Maas believes Eskimos on cusp of being championship-level team, wants to stay coach in Edmonton

WATCH ABOVE: Some Global News videos about Eskimos head coach Jason Maas.

Three days after the team’s disappointing playoff loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Edmonton Eskimos’ head coach Jason Maas said he wants to keep his job and that he truly believes his football team is on the cusp of being a championship-calibre CFL team once again.

“My desire to be in Edmonton has never waned,” Maas told 630 CHED’s Dave Campbell on Wednesday during the final edition of The Eskimos Coach’s Show of 2019. “It was a very rewarding season in a lot of ways.

“[I believe we] laid a very solid foundation moving forward.”

While the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Tiger-Cats are enjoying the thrill of being part of Grey Cup week, the Edmonton Eskimos are on the outside looking in and speculation has been swirling among fans and sports pundits as to Maas’ future with the team.

READ MORE: Edmonton Eskimos depart for off-season with Jason Maas’ future unknown

While not specifically referencing his own future, Maas said Wednesday that the Eskimos “need time to decompress” before deciding on what will or won’t change ahead of the 2020 season.

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“We’ve had discussions the last couple of days,” Maas said, referring to Eskimos general manager Brock Sunderland.

“No matter what the decision that gets made, it will be the right one for the organization.”

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As a crossover team, the Eskimos lost the CFL Eastern Division Final on Sunday by a score of 36-16 to Hamilton, a team that was the CFL’s best during the regular season.

READ MORE: Eskimos defeated by Tiger-Cats in East Division final

“It hurts,” Maas said of how the season ended. “Everything comes to a sudden halt.

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“The season’s so long but so fast.”

Listen below: 630 CHED’s Dave Campbell speaks to Jason Maas in the final edition of The Eskimos Coach’s Show for 2019.

Maas said in year-end discussions with players, he tried to emphasize the positives they could take from the season rather than simply focusing on what happened in their last game of the year.

“They didn’t want it to be over and that’s always a good sign,” he said.

“I felt our guys gave everything they had… guys believed and it just wasn’t our day.”

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The Eskimos finished 8-10 in a season that saw star quarterback Trevor Harris miss several games due to injury in his first season with the team.

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Maas’ tenure as the Eskimos’ head coach began in 2016 and with a certain level of expectations as he inherited a team that captured the Grey Cup the season before. Since then, the team has compiled a 39-33 record in the regular season and a 3-3 record in the playoffs, missing the post-season in 2018.

Maas, who spent eight years of his CFL playing career quarterbacking the Eskimos, said he still feels like he can deliver results as the team’s coach and that he wants more success in Alberta’s capital.

“As long as I’m here, I’m going to give it my all, because it’s something I want to do,” he said.

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Maas said one of his children was born in Edmonton and his family considers the city to be home. He also said he has admiration for its blue-collar mentality.

“This city deserves a winner,” he said.

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