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What will our Alouettes have to focus on tomorrow, Friday, against the Toronto Argonauts? A number of things according to Coach Sherman. “The Argos are sound all around. I like the way their quarterback has adapted to their system. Their lines, both offensive and defensive, are strong contenders.”
In search of their first win at home, our guys are about to face what promises to be an interesting challenge. In addition to the $7 Budweiser beer, the celebration of diversity and the half-time show brought to us by the Latin Groove Dance School, here’s what to watch out for on the field tomorrow.
Antonio Pipkin, 23 Years Old, Leader of the Offense
For the time of his career, Antonio Pipkin will be starting under centre in front of the Montreal crowd. He’s young, yet so calm…
“I just try to command my guys, show them I know what I’m doing. No worries, no fear. We go out to play and have fun. A lot of older guys respect that. It’s a respect thing. If you come in scared, the older guys see it, but if you come in with confidence, they’ll respect it,” he answered when we asked him how he manages to impose himself among a veteran group.
His confidence is impressive. His arm is too. After having a promising start against Edmonton last week, Antonio is looking to repeat the feat and, moreover, lead the team to a win. It should be a good test! While the Eskimos didn’t have much on him last week, Trestman and the Argos certainly had the opportunity to study his most recent performance. Did Antonio manage to learn enough plays this week at practice to surprise Toronto’s defence? We shall see…
Injuries and transactions didn’t get the best of the d-line. As a matter of fact, Coach Sherman pointed out today in his press conference how well the group has been playing collectively. Its performance shouldn’t disappoint tomorrow, especially considering John Bowman and Jabar Westerman are back at their respective spots. Brand new potential threat for Thompson, the Double Blue’s QB: Willie Mays III (not the baseball player). “He shows tremendous burst off the ball and on the quarterback. He’s going to be an excellent pass rusher. That will be more his role as a defensive lineman. He’s someone that can come off the edge and turn the corner,” says Sherman.
Mystery of the season: the secondary. On paper, all is good. At practice, all is good. In game, sometimes good, sometimes not. Is it the personnel? Is it the man-to-man coverage? One thing is for certain: the coaches and players have made it a priority. “We look at it every single day. How can we make that group better and stronger? They practice hard every day, every week, but then we get to the games and something goes awry,” Sherman explained.
Consistency will be key to stop our opponents from accumulating so many yards, especially in the air. Discipline, also. “Last week, we lacked discipline, Sherman said. We were down in the Red Zone, we sacked their quarterback and then we gave it back to them because of a penalty. I looked at that long and hard this week. I thought we had distanced ourselves from the penalties. The only thing I could see was frustration and that’s not a reason to do what we did.”
Departures and Arrivals
We all held our breath as Tyrell Sutton was being carted off the field last Saturday. The good news is that his injury is not as serious as his grand exit led us to believe. Still, Pipkin will have to rely on Sutty’s backups, William Stanback and Ryder Stone, who will be called to contribute on both special teams and offence tomorrow. On the o-line, Phil Gagnon is back in his best shape and ready to play all four quarters. We mentioned Pipkin’s impressive arm; well, he’s going to have to be able to utilize it. With TJ Graham getting released, the receiving corps remains almost the same, except that Adarius Bowman should be the one mainly stretching the field.
See you tomorrow, Friday, as soon as the doors open at 6 pm.
It’ll be nice and sunny. Perfect for football!