Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Eskimos GM Ed Hervey Publicly Carves His 1-8 Team, Singles out OL Simeon Rottier

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Eskimos GM Ed Hervey Publicly Carves His 1-8 Team, Singles out OL Simeon Rottier

Article excerpt

Esks GM Hervey carves own 1-8 team in public

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EDMONTON - Edmonton Eskimos general manager Ed Hervey lit into his 1-8 football team Tuesday, and announced he has reached past his coaching staff to indefinitely bench underperforming offensive lineman Simeon Rottier.

Hervey told reporters he will not longer sit quietly by and watch star quarterback Mike Reilly get slammed, drilled, hammered, and rag-dolled after every throw.

"I'm done watching it," Hervey told a news conference at Commonwealth Stadium, a day after Reilly was sacked seven times in the team's 37-34 loss to the Calgary Stampeders.

"I've had enough."

Hervey said he met with head coach Kavis Reed after the game to discuss the changes, which include a new play-caller on offence, but when asked about Rottier said, "There was no room for negotiation on this one.

"Our football team is going to rest on the shoulders of how healthy and how much success Mike Reilly has. We have to protect him to give ourselves a chance.

"Our offensive line needs to improve and needs to improve fast," he said, adding that changes are coming to the line.

He said while linemen like Matt O'Donnell, Alexander Krausnick, and Thaddeus Coleman a have shown promise, he has lost patience with Rottier.

"The majority of my frustration has been with Simeon," he said.

"Clearly Simeon is not living up to expectations. It wouldn't bother me if he didn't play another down this year."

Why not trade him or release him?

"You know non-import offensive linemen. You've got to hold onto them. The ratio," he said referring to rules demanding a portion of the roster go to either players born in Canada or who spent a significant portion of their childhood here.

You want to hold onto a guy you don't want to play?

"I've got to hold onto him. You change the rules and I'll change that."

Rottier and Reed were not available for comment as Tuesday was an off-day prior to Friday's rematch with the Stampeders at Commonwealth Stadium.

Rottier, 29, was signed as a free from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in February 2012. The six-foot-six 295-pound guard is from Westlock, Alta., and played college ball at the University of Alberta.

The Eskimos are off to their worst start since they went 1-10 in 1971, and are on track to finish last in the West Division for the sixth time in the past eight seasons. …

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