August 10, 2018

Sticking together

Chemistry should play a huge part in Saturday’s game against the Ottawa REDBLACKS. Things will have to stick. More so, Johnny and his offensive line will have to be in sync.

He was part of the blockbuster trade with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, lineman Tony Washington is one of the guys our new QB knows he can count on. ”Tony is a solid piece for us. I’m glad he came here with me. We’ve been hanging out lately, talking about life”, said Manziel to the media about his team mate.

Does Washington mind that his move to Montreal got swept under the rug while Johnny got all the attention? No. ”Seeing what the Alouettes needed, it made me feel good about myself, he admits. It means my stock is high enough for me to be in a trade with such a big name. Offensive linemen never get all the glory.

They never get all of the glory, but they’ve been part of the discussions surrounding the Alouettes for a while. The lack of stability, the injuries, the sacks… Regardless how well your QB can move, if nobody is blocking for him, the ship isn’t going to sail. ”The team goes as we go, Washington explains. It doesn’t matter who’s running back, what big names we have as wide receivers or behind us. If we don’t block, nothing can get started.

The 6-foot-7, 318 lb big man does have a fresh outlook on things, however. ”In the past two games, the number of sacks allowed has gone down. Now that we have a consistent group, we’re doing a lot of talking and we’re starting to understand who we are as a unit.

Going against the number one seed in the East, at TD Place, won’t be an easy feat for our boys, but the pace at which the offence has been learning in practice this week is certainly encouraging. ”We’ve been going over a lot of plays. We also had good meetings to ensure our heads are also in sync, not only our feet, said fullback Pat Lavoie who will be back in familiar territory this weekend. Ottawa’s defence forces short underneath routes. Our run game has to be solid. We’re going to have to be patient and take whatever they give us.”

As a matter of fact, in this game of inches, contributions from running back Tyrell Sutton and potential kick returners TJ Graham, Ryder Stone and Will Stanback will be crucial.

On defence, we can expect more pressure on Trevor Harris than we’ve been seeing so far this season from Coach Stubler’s unit. According to linebacker Henoc Muamba, no fewer than 10 pressure plays have been added to this week’s scheme.

photo: Johany Jutras

It’s still a work in progress. When asked how much more ready he felt going into this game in comparison with last week, Johnny provided a very realistic answer: ”Three-four practices more.” Like the offensive unit will have to be versus the aggressive REDBLACKS defence, we, as fans, will have to be patient.