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Manny Arceneaux's message to Edmonton Elks teammates: Cease chasing ghosts

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Receiver Manny Arceneaux provides 10 years of expertise, 220 kilos of safety and an arsenal of intangibles to an Edmonton Elks offence that wants all of it and extra.

Beneath former offensive co-ordinator Stephen McAdoo and former beginning quarterback Taylor Cornelius, the offence has largely floundered, and was typically the foremost offender in eight straight losses to open the 2023 Canadian Soccer League season.

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Jarious Jackson is now the OC, Tre Ford the QB, at the least for Thursday’s sport towards Winnipeg at Commonwealth Stadium. Each males ought to profit from the return of Arceneaux, who caught 4 passes within the first two video games earlier than lacking six with a knee damage. He’s a giant physique who can capably deal with fullback-like assignments, which ought to assist in giving Ford further time to make a throw.

As a bonus, Arceneaux additionally returns to the huddle with a message for his beleaguered teammates; let the sport come to you.

“You’re a crew that’s 0-8, you assume you’ll be able to win it by yourself and also you begin to press, you begin to panic. Not panic in a foul manner, however you’re in panic mode, making an attempt to determine how can I hurry up and make a play, as a substitute of letting the play come to you. And now you’re on the market chasing ghosts,” mentioned Arceneaux, a 35-year-old who holds a level in psychology from Alcorn State.

“You’re chasing one thing that’s not on the market as a result of the competitors is inside you,” he continued. “And mentally, while you’re defeated, it’s arduous to play soccer. You’ve already acquired to go towards your opponent, you’re coping with the refs, you’re coping with no matter surroundings it’s with followers, so don’t make it more durable than it must be. That’s how I take a look at it. There’s already sufficient stacked towards you. Go on the market and make your job as straightforward as attainable by realizing alignment, task, execute. That’s the rules of soccer — alignment, task, execute — one play at a time for 50 to 60 performs or what number of snaps you get.

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“One play at a time and we simply have to complete, you see. That’s the factor. We had loads of groups on the ropes however we couldn’t end.”

The Elks did certainly have probabilities to beat Saskatchewan in each of their conferences, and so they hung with Toronto, Hamilton and Winnipeg for about half-hour apiece. However they aren’t a lot of a second-half crew — the offence sputters and the defence must be on the sector too lengthy — so the losses mounted and that huge goose egg within the standings is a major psychological burden.

It was troublesome for Arceneaux to look at from the sidelines, however he has plowed via adversity earlier than and has tried to make use of that have whereas main the Elks within the weight room and the locker room as greatest he can.

“I’ve been in tough patches the place you’ve gotta come collectively as a bunch, take a look at that man within the mirror and rally the troops collectively, realizing we’ve gotta determine this out,” he mentioned. “It ain’t in regards to the coaches, it ain’t in regards to the followers, it’s in regards to the guys within the locker room standing facet by facet. And the day that you just determine to play for each other is the day you’ll see one thing change. However you’ve acquired to essentially belief the method and know the man beside you has your again and also you’re going to tug this off one way or the other, a way.”

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He’s a revered veteran who is aware of his opinion carries some weight with teammates, so he makes positive it’s rooted in logic, simplicity and positivity.

“It’s about managing the sport play between the ears, and that’s what I need to maintain these guys sharp on,” he mentioned. “It’s next-play mentality, however you don’t need the second to ever get too large. That’s what I do once I’m on the market, nonetheless carry that pleasure, nonetheless carry that physicality facet, however letting a man know in our perception system, whether or not it’s an excellent play or dangerous play, it’s the next-play mentality, and we’re relying on whoever the man is within the huddle immediately to make a play.”

That anyone could be a second-year quarterback or a Tenth-year receiver.

“It’s skilled soccer.” he added. “You’re introduced up right here to carry out. I don’t care when you’re first yr, second yr, sixteenth yr, you’ve acquired one job, to carry out, and it’s our job as receivers to make them look good, catch the ball, be the place we should be, once we’re purported to be there.”

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