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July 6, 2018

The Steps to Winning Against Ottawa

Was the win in Saskatchewan a turning point for the team? Maybe. But that’s not what the guys are talking about in the locker room.

It could be that we have the momentum, but we need to make sure that we take the steps to cause that effect, said Tyrell Sutton. We can’t focus on being 2 and 2. We have to focus on what we have to do to become 2 and 2. Live in the moment and not worry about whether this is a momentum builder or not.

A win versus the Ottawa REDBLACKS this Friday, July 6, could allow our Alouettes to fly to Calgary with the wind beneath their wings after a bye week and to be tied with the Ticats for first place in the East Division. But like Sutty put it, there are steps to take before getting there. Here are a few:

1-Play disciplined football (we can’t stress it enough).

Coach Sherman has been hammering the message in the locker room EVERY DAY. Being the most penalized team in the league is unacceptable. Each unit will have to play cleaner, starting with special teams. In Saskatchewan, too many solid returns by Stef Logan didn’t profit the offence like they should have because of penalties.

That’s what’s most important for Coach. We get too many roughness penalties. The guys like to be aggressive, it’s great, but we have to scale back at certain times, admits Dominique Ellis who is literally everywhere on the field, just as much on defence as on special teams, since the beginning of the season. It’s a fine line, we just have to come back across the line.

 

2-Be patient

Ottawa has a very well-rounded team. They have great receivers, a good ball carrier and, mostly, their defence doesn’t show a lot of weakness”, said Coach Sherman to the media after Thursday’s walkthrough. If the offence wants to put more points on the board, it needs to be patient and seize every opportunity to get the first down because Ottawa’s defence is not going to give it up.

While the Riders were able to contain the running game last week, the REDBLACKS may very well have their eyes set on speedy Chris Williams. After all, they know what he is capable of.

Good news: The communication is good between Tyrell Sutton and Jeff Mathews. ”He understands the concept of Next Man Up. He came here and just focused on what he had to do. He’s not new to this league. Now it’s up to us to protect him”, says Sutton.

 

3-Don’t underestimate their arrogance

The REDBLACKS aren’t afraid to try things. It’s almost like their style is arrogant,” explains Dominique Ellis.

In other words, don’t think that Harris won’t throw the ball to Ellingson because he has two guys on him. And don’t think that if the play fails once he’s not going to try it again. Our secondary will have to be on its toes and not underestimate the audacity and explosivity of the squad led by OC Jamie Elizondo. Then again, we’re talking about the same guys – except for Joe Burnett who is suffering from a quad injury – who made four picks last week versus the Riders. The same guys who, according to Coach Sherman, have such great hands that they could be receivers.

Other interesting facts about the game:

  • Friday’s game will be Mike Sherman 100th game as a Head Coach with the pros.

  • Martin Bédard will be dressed in the Alouettes uniform for a 150th time

  • And Stef Logan could pass Winston October as the 8th best kick returner of the history of the CFL if he runs for 96 yards or more.

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