September 24, 2018

Battle of the underdogs

“The mindset is to win. I’m not thinking about the playoffs or anything like that. I just want us to win this game,” said lineman Tony Washington after practice on Wednesday.

Tony will be playing his 100th game on Friday, in Winnipeg – congrats again, Tony! He was a Grey Cup champ with Toronto in 2012 and again, with Edmonton in 2015. He knows what it takes to win and to block for a mobile QB like the one who will be starting against the Blue Bombers. Yes, we mean Johnny Manziel.

Tony Washington

“It’s different because they get out of their pocket while we have to stick to our blocks,” Tony said about protecting for Johnny. “Usually, the defensive line runs at you, but when the QB is moving, you just don’t know what’s going on behind you. It makes it a little harder, but at the same time, if he can get outside the pocket, it means he can make things happen with speed.”

Making things happen. That’s exactly what we hope our number 2 and the offensive squad will be able to do against Winnipeg’s sound defence. While the young Antonio Pipkin proved to us all that he deserved a spot on the team as much as anyone else, we know expectations are high towards Manziel who will be starting under centre for a third time in the CFL tomorrow night.

Johnny Manziel

Expectations are high and both teams, currently last of their respective divisions, have just as much to win (or lose). A true battle of the underdogs is what we will be watching tomorrow.

Will Coach Stubler’s defensive unit be able to shut down Winnipeg‘s run game? Rare are the teams who are able to successfully run against our Montreal defence, but when Andrew Harris is in the mix, you can never let your guard down.

“Even if he’s banged up, Andrew Harris remains the Bombers’ biggest offensive threat,” said defensive back Tevaughn Campbell in a live interview on Wednesday.

But the number one goal for the defence, who keeps outperforming itself lately, will be to get off the field faster. It has been containing its opponents, constantly forcing them to kick, but possession time remains a big concern.

Tevaughn Campbell

Aside from Johnny starting at pivot, very few roster changes are expected to happen. Chris Ackie, who was replaced by veteran Glenn Love last week, should hit the field again to help his fellow linebackers Henoc Muamba and Chip Cox.

Let’s not forget that two out of our Als three wins this year were away games. Anything could happen and the outcome will certainly set the table for the following matchup, taking place at McGill Stadium, against the Saskatchewan Roughriders… Nothing beats the thrill of the end of the Canadian football season, eh!?

Tune in to TSN, RDS, TSN 690 or 98,5 FM tonight at 8:30 pm or come watch the game with us in the Zone at Casino de Montréal!