Blue defence knows it starts by stopping Burris

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:56 PM ET

On the surface, it would appear Jovon Johnson and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers secondary are in for their toughest test to date.

With a meeting against the Calgary Stampeders staring them in the face on Saturday at McMahon Stadium, the Blue and Gold are preparing to try and shut down Henry Burris and his talented pool of receivers that includes Nik Lewis, Ken-Yon Rambo and former Blue Bombers Arjei Franklin and Romby Bryant, just to name a few of the vast arsenal of weapons.

It’s not like the Blue Bombers have forgotten about star running back Joffrey Reynolds either.

“You know what, their receiving corps is good but their quarterback is a lot better,” said Blue Bombers defensive back LaVar Glover. “If you let Henry Burris got hot, he’s going to rip you apart. Kind of like Ricky Ray, if we can get some pressure on him, we have a better chance.

“And if you stop them from throwing, you’ve got to stop them from running too.”

Johnson figures to see plenty of time lining up against Bryant — who has 21 catches for 327 yards and four touchdowns this season— and he welcomes the challenge.

“Considering we know each other, I know what to expect from him and he knows what to expect from me,” said Johnson. “It’ll be a great match-up and whoever wins, will be satisfied. We’ll put a plan and scheme in place where we can limit those guys from making big plays against us and hopefully we can make plays like we did last week.

“Big players strive for games like that and I like to think that I’m a big player. I love the competition and I’ll be ready for the spotlight on Saturday night.”

Johnson isn’t sure how much trash-talking will be happening on the field, but expects the battle to be intense.

“It’s all business, on the field we’ll probably be yapping at each other a little bit,” said Johnson. “That’s just the way the game goes and the type of player that he is. He has a high motor and likes to stretch the field.

“My key to success is always to slow those guys down and make them play the way I want them to play.”

Blue Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice has seen the Stamps’ weapons during the past two seasons as offensive co-ordinator of the Saskatchewan Roughriders and knows what to expect from them.

“They’ve got a talented crew and the thing we’ve been talking about is that you have to tackle,” said LaPolice. “You have to tackle all their receivers, you have to tackle their running back, you have to tackle their quarterback. You have to wrap them up. That’s what we have to do this week.”

ken.wiebe@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos