Edmonton Eskimos begin preparations for home opener with question marks about opponent

Click to play video: 'Eskimos prepare for Week 1 of CFL regular season' Eskimos prepare for Week 1 of CFL regular season
WATCH ABOVE: The Edmonton Eskimos are now preparing for their first opponents of the 2019 CFL regular season. John Sexsmith reports – Jun 10, 2019

On Monday, the Edmonton Eskimos began preparing for their first game of the regular season, which will be played Friday against the Montreal Alouettes on The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium.

The Alouettes have gone through their own set of challenges already this season. On Saturday, the Alouettes fired head coach Mike Sherman after one season and replaced him with current offensive co-ordinator Khari Jones.

Eskimos head coach Jason Maas said he isn’t concerned about what happens in the Alouettes locker-room or front office.

“I could care less about the disarray, I don’t look at that,” Maas said. “They’re professionals and have professional coaches. Khari has been around and is getting his first opportunity and I’m pretty sure he’s excited about it. I’m pretty sure the players will feed off that and want to play hard for him.

“[Jones has] also been the offensive co-ordinator, so the offence shouldn’t change much. Defensive-wise, they have a new guy there and that’s what we’re interested in, because we don’t know, ultimately, what they could do.”

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READ MORE: Montreal Alouettes try to move forward amid uncertainty

The Alouettes’ new defensive co-ordinator is Bob Slowick. He has no CFL experience but comes in with over 25 years of coaching experience in the NFL.

Antonio Pipkin has been named as the Alouettes’ starting quarterback. He played in five games last season, including a start against the Eskimos.

Watch below: Some videos from Global News’ coverage of the Edmonton Eskimos in 2019. 

Maas said a challenge to deal with in Week 1 of the regular season is that teams don’t necessarily know much about each other with limited film from two pre-season games.

“We all have had six months to look at film and to decide what we need to improve upon, and what changes or wrinkles you want to put in,” Maas said. “You work on those for sure in training camp and put all of those things in game. Pre-season games are short anyways and [there are] short weeks to prepare for them, so you’re doing your base stuff a lot of times to get your guys comfortable.
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“You’re always holding onto something, so they haven’t seen everything from us and I’m sure we haven’t seen everything from them. Ultimately, it’s going to be about adjustments and who’s going to play better.”

READ MORE: Edmonton Eskimos make final roster moves for 2019

Several players returned to the field for practice on Monday. Receiver Davaris Daniels, who missed the last week of training camp, returned as a partial participant. Also, defensive back Jordan Beaulieu, running back Martese Jackson, and defensive end Jesse Joseph returned. Linebacker Jovan Santos-Knox didn’t practice on Monday after returning for some of the last week of training camp.

Kickoff for Friday’s game between the Eskimos and Alouettes is at 7 p.m. on The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium. 630 CHED will have live coverage starting with Countdown to Kickoff at 5:30 p.m.

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