Edmonton Elks head coach and general manager Chris Jones was not happy with the offensive play that led to his team’s Week 1 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
The Elks produced just 243 net rushing yards and gave up five sacks in the 17-13 loss, bringing their home loss record in professional football to 18 games. However, when asked how much pressure the quarterback was under, the coach instead disputed what was happening on the field.
“A lot (pressure), but we’ve had way too many head runs,” Jones told the Edmonton media this week. “We talked about trying to get the ball out of the middle’s hand and not running in so many vertical paths. »
The Elks have spent lavishly on receivers this season, surrounding third-year quarterback Taylor Cornelius with a full arsenal of weapons. The 27-year-old struggled to connect with either of them in Week 1, completing 13 of 25 attempts for 202 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions while scoring 33.2 from ProFootballFocus — worst of the week.
According to Jones, this was a result of arrogance in the game due to the team’s wealth of talented pass-kickers.
“It’s easy to get into it and like all your guys, (think) ‘We’ll do it, the concepts are there,’” he said. “But at the same time, if it takes three, four, four and a half seconds, well, that’s not right. »
The only target to have a significant impact on the game was Eugene Lewis, who Edmonton made as the CFL’s highest paid receiver in free agency, catching five passes for 148 yards. However, most of that yardage came on a 102-yard strike early in the second quarter.
No other receiver caught more than 13 yards, and veteran Emmanuel Arsenault was second on the team with three catches for 29 yards. 2022 East Division star Stephen Dunbar Jr. He has just one catch for seven yards, while rusher Kieran Moore has just one yard on a reception. Commodores Dillon Mitchell — who boldly declared a 2,000-yard touchdown in 2023 after a scintillating finish to his rookie season — finished with just under five rushing yards for his only career touchdown.
Running back Kevin Brown passed most receivers with two 22-yard touchdowns but was limited to 59 yards on 11 rushes. Substitute Shannon Brooks failed to score a goal despite Jones promising a quick double-header attack.
“We need to do a better job of designing the game to get the ball out of our hands[de Cornelius]And we need to manage football more effectively. Both things must happen. »
Offensive coordinator Stephen McAdoo has been Jones’ right-hand man since he took his first head coaching job in Edmonton in 2014, and he’ll be responsible for changing up the team’s offensive approach when they take on the BC Lions on the road on Saturday. June 17th.
Kick-off is scheduled for 7:00 PM EST, with the Elks in attendance no intruder.