longsnapper Taylor Inglis- reduced role(article)

Inglis punted?
Local long-snapper loses punting job, fears for the future

Life is going from bad to worse for Taylor Inglis.

After having a very rocky start to the season - sailing the ball over his punter twice in the first three regular-season games - it now appears the local product has lost that particular long-snapping job with the Edmonton Eskimos.

Although Inglis will continue to be the snapper on field goals, Mike Maurer is now pencilled in as the No. 1 punting snapper on the Eskimos' depth chart for Friday's game against the Montreal Alouettes.

And understandably, the shakeup has Inglis starting to fear for his overall job security in his second year with the Green and Gold.

"It is concerning because if you have got a guy that can play fullback and snap as well, why would you just have somebody around that can just snap?" commented Inglis, who isn't a back-up at another position or has any other role on the club.

"We will see how Mike does in the game (on Friday)."

The Eskimos don't have to declare their starting roster until one hour prior to game time on Friday, so head coach Danny Maciocia isn't going to confirm any moves this early in the week.

But it appears Inglis has been stripped of his duties on the punt team because of concerns over his blocking ability.

His snaps to punter Sean Fleming have been on the money for the last two games, but the problems are arising after the ball has been fired through his legs.

"I struggled with protection - I got pushed back a few times (in the) last game," said Inglis.

"And they feel that Mike protects better than I do, which I can see because he is a fullback."

The former Edmonton Wildcat has no idea why he's becoming a liability on the line of scrimmage on punts.

"Maybe my technique has changed," he remarked.

"I have been looking at film and trying to figure it out, but I haven't come up with anything solid so far."

Maurer definitely has the required experience for the job.

"Mike has done it as a starter (in the past)," said Maciocia, who is remaining very tight-lipped about the situation.

Indeed, Maurer handled the punt snapping chores five years ago.

"I did it in 2001 for B.C. and led the league in special team tackles," explained Maurer.

The change on the depth chart caught Maurer off guard this week, but the 30-year-old Saskatchewan native has handled the assignment with ease during practice this week.

And he feels he could take over the field-goal snapping duty if he's asked to in the near future.

"I pride myself on being able to do whatever they ask me," said the 10-year CFL veteran, who was tested as a field-goal snapper during the preseason and passed with flying colours.

With veteran special teams starter and back-up safety Will Loftus almost ready to come back on the roster after rotator-cuff surgery, the Esks will likely be looking to take a non-import off the 42-man roster in the next couple of weeks to make room. That situation makes the Maurer experiment this week even more interesting. If he handles the punt snapping job with ease, is the field-goal job next?

If that becomes the chain of events, Inglis will have no remaining role.