Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Eskimos Head Coach Chris Jones Has Earned Loyalty and Respect for Turnaround

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Eskimos Head Coach Chris Jones Has Earned Loyalty and Respect for Turnaround

Article excerpt

Whyte would love to lift Esks to Grey Cup win

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WINNIPEG - Sean Whyte would like nothing better than to kick the winning field goal for the Edmonton Eskimos in Sunday's Grey Cup game against the Ottawa Redblacks.

It wouldn't be so much for personal glory, but a way to thank the Edmonton organization for giving him another chance to play football.

"That obviously would be great, but I'm not going to stress myself out thinking about that," Whyte said with a smile after Edmonton's final preparations at Investors Group Field Saturday.

"Hopefully, it's like a regular game. If we play the way we should, I'll just be kicking PATs (points after touchdowns)."

Whyte had been cut by the Montreal Alouettes on Aug. 10 after being a backup, a team he'd been with since a 2011 trade moved him from the B.C. Lions. He was living in B.C. and about to take a job installing and repairing cable and Internet systems when Edmonton called and signed him on Sept. 4.

"These guys, they rejuvenated my whole career," said the seven-year veteran, who's been good on 24 of 26 field-goal attempts. "I was ready to call it quits because it was just no more fun for me."

Second-year head coach Chris Jones has earned loyalty and respect from his coaching staff for bringing them into his circle, and an appreciation from his players for the turnaround he's guided them through.

The Eskimos were a dismal 4-14 in 2013 under third-year head coach Kavis Reed, who was fired and replaced by Jones. The leadership under Jones and his coaching staff, many with connections to his days as an assistant with the Toronto Argonauts, turned the tide.

Edmonton went 12-6 last season and tied Calgary with a 14-4 record this year, a foe they dispatched 45-31 in the CFL West Division final on the way to a nine-game winning streak.

The Esks are back in the Grey Cup for the first time since 2005, trying to win a 14th title for the storied franchise against the 12-6 Redblacks, who are in their second season. …

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