July 7, 2019

Eskimos Enjoy Family Visits And Team Bonding During Bye Week

Fullback Tanner Green has been spending a lot of time visiting family members during the Eskimos bye week.

First, there was a family barbecue to celebrate his younger brother graduating from high school. Then a visit with the in-laws and a pregnant sister-in-law who was a little more than 30 days away from her due date. And then another family dinner.

He also found time to get away to the mountains with his wife, Erika.

“We love going hiking whenever we can,” said Green, who hiked up the equivalent of 250 flights of stairs for his bye week workouts.

Cornerback Arjen Colquhoun went to Banff with girlfriend Kendra and his two American Bulldogs, Milly and Nina.

“We just randomly decided to go to get away, change up the scenery from Edmonton,” Colquhoun said, explaining that Kendra has been in Edmonton since training camp started May 19. “I usually bring my two American Bullies on hikes and bring them on the water when we go canoeing.”

Some players took advantage of the time off to return to their off-season homes while others hung around Edmonton. Some even ventured back on the football field to help the young atom and peewee players at the Eskimos amateur football camp.

A skeet shooting activity was planned for the team on Thursday to help celebrate the United States’ Independence Day on July 4 and also Canada’s birthday a few days earlier, according to Colquhoun.

While neither Green nor Colquhoun had previously fired shotguns at soaring clay pigeons, they had different feelings as they approached the outing. Green said it would likely be “an interesting experience” for him while Colquhoun was looking forward to it.

“I went to school in the States for four years, so I shot my fair share (at shooting ranges),” he said.

Eskimos Head Coach Jason Maas hosted a team barbecue for players and their families after the skeet shooting experience.

“He’s really trying to make it more of a team environment, a family environment,” Colquhoun said.

Both Green and Colquhoun have been enjoying the increase in Eskimos team-bonding exercises this season.

“We always talk about playing for each other,” Green said. “It’s much easier to play for each other when it really is your brother or some of your best friends on the team. You don’t get to create that kind of bond if you never do anything together outside of just practice.”

“It makes you really care about the guy next to you,” Colquhoun added. “That’s what it’s all about.”

He recalled quarterback Trevor Harris talking recently about when soldiers go to war “they’re not fighting for their country, they’re not fighting for their family, they’re fighting for the men next to them, the men that they trained with it.”

“It’s the same thing with football,” Colquhoun continued. “When we have all this team camaraderie, and we come together, we’re more like a family unit when you’re out there on the field, and it’s harder to let someone down. So you always want to go hard for someone. I feel like this team bonding really brings that out.”

Sometimes, the bonding can occur with something as simple as banning cellphones in the team’s meeting rooms.

“Just everyone talking to one another and getting to know each other more than just having your head in your phone before meetings and stuff,” said Colquhoun. “All that (stuff) makes a difference.”