Q&A: Eskimos GM Brock Sunderland on trading for C.J. Gable

The Edmonton Eskimos acquired running back C.J. Gable on Monday from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Eskimos general manager Brock Sunderland shared his viewpoints on the trade.

Q: What was the genesis of how the trade for C.J. Gable came together?

A: Travon got hurt, so I reached out to Eric. He said let me confirm with all the parties here, got back to me and said it was potentially doable. So we hammered out the specifics of it and from that time it was a pretty quick turnaround as far as connecting. We hammered out the details and got it done.

Q: How high was your level of interest in Gable?

A: They had reached out to us and wondered if he was a guy that we would potentially have interest in, because of how talented he is, of course, there was some interest. But we like Travon and with what Travon was doing for us in the return game along with being a running back. There was interest, C.J. Gable when healthy is, when you talk about the best running backs in this league, he’s in that conversation, not only as a runner but as a pass catcher and maybe most important of all three facets is his pass pro.

Q: How do you see Gable fitting into the offence?

A: Coming into the year we wanted to put an emphasis on running the ball, so he’s someone that we hope to utilize, get a lot of carries and then in the pass game he’s about as stout as they come, he’s extremely smart. I spoke with a couple people in Hamilton and then other people here that know him – he watches film with the offensive linemen. He’s great in pass pro and he knows who to pick up and the latter might be more important than the first part of that, and he’s outstanding at both.

Q: There was at least one game this season Gable was benched, did that bother you?

A: Watched him Saturday night and I’m very familiar with him playing in the same division as him with Ottawa. Knowing that he was healthy was really what we needed to know. Organizations make decisions for different reasons, they came up briefly and they said you play the people that you feel are best for your team at that time.

Q: Is Gable’s contract easily absorbed under your salary cap?

A: He fits or else we wouldn’t have done the deal.

Q: It’s the third trade in a short period of time with Ticats general manager Eric Tillman, are you more comfortable making deals with him as opposed to other GMs?

A: No more or less than anybody else. If media got in touch with all the hypothetical or potential deals – as an organization we speak with all eight other teams all the time. For this year it just seems that the needs that both organizations had fit at the time, so it’s worked out well that way. Eric and I do get along and it is easy to work with him and I find him extremely respectful and I think he would say the same in return.

Q: What are you expecting to get from Gable for the rest of the season?

A: I expect to get a guy that’s extremely dialled in and a true professional, everything I’ve heard about him – and there was some research done ahead of time. It wasn’t just pulling the trigger before we get to know the person. Someone who knows everything we’re doing takes all the appropriate steps off the field and on the field I think Saturday can speak for itself.