It wasn’t for the lack of opportunities as the Elks were in the red zone on four occasions and only came away with three points.
“It is a different world and things happen faster and window close a little bit quicker,” head coach Jaime Elizondo said.
“Your drops have to be a little tighter. You’re not defending as much space defensively, so tighter windows, contested catches and collisions.
“I think everything speeds up in the red zone, especially inside the 10-yard line.”
The red zone was an area of difficulty in 2019 as Edmonton finished eighth in the CFL in red zone success rate at 50 percent despite having the third most trips inside the opponents 20 with 54.
There has been plenty of discussion about cleaning up the details this week in practice. Receiver Mike Jones, who had two catches for 23 yards in the loss to Ottawa, said the offence has taken their performance to heart.
“Taking that loss, it kind of makes you focus a little bit more,” Jones said. “As a group, we’ve really focused on the details this week and hopefully we can change the outcome.”
Former Edmonton defensive tackle Almondo Sewell is a person who doesn’t say much and who just goes about his business on the field. On Wednesday during the Montreal Alouettes Zoom media availability, Sewell had something to say about Elks quarterback Trevor Harris.
“I know Trevor and if you hit him one time he starts holding,” Sewell said. “Let’s see if that old Trevor Harris shows up again.
“It doesn’t matter what he looks like on IG (Instagram), posting all those pictures looking like a pit bull but we’ll see.”
Elizondo offered a no comment after Elks practice on Wednesday, saying he doesn’t react to what players say on other teams.
While Harris has yet to respond, centre David Beard did offer up a reaction and, like Sewell, he was straight and to the point.
“If that’s what he wants to say that’s fine, I don’t really care,” Beard said. “We’re just going to make him earn it, if that’s the case then he’s going to have to work pretty hard for it.”
Sewell returns to Edmonton
Sewell played nine seasons in Edmonton, winning a Grey Cup title in 2015. He was named a Western Division All-Star seven times and a CFL All-Star six times, including a run of five straight selections running from 2013 to 2017. Sewell was signed by the Montreal Alouettes after free agency opened on Feb. 9.
He says he won’t be sentimental about his return to Edmonton on Saturday.
“It’s not the same team I came from, so this is just me going out on to the field and taking this game like any other game,” Sewell said. “I’m just excited to get back on to field again and play some football and life goes on.
“I’m here now in Montreal and that’s the only thing that matters to me right now.”
Long snapper Chad Rempel practiced fully on Thursday after missing the first two days of practice. Receiver Armanti Edwards and offensive lineman D’Antne Demery also were full participants for the second straight day after missing Tuesday’s practice nursing knee injuries.
The Elks and the Alouettes will battle on Saturday on The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium. Kick off is at 5 p.m. and 630 CHED will have live coverage starting at 3:30 p.m.