MONTREAL - Paul LaPolice isn’t expecting any deep or dark secrets to be revealed when his Winnipeg Blue Bombers take on the Montreal Alouettes on Thursday night at Percival Molson Stadium.
The head coach of the Blue Bombers understands that both teams are working on their own evaluations and are unlikely to reveal a great deal regarding the schemes they will employ during the course of the CFL season.
“They have a new defensive co-ordinator (former Blue Bombers head coach Jeff Reinebold) so you may see some of their base stuff, but certainly I don’t think a lot of teams put that much stuck into the first pre-season game of anybody’s,” said LaPolice. “You’ll be able to see some of their new young talent.”
Speaking of talent, the Blue Bombers are hoping some of their own new talent shines as the games begin.
“I want them to compete at a high level, be excited and when you get an opportunity to make a play, make a play,” said LaPolice. “If they want to be somebody who wants to be with us, you’ve got to start standing out from everybody else.”
Chris Matthews is part of a talented group of receivers trying to win a starting job and help replace Greg Carr.
Matthews was asked if a strong performance on Thursday might help him win a job?
“I don’t know,” he said. “I’m just going to work as hard as I can and play as hard as I know I can and the coaches will decide.”
Alex Brink is going to start for the Blue Bombers, while Joey Elliott and Justin Goltz are each going to play a quarter, with the fourth being up for grabs.
“First and foremost, we want to get a win,” said Brink. “It’s still a football game and we’re all professionals. Personally, I’m still a young player in this league, so the pre-season is important in making sure that I continue my development. That means going out and executing and carrying what I did last year over to this year.”
The Alouettes won’t be dressing veteran quarterback Anthony Calvillo, talented receivers Jamel Richardson and S.J. Green, running back Brandon Whitaker, offensive lineman Scott Flory and pass rusher extraordinaire John Bowman, who is out due to injury.
Kickoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. and the game won’t be televised but is being broadcast at 680 CJOB.