XFL denies Eskimos permission to interview Jaime Elizondo

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

The XFL has blocked the Edmonton Eskimos attempt to interview former Ottawa Redblacks offensive coordinator Jaime Elizondo for their vacant head coaching job.

Elizondo officially joined Marc Trestman’s Tampa Bay Vipers coaching staff in October as offensive coordinator and receivers coach. He has a strong relationship with Esks general manager Brock Sunderland. Trevor Harris and Elizondo have a close relationship and it would’ve been an ideal hire for Edmonton.

The Toronto Argonauts and B.C. Lions interviewed Elizondo for their head coaching positions in December 2018. However, after Chris Jones left for a job with the Cleveland Browns, Ottawa Redblacks general manager Marcel Desjardins denied Saskatchewan’s request to meet with Elizondo regarding the Riders top coaching role last January.

Trevor Harris had the two most prolific passing yardage totals under Elizondo including his first 5,000-yard season during the 2018 schedule and threw a CFL playoff record six touchdowns in the Eastern Final. Harris left Ottawa in free agency to sign a $1.1 million two-year contract with Edmonton.

Elizondo came to the Redblacks after time with the Argos as a receivers and quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. He spent the 2008 season as a receivers coach and special teams assistant in Montreal with the Alouettes while Trestman was head coach.

Elizondo had been Ottawa’s offensive play caller for three seasons, helping the Redblacks win the Grey Cup in 2016. The departure surprised then-Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell. Without Elizondo — and Harris — Ottawa had the lowest-scoring offence in the CFL in 2019.

But Elizondo has been forced to honour his XFL contract and won’t be coming back north of the border, yet.