Bombers, Als seeking first wins
MONTREAL—Montreal Alouettes’ linebacker Shea Emry doesn’t mind having only four days off before tonight’s game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in Montreal.
The short turnaround will help him forget the team’s 38-10 season-opening loss in Calgary on Canada Day.
“I’m just glad it’s a short week so we get to move on faster,” he reasoned.
Emry committed the game’s most talked-about mistake in the second quarter when he was penalized for hitting Stampeders’ quarterback Drew Tate while Tate was on the ground, giving the Stampeders a first down on the Alouettes’ 17-yard line.
Calgary quickly scored a touchdown to open up an 18-point lead.
The CFL fined Emry for the hit on Wednesday.
Emry declined to talk about the hit yetserday, saying he’s now focused on stopping Winnipeg quarterback Buck Pierce tonight.
“It gives me a chance to redeem myself, within the rules,” Emry said, adding he’s put last week’s mistake behind him.
“This week it’s Buck Pierce, who makes a lot of plays with his legs,” he noted. “He can get out of a lot of difficult situations.
“It’s just for us to make sure we contain him and make some plays on the ball.”
The Blue Bombers dropped their season-opener 33-16 to the B.C. Lions in a Grey Cup rematch in Vancouver on June 29.
Pierce left that game with a leg injury in the second quarter after completing only three-of-nine passes for 11 yards.
Although back-up Alex Brink went 12-for-26 for 121 yards and two touchdowns in relief, Pierce still is slated to start against Montreal.
It’s unclear whether the oft-injured Pierce will last the whole game, so Emry said the Alouettes are ready for either quarterback.
“Alex Brink’s a great quarterback, too,” he stressed. “He’s made a lot of plays.
“The main thing on our plate is making plays on those guys, whoever is back there.”
There also were questions about Montreal’s soon-to-be 40-year-old quarterback Anthony Calvillo after he was held to 16 completions for 174 yards and only one touchdown by Calgary.
He also threw two interceptions after giving up only eight in all of 2011.
The Alouettes’ defence was expected to take time to gel after several off-season roster changes. But the offence, almost entirely intact, also looked disjointed against Calgary.
It will be tested by Winnipeg’s aggressive defence, which played a key role in the Bombers’ East Division title last season.
“The toughest thing at the start of the year is that you have to deal with all their blitzes,” said Calvillo.
“They don’t try to confuse you much,” he noted. “They’re just very good at what they do.
“And they play a lot of man-to-man.”
The Montreal defence tightened up in the second half against Calgary, forcing three turnovers. The Alouettes hope to carry that momentum into tonight, but they will do it without defensive back Dwight Anderson, who broke his finger in practice on Wednesday.
Coach Marc Trestman said Anderson will be out of action for a couple of weeks.
Montreal already was missing defensive end John Bowman and also lost rookie end Murrell Marques for two-four weeks with a shoulder injury.