Former Eskimos GM Tillman reflects on successes, missed opportunities

 

 
 
 
 
Eskimos general manager Eric Tillman works the telephone at Commonwealth Stadium in May 2011. Tillman was fired by the Eskimos on Nov. 3, 2012.
 

Eskimos general manager Eric Tillman works the telephone at Commonwealth Stadium in May 2011. Tillman was fired by the Eskimos on Nov. 3, 2012.

Photograph by: Walter Tychnowicz, Edmonton Journal

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EDMONTON - Eric Tillman took the news of his dismissal hard. The now former general manager of the Edmonton Eskimos took a moment on Saturday night to reflect on his time in Edmonton.

“Football is like life — it often doesn’t go as you hope for,” he said via email. “In the midst of a million emotions — some good memories and some regrets — I’m just grateful for the opportunity that Doug (Goss) and Rick (LeLacheur) extended back in September of 2010.

“That team was 2-8 back (then) and since that point our club won 23 of 44 regular-season games and additionally, the club won the first home playoff game they had hosted in five or six years.”

Trading Ricky Ray didn’t pan out the way that Tillman had hoped. The Eskimos reversed their 2011 record in the Canadian Football League, going 7-11 and squeaking into their second consecutive playoff appearance. Tillman pointed to the close losses and what might have been this year had things been different.

“This year has been very disappointing, of course, losing six regular-season games by a combined 10 points,” he said.

“Honestly, I’m not sure if that’s ever happened in CFL history — losing three games by one point, two games by two points, and one game by three points — with four of the six games being determined by last-minute missed or made field goals. But, coulda, shoulda, woulda doesn’t matter, does it?

“This isn’t horseshoes, and close doesn’t count. It’s been disappointing — painful for many. Just wish that I had done a better job for our coaches, players, the board, the staff, the fans, and the alumni who love their team so deeply.”

Tillman wished the Eskimos luck in the post-season, which gets underway for them on Sunday in Toronto against Ray and the Argonauts.

“A whole new season is starting with the playoffs and with some key players getting healthy at the right time, I really believe they have a chance to make a strong run at winning a championship,” he said.

“Kavis is the right coach for this team and if nothing else, I’m very grateful that via my brief time in Edmonton, I was able to give Kavis his dream job of coaching the Eskimos.”

coleary@edmontonjournal.com

Twitter.com/olearychris

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Eskimos general manager Eric Tillman works the telephone at Commonwealth Stadium in May 2011. Tillman was fired by the Eskimos on Nov. 3, 2012.
 

Eskimos general manager Eric Tillman works the telephone at Commonwealth Stadium in May 2011. Tillman was fired by the Eskimos on Nov. 3, 2012.

Photograph by: Walter Tychnowicz, Edmonton Journal

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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