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Quarterback Tre Ford seeking to energy Edmonton Elks to first win of the season

‘I’ll be on the market, in order that opens up a pair various things we will do offensively. And I feel we simply must get our receivers the ball and allow them to make performs’

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One quarterback’s nightmare season is one other’s dream come true.

That’s how it’s, no less than, for the Edmonton Elks, who demoted Taylor Cornelius after going 0-7 in favour of giving Tre Ford his first begin of the season.

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The College of Waterloo product went 1-2 as a starter final yr after being drafted within the first spherical (eighth general) by Edmonton.

Following a franchise-worst 0-8 begin to the season, the Elks made the change throughout a bye within the schedule final week, whereas additionally switching their offensive play caller from offensive co-ordinator Stephen McAdoo to quarterbacks coach Jarious Jackson when the staff returns to motion Thursday towards the visiting Winnipeg Blue Bombers (7 p.m., TSN, 630 CHED).

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“I’m tremendous excited. I like enjoying the sport of soccer,” stated Ford, who watched rookie Jarret Doege make his debut begin in Week 4, earlier than Cornelius was ushered proper again behind centre for the previous 4 weeks. “I’d have favored to get the chance a little bit bit sooner however, I imply, it’s simply how skilled soccer works.

“However I’m undoubtedly simply going to attempt to go and take advantage of out of the chance. Simply go on the market and compete.”

The Bombers defeated the Elks 28-14 in Winnipeg of their first assembly of the season three weeks in the past and are available into Commonwealth Stadium — the place the Elks haven’t gained of their final 21 house video games — atop the West Division after defeating the B.C. Lions 50-14 final week.

Edmonton Elks
Edmonton Elks quarterback Tre Ford (2) throws the ball towards the Calgary Stampeders at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton on July 7, 2022. Photograph by Ian Kucerak /Postmedia, file

And nobody has to remind Ford how Winnipeg has reached the final three Gray Cup finals.

“I don’t actually consider it that method,” the 25-year-old native of Niagara Falls, Ont., stated of the daunting job in entrance of him Thursday. “You don’t get to choose who you play, whether or not it’s towards the No. 1 staff, No. 2 or 0-8, proper? So, I attempt to not concentrate on that.

“I imply, you’ve acquired to go on the market and attempt to compete towards all people.”

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Win or lose.

And this week, whereas the end result isn’t anticipated to be any totally different than it has been all yr (with Winnipeg picked as 12-point favourites), no less than the Elks offence gained’t be the identical stagnant one their very own followers have begun booing off the sphere of their final recreation, (a 27-0 loss to the B.C. Lions who’ve shut them out twice this yr now).

“I feel there are going to be some various things in there,” Ford stated. “Clearly, we wish to get (operating again Kevin Brown) extra concerned.

“I’m going to be on the market, in order that opens up a pair various things we will do offensively. And I feel we simply must get our receivers the ball and allow them to make performs.”

To not point out steering away from the orange flags which have are available in bunches all through the season, killing what little momentum the Elks have managed. Whereas Winnipeg averages a league-low 6.1 penalties a recreation, Edmonton sits on the backside of the division with 10.0.

“I feel that we’ve simply struggled offensively, generally it’s with penalties, generally it’s with sacks,” stated Ford. “We’ve simply acquired to be actually clear by our reads, get the ball out fast after they wish to attempt to (blitz with) Cowl Zero and simply be constant.

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“We’ve simply acquired to have a better proportion of offence, whether or not it’s getting six yards on a handoff or simply finishing the brief stuff and transferring the chains, as a result of first downs flip into touchdowns.”

For factors to occur, loads of different issues need to fall into place for an Elks crew that’s lifeless final in that class, with simply 13.1 factors per recreation. Forward of them in eighth place is the Hamilton Tiger-Cats with 20.0 factors per recreation, whereas Winnipeg sits second general with 30.0.

Edmonton Elks
The Edmonton Elks’ quarterback Tre Ford (2) battles the BC Lions’ Garry Peters (1) throughout first half CFL motion at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Friday Oct. 21, 2022. Photograph by David Bloom /Postmedia

To enhance their offensive lot in life, Ford has a to-do record in entrance of him which may be simpler stated than performed.

“Keep on the sphere. Put drives collectively. Rating factors and deal with the soccer,” stated Elks head coach and normal supervisor Chris Jones. “And in no explicit order.

“That’s what quarterbacks do.”

Or, no less than, it’s what different groups’ quarterbacks have performed this yr.

Whereas the highlight on this one is firmly on Ford, the sport at all times comes right down to multiple particular person.

And Winnipeg is one other robust check in what’s been a tough and tumble season for Edmonton.

“They’re a great soccer staff, they will beat you in lots of alternative ways. It was a tied ball recreation there late within the recreation,” Jones stated of their final recreation towards Winnipeg, the place the Elks went toe to toe with their foes over the primary three quarters. “And we held them (defensively) to get the ball again. Nicely, we didn’t area a punt, then we take a penalty, then we take a security.

“And at that juncture, it was robust on us, as a result of they get the ball again with a brief area, they rating. After which it grew to become a ground-and-pound from then on.”

Out and in: The Elks will see the return of a few veterans, as WR Emmanuel Arceneaux and DB Ed Gainey are each coming off of the six-game injured record. That sends Canadian WR Danny Vandervoort and DB Dwayne Thompson to the apply roster … Former beginning QB Taylor Cornelius seems third on the depth chart behind Tre Ford and rookie Jarret Doege.

E-mail: [email protected]

On Twitter: @GerryModdejonge

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