Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Blue Bombers, Eskimos Pit Their 3-0 Records against Each Other Thursday

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Blue Bombers, Eskimos Pit Their 3-0 Records against Each Other Thursday

Article excerpt

Bombers, Eskimos put 3-0 records on line


WINNIPEG - Not many would have picked the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Edmonton Eskimos to be leading the league early in this CFL season.

"I don't think very many people did," Bombers offensive lineman Glenn January said Wednesday, on the eve of the two 3-0 CFL West clubs' first meeting of 2014.

"It's just a testament to what both clubs have been able to accomplish in the off-season. I think we both decided that serious changes had to be made and we've seen that on the field."

Edmonton trailed the West and Winnipeg the East as they finished out of the playoffs in 2013 and both sacked their coaches, dipping into the Argos pool to pluck Chris Jones and Mike O'Shea to lead their recovery.

Edmonton defensive tackle Almondo Sewell, the CFL's sack leader and defensive player of the week, said it all has to be kept in perspective just three games into the season.

"We were both terrible last year and now we're like top of the league but, like I say, it's a long year, anything can happen," said Sewell.

Besides the coaching changes, much of their success has been laid in the hands of their young quarterbacks -- the Bombers' Drew Willy and Mike Reilly in Edmonton.

"In the huddle, they're the exact same," said Winnipeg receiver Nick Moore, who played with Reilly in B.C.

"Calling out the play call, making sure that guys are (paying) attention to details, paying attention to the little things. They're both leaders, making sure everybody's in the right place, doing the right things."

They have also known each other for years, ever since they met at the 2009 NFL combine.

As Sewell says, the season is young, but in quarterback stats, Willy sits at No. 2 in the league with 871 passing yards and Reilly (738) is at No. 3, behind Toronto's Ricky Ray (982) at No. 1.

Edmonton's defence is also getting a lot of credit for their three wins. …

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