Cobourne takes verbal shots at Als

Tiger-Cats running back Avon Cobourne, seen getting away from the Blue Bombers defence earlier this...

Tiger-Cats running back Avon Cobourne, seen getting away from the Blue Bombers defence earlier this month, is not only speedy with his feet but also with his tongue as he needles his former team, the Alouettes, in preparation for Friday’s game at Ivor Wynne Stadium. (DAVE ABEL/QMI Agency file photo)

BILL LANKHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:18 PM ET

HAMILTON - Much of this week, Avon Cobourne has needled Montreal Alouettes’ cornerback Dwight Anderson.

Thursday, after Cobourne went through the final walk-through for Friday’s game against the Alouettes with his new Hamilton teammates, he pricked his former head coach, Marc Trestman.

And, Hamilton quarterback Kevin Glenn can hardly wait to hear Friday’s pre-game diss-and-that between Cobourne and his former team.

Cobourne is not only an all-star running back, he’s also by most accounts, one of the CFL’s all-star talkers. Two Grey Cup rings says a guy is allowed to talk the talk as well as he’s walked the walk.

“I don’t trash talk. I speak the truth. Sometimes people don’t like to hear the truth,” said Cobourne, who left Montreal as a free agent after last season when they didn’t want to make him the highest-paid running back in the league.

So there might be hard feelings, right?

“Nope,” said Cobourne.

So playing his first regular-season game against the Als will hold special significance, right?

“Nope,” said Cobourne.

Guess he was saving his best stuff for game day.

Leastwise that’s what Glenn is thinking. “I’m anxious to see what the pre-game is going to be like. Avon likes to talk. I’m anxious to see what he’s got to say about his ex-teammates.

Not that anyone usually takes these things too seriously. It’s part of what makes the game enjoyable, said Glenn. “Everybody understands it’s part of football. It’s excitement, the adrenalin going through you. It’s part of that competitiveness ... there’s a lot of talk going back and forth and I’m just anxious to see some of the comments.”

And, Cobourne did warm up to the conversation with reporters, too. Forget Anthony Calvillo. Forget all that talk about defences and how to keep Chip Cox out of the backfield. This pre-game was all about tweets, tweaks and twits and figuring out who’s who depends entirely from which sideline you’re looking.

It all began when Anderson was fined this week for poking Saskatchewan’s Weston Dressler in the eye and Cobourne tweeted “He does dirty ish I have played against him before.”

In a further discourse, Cobourne said folks in Montreal were just finding out what kind of player they’d gotten as a free agent from Calgary: “Truth he gets n fights with his teammates that was my 1st tweet. 2nd the real DA has come out n MTL.”

After the walk-through, he recalled for reporters that Trestman played a video for the team when he was in Montreal that featured Anderson when he played for Calgary and said: “This is not the way we want to play. Fighting with teammates and cuzzing out the refs.”

Not that he’s surprised that didn’t stopped the Als from signing Anderson, a 2010 all-star. “He’s going to make plays for you,” said Cobourne, “so you can live with some of that.”

Just like folks can live with some of Cobourne’s acidic observations and serpentine tongue. Defensive end John Bowman expects Cobourne will have plenty to say when they line up opposite each other. “He’s always been a talker, even when he was here that was his thing in the locker room. We’re not going to take too much into what he says because we know that it’s not personal. He does it against every team.”

It is difficult to figure out whether he’s seriously perturbed, or whether you should be laughing and asking him to pull the other one.

“It’s the truth. I’m not lying,” he says of Anderson. Then, looking innocent as a choirboy, he turns on his best boy-next-door charm, adding: “Honestly I do that just to get a rise. He didn’t bite ... but I’m going to continue to see if I can get these players off their game.”

Cobourne said he generally enjoys the interaction with players and fans on Twitter. When he wasn’t giving it to his former team this week, he was giving away 50 tickets to fans for Friday’s game. And, expressed admiration for Brandon Whitaker, his understudy for the past three years who is just eight yards behind Fred Reid for the CFL rushing lead. “I’m very pleased he’s having success. I hope they don’t have it (against us) but he works hard and deserves it and he’s a humble kid. He’s like my little brother over there.”

And, he credits Trestman for giving him a launching pad for his career. “I really don’t feel that hate that you’re supposed to feel. But I definitely will be ready to play. It feels like any other game. I don’t have to prove anything. I’ve got two Grey Cup rings. It’s really not about me. It’s about ... a win.”

Which is, perhaps, true. But honestly, when it’s about him, doesn’t the world just seem to be more fun?

Calvillo raring to go

Anthony Calvillo will be at quarterback Friday for the Montreal Alouettes.

They might need all the help they can get to avoid a second consecutive defeat. The Alouettes come into the game having had just one day to practice.

Calvillo said the eye injury he suffered in a surprising loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders isn’t bothering him anymore. “There hasn’t been any blurriness in the last couple days. Believe me when I tell you, if I had any blurriness at all, I would not be on the field,” said Calvillo Thursday.

Doctors have cleared him to play and he didn’t have any problems in Wednesday’s practice. “I was able to go out there and make all the reads and do the things necessary to compete.


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