Paul LaPolice is doing everything he can to ensure his players are fired up for the Argos.
First he made them do their Joe Lobendahn-led warrior chant three times at the end of Friday’s walk-through, asking for more intensity each time like it was a drill they kept messing up.
Then he showed them a video on the scoreboard that included the team’s season highlights and knockout punches by Joe Louis, after whom the Bombers are named.
“I wanted our team to see themselves playing physical, hitting people and making plays on offence, defence and special teams, and interlaced with quick shots of Joe Louis knocking people out and knocking people down,” LaPolice said.
“That’s what I want the message for the team to be, to have that killer instinct.”
Quarterback Steven Jyles was geared up especially after the chant, which is normally reserved for just prior to kickoff.
“Every time he made us do it again, you felt something different and the emotions were starting to get there,” Jyles said. “That was something that we needed. It was a great, thought-out plan by him, because he knew that’s something that we do to trigger us and get us ready for the ball game.
“So making us do it three times in a row, it just adds something to it every time. Right now my adrenalin’s pumping, and I can play today.”
Rookie slotback Terence Jeffers-Harris said he got “crunked up” watching the video, but he has other motivation that dates back to the conclusion of last week’s loss in Montreal.
“My motivation is the fumble,” Jeffers-Harris said. “You know, the strip by Chip Cox (that ended the game). That’s my type of motivation.”
ARGO WATCH: Toronto head coach Jim Barker got more involved in the offensive planning this week since his team’s passing game is the worst in the CFL.
“Without a passing game you’re not going to make it too far in this league,” Argos slotback Jeremaine Copeland said Friday.
Then again, the Boatmen know that league rushing leader Cory Boyd, who didn’t practise all week because of an ankle injury but will play Saturday, is their bread and butter on offence.
“We’re going to run the ball, and they’ll either choose to stop the run or …,” Barker said. “For us, the biggest thing is we have to get better in our passing game. That’s been a big focus.
“Who knows? We might come out and be as bad as we’ve been, but I can look back and know that this week we made progress.”
The Argos are making one change to their starting lineup, as defensive tackle Kevin Huntley (shoulder) sits in favour of Canadian Ben Ishola.
QUOTABLE: “I don’t really care what anyone says over there. I don’t give a rat’s ass.”
— Argos left tackle Rob Murphy, responding to Bomber comments this week that Toronto “stole” its two wins against Winnipeg this season.
LATE HITS: The Bombers are making one change to the starting lineup, with Cory Watson taking over for the struggling Brock Ralph at slotback … Terrence Edwards leads the CFL with 13 catches of 30 or more yards … Saturday’s forecast calls for sunny skies and a high of 11 C … As of 5 p.m. Friday, 22,607 tickets had been sold for Saturday’s game.
With files from Jim Bender