Facing tough questions about his job after Edmonton’s 17-1 loss in Saskatchewan last Sunday, Eskimos general manager Eric Tillman went on Edmonton’s 630 CHED radio station to explain his reasoning behind the Ricky Ray trade once again.
Last December, Tillman shipped the 32-year-old Ray to Toronto in exchange for 29-year-old quarterback Steven Jyles, non-import kicker Grant Shaw and the second pick in the 2012 CFL draft. Tillman explained the deal was done with the future in mind, but host Dan Tencer asked Tillman that if he could go back now, would he trade Ray again.
“Honestly, I would probably not,” Tillman said. “I would have listened to my wife, who begged me not to make the trade because she talked about the fact that we had just gone 11-7 [in 2011], that we could actually have an off-season where I might be semi-popular in Edmonton for change, and to stay status quo.”
Tillman then backtracked and said despite Jyles’ poor performance against Saskatchewan, in which he was 10 for 19 for 91 yards and was replaced twice by Kerry Joseph, Edmonton’s plan deal was still moving forward.
“My belief was to go younger, not to be as good at quarterback, to build a strong nucleus, to be good defensively, to go through some growing pains but for us to play some of our best football in the second half of the season,” Tillman said. “I truly made this deal with a long term view.”