Elks’ GM Brock Sunderland not making coaching change: ‘I don’t think Jaime has lost the room’

Photo courtesy: Edmonton Elks

It doesn’t appear the Edmonton Elks will be making a coaching change despite a disappointing 2-5 start to the season.

“I don’t see that, no. I don’t think Jaime has lost the room. There are a lot of reasons, as is normally the case in professional football when you lose, there are a lot of reasons,” GM Brock Sunderland told the Edmonton Sun‘s Terry Jones.

“The way I look at it is Jaime is not 2-5, the entire organization is 2-5. We’re all in this situation together, collectively. Our focus is that we have seven more games and we need to get one win before we can get three or four in a row. So, our focus right now is to do everything we can to get a win and move upward and onward.”

Edmonton is currently on a three-game losing streak with its most recent loss coming against the Ottawa Redblacks. Ottawa has won just two games all season, both of which have come in upsets over the Elks.

“I think Jaime is working his tail off trying to get wins as much as anybody else in the organization,” said Sunderland. “None of us are happy being 2-5. That was not a fun plane ride home from Ottawa after the game. The flight back from B.C. and the bus ride back from Calgary were certainly more enjoyable.”

COVID-19 has impacted Edmonton more than any other team this season with 13 players being infected by the virus during a recent outbreak. Canadian starters Kwaku Boateng and David Beard have missed games due to being in COVID protocol, while Jacob Ruby was released after reportedly misrepresenting his vaccination status to the team.

Issues with the virus — as well as a recent neck injury to Trevor Harris — have made life challenging for Edmonton’s rookie bench boss.

“I think Jaime has had a lot thrown his way being a first-year head coach with a lot of different things,” said Sunderland. “To be a first-year head coach and have to deal with some of the things Jaime has had to deal with just hasn’t been remotely close to being normal.”

Sunderland appreciates that Elks fans are frustrated, given that they’re not used to seeing their team at the bottom of the West Division standings. While he’s not currently considering a coaching change, the fourth-year GM wants to assure fans that the club is working hard to improve.

“We get that they’re as frustrated as they definitely deserve to be,” he said. “All I can tell them is that we’re working to do everything we can to turn this around and win games every week.”