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Title - Frederico Sanmartin
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Federico Sanmartin is the Edmonton Eskimos' correspondent for OurHometown.ca. Federico was born and raised in Edmonton and is the author of the Edmonton Eskimos blog - Green and Gold Yardstick. He is an avid follower of both the CFL and his hometown Eskimos. Having followed the game closely for over two decades, you can contact him at fsanmartin@ourhometown.ca as he prepares to follow the Esks en route to the centennial Grey Cup match in Toronto.
Eskimos: In Kavis Reed We Trust
Federico Sanmartin
OurHometown.ca

Eskimos: In Kavis Reed We Trust
At first glance an 11-7 record and second place finish shouldn’t sound overwhelming. However, when looking over the unexplainable fall from grace of the past few seasons, Kavis Reed’s work as the Edmonton Eskimos rookie coach last season was nothing short of remarkable. The question now becomes, can he deal with the elevated expectations after a solid first season?
PHOTO CREDIT - EdmontonEskimos.com

Edmonton - May. 10, 2012 - At first glance an 11-7 record and second place finish shouldn’t sound overwhelming. However, when looking over the unexplainable fall from grace of the past few seasons, Kavis Reed’s work as the Eskimos rookie coach last season is nothing short of remarkable.

The low point for the franchise seemingly came during a 52-5 pummeling at the hands of the hated Stampeders on Labor Day 2010. To coin the phrase used by the Great One in years gone by, never had the Esks looked so Mickey Mouse. Losing is one thing: all franchises go through their low points. But the 2010 season transcended disappointment and emptiness. For an institution steeped in tradition and excellence, persistent losing and embarrassment is simply not an option. Ask fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs how they feel on this point. Third and last place finishes are simply not acceptable.

For this reason Kavis Reed’s fiery and emotional approach was so refreshing. He once again redefined what it means to coach for the Eskimos. Not since the steely expression of the late great Ron Lancaster, as he manned the sidelines for the Green and Gold, has a coach instilled confidence that the team can once again be the flagship franchise of the CFL. Make no mistake, there is a long ways to go. But in looking over the recent history of coaches one can’t help but feel optimistic. Kay Stephenson, remember him? He lasted one season. Don Matthews never recaptured the same magic during his brief return. Tom Higgins, in spite of his success, somehow came across more as good ol Uncle Tom rather than a great coach. Danny Maciocia seemingly never understood what he was up against and Richie Hall, in spite of his great intentions, never appeared ready to take on a position of such importance. To coach the Eskimos is a job like no other, chalk full of expectations coaches need to be ready and able to deal with.

The key question to ask is: can Kavis Reed deal with the elevated expectations of a solid first season. Hosting the Western Semi-Final was a good first step. Still hard to believe that was their first home playoff game in almost a decade. However, can the Esks once again resemble excellence and finish first? Time will only tell.


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