Andre Bolduc best summed up the situation on Saturday afternoon: "The bread is in the oven! Exclaimed the Alouettes' offensive midfielder's coach over the Eastern semifinal, which will be played Sunday at 1 pm at Percival Molson Stadium. Twenty-four hours before their duel, the Alouettes and Edmonton Eskimos met the media one last time at the Olympic Stadium.
All in all, the Alouettes are a healthy team right now. However, they will have to defeat the Eskimos without one of their best receivers. Injured by a thigh injury, DeVier Posey has been training with the team over the last few days, but will ultimately miss a third game in a row. "We wanted to see if he could play, but he's not quite ready yet," said Khari Jones. "DeVier was very good when he played this season, so it's disappointing. But we have been able to cope with injuries throughout the season. Very good last week in Ottawa, Dante Absher will replace Posey in the starter squad.
The two-headed monster
Without DeVier Posey, Vernon Adams Jr. and the Alouettes' aerial game will have to rely on three receivers who have little experience in the CFL, namely Jake Wieneke, Quan Bray and Dante Absher. There is little doubt that running back William Stanback and Jeremiah Johnson will play an important role. "We'll have to stop their two-headed monster (Stanback and Johnson), as well as Vernon, who is as good as any other quarterback, both in the pass and on the ground," said the Eskimos rider. , Jason Maas.
When the Eskimos are on offense, one of the Alouettes' missions will be to upset Trevor Harris as best they can. Over the years, it was when he was hit by the opponent that the quarterback experienced difficulties. "We do not want him to be comfortable. When he is, he is dangerous. He throws the ball quickly and precisely where he wants most of the time. We will have to break his pace and hit him, while respecting the rules, obviously, "said Khari Jones. "We have our game plan and they have theirs. We know that they will have a lot of energy and that they will be robust ", for its part said Harris, who seemed rather relaxed, Saturday afternoon.
Knapton in reinforcement
Arrived in Montreal earlier this week, Gabriel Knapton is very happy to have joined the Alouettes for the third time in his career. The defensive end should get some defense time behind starters John Bowman and Antonio Simmons. "It's been a month or two since the Alouettes were communicating with me, and Eric Deslauriers (Player Personnel Coordinator) phoned me on Monday to ask me if I would join the team and if I could take same day flight, "said Knapton, who lives in Colorado. "I want to help this team win a championship. Knapton had participated in the playoffs in his first season in 2014.
First for Betts
Eskimos first round pick in May, Mathieu Betts arrived in Edmonton after being released by the Chicago Bears a few months ago. The Montrealer will face the Alouettes for the first time in his career on Sunday. "Certainly the goal does not change for me. It's about contributing to the best of my abilities to help the team succeed, whether on special teams or in defense rotation, "said Laval University's Rouge et Or . Betts played six games in the Eskimos uniform and collected a bag for each of his first two.
Feelings and confidence
The atmosphere was relaxed in the Alouettes locker room on Saturday. "The players have so much energy right now, it's a game that will be fun to watch, I think. There is a lot more excitement than stress. Our team is ready. The bread is in the oven! ", Launched Andre Bolduc. "I can not wait to get to the stadium and find the right frame of mind to play. I think everyone on the team is feverish. It's going to be a bad day, "said veteran Martin Bedard. "A lot of people thought we would have the worst team in the league, but we're in the playoffs, and now everyone is scared of us," added the long-throw specialist.
Eskimos of Edmonton c. Alouettes, Sunday (1 pm), at Percival Molson Stadium (Eastern Semifinal)