Huntley Bombers' arch enemy

Argos defensive lineman Kevin Huntley is playing through pain these days, nursing a case of...

Argos defensive lineman Kevin Huntley is playing through pain these days, nursing a case of Achilles tendinitis. (QMI file photo)

Frank Zicarelli, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:12 PM ET

Kevin Huntley is no longer permitted to wear his favourite pair of flip flops, a change in shoe apparel he grudgingly accepted.

“All my shoes must now have arches,’’ the Argos’ big man recounted on Friday.

“No flip flops.”

For Huntley, one of the team’s anchors along the defensive line, it was a small sacrifice, a decision that had to made to preserve his long-term viability and productivity in Toronto.

At first glance, it seems a tad trite to bring up the casual shoe wear, but it does reveal the plight Huntley has been dealing in the wake of experiencing Achilles tendinitis.

The discomfort won’t go away anytime soon, but discarding the flip flops, getting an extra day of rest and managing the pain will allow Huntley to play on Saturday after missing last week’s game in Montreal.

Against the Als, Huntley warmed up, but there was no explosion coming off the line, no movement that was necessary in moving side to side.

“I talked to my family on the phone before the game and I was in tears because I was so mad,’’ Huntley said. “In Winnipeg, it killed me the whole game and I didn’t play as well as I wanted.

“As a football player, you get bumps and bruises. You can’t sit out every time some part of the body doesn’t feel right and you push through it.

“I’ve played with a torn labrum, broken humeras, but this injury, when it comes to football functional wise, is tough.”

They don’t come any tougher than Huntley and the big man is ready to put his best foot forward, even if means pain.

 

BOMBERS' FRONT SEVEN TERRIFY

As the QB of Winnipeg’s defensive backfield, Ian Logan surveys the field to get a pre-snap read on the opposing team’s attack.

If stopping the run is required, the Laurier product will move closer to the line of scrimmage and provide another body to wrap up a ball carrier. If safety help is required on a wideout or slotback, Logan will position himself accordingly.

No matter what the situation dictates, a lot of what the Bombers do is based on their front seven, which is among the best in the CFL.

It’s a unit led by veteran tackle Doug Brown and rush end Odell Willis, a unit that has helped form Winnipeg’s early season identity.

“It all starts with that group,’’ the well-spoken and well-respected Logan said. “A lot of times, the interceptions come from the pressure up front.

“Odell’s abilities and stats for speak for themselves, but when it comes to Doug and his presence, numbers don’t tell the entire story because he’s always taking on double teams.”

When the Bombers played host to the Argos two weeks ago, Winnipeg’s defence recorded seven sacks. One of the few big plays produced in the air came on Toronto’s second play from scrimmage when Jeremaine Copeland made a play in the air for a 45-yard gain along the boundary.

“They’re a big-play type offence,’’ Logan said of the Argos. “They’re not a nickle-and-dime offence that will then take a shot. They need a big shot to keep momentum, to pick them up.

“They’re improved from last year, but they’re still trying to find their way.”

Copeland produced his first 100-yard receiving game as an Argo in Winnipeg, a number Logan felt was achieved when the vet found zones.

“With us, it starts up front. We’ve been solid against the run and we know the Argos will try to establish the run,’’ Logan said.

— Frank Zicarelli


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