Keeping with this week’s trend, what’s a day without some Edmonton Eskimos drama?
It started on Sunday, with the Esks’ 17-1 loss to the Saskatchewan in which the Eskimos’ fans fears were all realized in one offensively stunted night. It worsened on Monday, when the team announced that slotback Adarius Bowman had blown his knee out – more on that below.
On Tuesday night, Eskimos general manager Eric Tillman took to 630 CHED for an interview with Dan Tencer. The most interesting piece of the 20-plus-minute interview? When Tilman said that with the power of Marty McFly’s car, he wouldn’t trade Ricky Ray (listen here).
“If you could hop in the DeLorean and go back to December, would you do the trade again?” Tencer asked.
“Honestly?” Tillman said back. “I would probably not. I would have listened to my wife, who begged me not to make the trade, because she talked about the fact that we went 11-7 and we could actually have an off-season where I might be semi-popular in Edmonton for a change and to just stay status quo.”
Tillman went on to argue the notion that the Ray trade was spurred by ego.
“Call me stupid, that’s OK. You can call me ugly, I think most people would agree with that. If this deal was made because of personal sentiment, if there was any selfish dynamic in it…you couldn’t have paid me $100 million to make the trade because it would have been so nice to have a quiet off-season.
“I truly felt that long term, not 2012…if I had a terminal illness and I knew I was only going to be there one more year, the easy thing to do was stay status quo. When you look at this franchise in 2013, 2014, and beyond I felt that at some point we had to make a transition at quarterback and this was my greatest fear.
“I was afraid that if we stayed status quo, even if we won 11 or 12 games again, that we would have Ricky who would then be a year closer to being 35, we still would have not played any of our young quarterbacks which we saw last year, that didn’t happen, they didn’t develop and we’d have a ton of free agents because we had a quarterback making north of 400 (thousand).”
Tillman also got in touch with me to clarify the miscommunication that took place between himself and coach Kavis Reed. Reed said on Tuesday at practice that Tillman’s press release was erroneous regarding Adarius Bowman’s condition. Tillman had said Bowman tore his ACL and MCL and that he’d be out nine to 10 months. Reed said the team is waiting a week to get a second opinion on the severity of Bowman’s injury.
“Our medical staff is outstanding and what they’ve told us has been very consistent throughout this situation,” Tillman said. “Adarius has a torn MCL, and the only question is whether or not the ACL is completely torn, or a partial tear. Either way, we were told the odds are 99 percent or higher that Adarius will miss the entire season. That medical view has not changed.
“Kavis coaches from the heart, and he cares deeply for Adarius. As a good and caring man, Kavis is holding onto the hope of that one percent, which of course is a quality all players appreciate in a coach.”
Practice is almost over at Commonwealth. We’ll see what unfolds today.