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Our Alouettes offence has been making progress in the past few weeks – Games 3 and 4 combined resulted in 41 points scored (vs. 45 scored by our opponents), which isn’t too shabby, especially when compared to Games 1 and 2. Obviously, it’s still far from perfect, but considering all the changes that were made to Khari Jones’s offence since the start of the season, it’s an encouraging sign.
Tonight, against the powerhouse Stampeders, the offence is going to have to go full-throttle if it intends to dent the tough Calgary defence… and, importantly, to keep the pressure on for the full 60 minutes.
Here’s what to watch out for come kickoff on TSN, RDS, TSN690 and 98,5 starting at 9 p.m.
The latest news has Drew Willy returning as the starting quarterback, with Matt Shiltz available to be called upon if necessary. Matt, the former accountant who suffered a rib injury during training camp, told us repeatedly that he was anxious to get back on the field. However, coach Sherman is in no hurry to rush things: “Matt probably isn’t completely ready,” he told the media at a press conference this week after the young quarterback had several reps in practice.
Reinforcements on the offensive line
Whoever it is under centre will be able to count on protection from new addition Tyler Johnstone at left tackle (replacing Xavier Fulton, who was released earlier this week). As a result of the team’s position in the supplemental draft, Kavis Reed was able to get his hands on the 6’ 6” giant who, rumour has it, was very, very sought-after by many teams in the league. Will Tyler’s arrival enable the offence’s ground game to step up a few notches with Tyrell Sutton and Patrick Lavoie? We hope so.
Next man up
When a player goes down, it’s time for the next man up to fill his shoes. That’s what happened with Chris Harper in the July 6 game against the Ottawa REDBLACKS. The explosive receiver recently joined the team and was called upon to replace Chris Williams. It didn’t take long for Harper to show his worth when he registered the Als’ second touchdown of the game, his first in the CFL.
On special teams, it’s leader Stefan Logan who needs to be replaced while he rehabs from an ankle injury, so we’ll get to see De’Mornay Pierson-El doing the returns. The bar is high when it comes to replacing a top-caliber veteran like Stef, but, as Coach Sherman said, it’s not uncommon that young players have an excellent debut game in a pressure situation.
Defensive backs Joe Burnett and Tommie Campbell will be on familiar ground at McMahon Stadium. When we asked Tommie if he thought his old team would try to capitalize playing against a former teammate – what with knowing him as well as they do – the unflappable TC simply said: “They know what they can try against me, but they also know what they absolutely can’t try. They’ll most likely attempt short-yardage plays, but, regardless, I’ll be ready. I played with those guys for two years, so I’m going to handle this like it was when we practiced against each other… I’ll be putting my hands on them, being aggressive.”
Martin Bédard’s 150th game
Also on tap, our long snapper will be playing in his 150th career game, all of them in an Alouettes uniform! Join us in congratuating Martin on social media, or, even better, make sure to be at our next home game on July 26 and express your appreciation in person!