a few seconds. I thought, nope, there's a minute 56 at the time. I have a time out. I have a defence I know can stop them ... get the ball back to our offence with about a minute 15, with good position with a chance to win the ball game. Those thoughts went through my mind in about eight seconds. I chose what I believed and what I thought was right.''

Quarterback Mike Reilly and other players who spoke Tuesday all remained firmly behind their coach and his decision.

"It's always easy to question a decision after the fact when they don't work out, that's part of the game,'' said Reilly, the western nominee for Most Outstanding Player. "Ultimately (Calgary) made more plays than us. There were opportunities for us. We took advantage of some of them, but they took advantage of a few more than we did. They were the better team that day and deserved to win it.''

In expanding upon his support for Maas, Sunderland said the second-year head coach won 13 games this year despite 346 man-games lost to injury, 88 different Eskimos wearing the jersey and 54 different players starting at least one game.

"We as an organization won 13 games with a league record for injuries,''said Sunderland. "We didn't end up where we wanted to and that's disappointing. It's pretty hard for me to stand here and chastise a head coach who's had the success Jason has had, and on top of all the injuries we had. It's hard to win 12 games in a perfectly normal year. To win 12 games and then a playoff game on the road, with a league record of injuries, not many coaches can say that.''

(Canadian Press)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Of course he stands behind him, with all the shots being fired at Mass why would he stand in front of him?

Anonymous said...

Excluding Mitchell's opinion of himself, Reilly is the best QB in the CFL and will need a capable backup after Franklin leaves this winter. I'm a Rider fan but Edmonton seems just as much of a contender to win it all next year if they stay healthy. I'm also a Glenn fan so I think if he moved over to Edmonton, he could possibly fulfill two aspirations: receiving a Grey Cup ring, and being a part of every current CFL organization throughout his career.
LF

Anonymous said...

I don't see Glenn going to Edmonton but it's possible. Reilly's 33 in January so he should have 3-4 more years ahead of him, especially since Maas has convinced him to run less. The only game he's missed the last 2 seasons was the last game of 2016 when he was sat out. He has the arm & he's a big guy. This is the time over the next 2 years to develop his eventual replacement. It would be ridiculous to get rid of him now for a roll of the dice with Franklin, & Edmonton hosts the Cup next year so that won't happen. They like Zack Kline, a young kid on the PR. A more likely situation was the one posed by Steve Simmons in Toronto. Ray hasn't been approached by Popp for an extension & TO is likely to go after a young guy - like Franklin. Remember Popp gave up a #1 draft pick for Adams before he was fired. Ray would like to segue into coaching so he either stays in TO, most likely, as a backup or could go to Edmonton, less likely, as QB coach, currently vacant position since Walch became OC, & backup for a year or 2 while a young guy develops in the system. Yes, Rider fans, if you've been following various sites on the CFL, there are at least 4 teams regularly mentioned as interested in Franklin - hint, hint, the other 3 are in the East. The Eskimos will trade his negotiation rights to a team, most likely in the East.

Anonymous said...

It was still a stupid decision@!!