WINNIPEG - Blue Bombers defensive end Odell Willis knows the Eskimos offensive line is much improved from a season ago.
“They have good O-lineman and schemes to go with it. When you have good O-lineman and a good coach to put together a good scheme for you, the sky’s the limit on what you can do and how you protect your quarterback,” said Willis.
The right tackle on that Eskimos O-line, Brian Ramsay, knows he’ll have his hands full with Willis, who has at least one sack in every game this season.
“He’s one of those explosive players where you gotta be getting off on the snap, because you know he is for sure,” Ramsay said.
BRING ON MESSAM: The Blue Bombers are looking forward to doing what they can to limit the run game, but understand that’s going to be a challenge with the way Jerome Messam is playing.
Messam enters the week in fourth place in rushing with 274 yards (and two touchdowns) on 55 carries.
“Everybody knows they have a big back in Messam and they want to pound the rock,” said defensive tackle Don Oramasionwu. “We take that as a challenge. I love playing against the run, and I’m happy we’re playing against a bruising back that wants to run over people. He can try to run us over and we’ll be up to the task.”
MAKING A PITCH: Jonathan Hefney is hoping his close friend Arkee Whitlock, a running back who was cut by the Eskimos this week, is going to catch on with another team in the CFL — maybe even Winnipeg.
“I was surprised to see him get released, but you can’t do anything about it. It’s a business,” said Hefney. “Hopefully, we can pick him up. Hopefully (the Blue Bombers) see talent (in Whitlock). I talked to him and told him to stay positive. I’ve been cut before. He’s a great running back.”
LATE HITS: Friday’s game is sold out … Buck Pierce is 6-2 in his career as the quarterback of record against the Eskimos … The trio of Clarence Denmark, Jonathan Hefney and Deon Beasley will handle kickoff returns with Perry Floyd off the roster.