CFL

The Rouge: How do the Eskimos best complement Reilly?

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Ben Fisher, TSN.ca
11/27/2013 1:42:27 PM
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The Edmonton Eskimos finished 2013 in the West Division basement with a 4-14 record, missing out on the playoffs before firing head coach Kavis Reed.

The team is no doubt staring at a rebuild in the coming months, the kind made necessary only by the type of calamitous season fans in the City of Champions had to endure. But it wasn't a total waste.

From their dreadful 2013 season emerged what appears to be their answer at QB. Mike Reilly looks the part of a franchise player at the position, ready to fill the void left when Ricky Ray was shipped East in a puzzling trade with the Toronto Argonauts two off-seasons ago.

The Esks are set at the most important position on the roster and that's half the battle. What's left – and what GM Ed Hervey needs to spend the off-season accomplishing – is building a team around Reilly.

They've got their head coach in place in former Toronto Argonauts defensive coordinator Chris Jones, now they have to fill the various other holes on their team.

There is some talent on offence, largely in the receiving corps. Pairing a healthy Cary Koch with Fred Stamps and Adarius Bowman is a good start, while Nate Coehoorn and Shamawd Chambers offer some non-import talent.

The running game however, could use some work. Edmonton's running back depth chart was ever-evolving this past season and while that was in part due to injury, no-one was capable of taking the reins fulltime. Hervey has a decision to make on pending free agent Hugh Charles, the team's top gaining running back, although Reilly led the team in rushing from his QB position.

On the other side of the ball, Edmonton is looking to repair a defence that gave up the second most points in the league and featured just one division all-star in DT Almondo Sewell.

A bright young defensive mind highly thought of in the CFL, will Jones at head coach alone be enough to turn around Edmonton's poruous defensive unit?

The Rouge asks: How do the Eskimos best compliment Reilly for 2014 and beyond? As always, it's Your! Call.

Mike Reilly  (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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