Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Another Grey Cup Rematch for Edmonton Eskimos Head Coach Jason Maas

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Another Grey Cup Rematch for Edmonton Eskimos Head Coach Jason Maas

Article excerpt

Maas, Jones set to square off once again


It's another Grey Cup rematch for Jason Maas.

Maas will be on the sidelines Friday night when the Edmonton Eskimos host the Saskatchewan Roughriders. It will mark the first time Maas matches wits with Chris Jones, the defensive guru who's now the Riders head coach/GM.

Jones served as Edmonton's head coach last season and led the squad to a Grey Cup victory over Ottawa. Maas was the Redblacks' offensive co-ordinator in 2015.

Edmonton opened its regular season dropping a 45-37 overtime decision at home to Ottawa on June 25 in Maas's head-coaching debut. The Eskimos (0-1) have had plenty of time to ponder that defeat as Friday's contest will be their first since facing Ottawa.

The Toronto Argonauts beat Saskatchewan 30-17 last week in Regina to spoil Jones' coaching debut with the Riders. And although Jones and Maas are head coaches, they also run their defence and offence, respectively.

But Jones won't be the only familiar face to Edmonton fans as 13 former Eskimos -- eight coaches and five players -- followed him to Saskatchewan (0-1). And they've got a big job rebuilding a team that posted a league-worst 3-15 record last year.

Jones' defence will face a tough challenge containing an Edmonton offence led by quarterback Mike Reilly. The Eskimos rolled up 442 total yards offensively against Ottawa with Reilly completing 28-of-40 passes for 383 yards and a TD.

Maas took over a unit that features proven pass-catchers like Derel Walker and Adarius Bowman. Walker, the CFL's top rookie last year, had seven catches for 149 yards while Bowman, the league's leading receiver last season, had nine catches for 106 yards.

But there's also the matter of facing a Jones-led defence. Jones is sometimes unconventional in his approach, be it bringing pressure from anywhere on the field or having defensive linemen drop back into pass coverage.

So it will be imperative that Edmonton protect Reilly and give him time to look downfield. But Reilly is also a threat to run so the Riders can't simply tee off and come after the veteran quarterback.

Let the chess match begin.

Pick -- Edmonton.

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