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Dirty Bird Blog: August and Everything Else

Posted By Clifford Pine On Aug 30 2012 @ 2:10 pm In Montreal Alouettes | No Comments

Hard to believe the summer is almost over….felt like it was just yesterday when 2012 training camp opened. But the Alouettes are in a familiar place once again as August comes to an end; alone atop the Eastern division of the Canadian Football League.

It’s been a season of growing pains, as the Alouettes adjust to new players and a new defensive scheme. But as long as the Alouettes are led by the ageless Anthony Calvillo, you can never doubt the success of this Montreal team.

Their toughest test lies ahead in the next 2 games as the Alouettes face the B.C. Lions in a home & home series. Montreal usually wins their match at home while a trip to B.C. Place is usually a guaranteed loss. If Montreal can maintain this dubious distinction, that can actually be considered a moral victory as the Lions are setting the standard of excellence this season while being the defending Grey Cup champions.

Love him or hate him, Lions QB Travis Lulay is the man to beat out west. The B.C. defense is the league’s best and will do their best to stymie Montreal’s potent offense. Brandon Whitaker will need to have another monster game on the ground to help out AC and the Alouettes receiving corps.

Montreal’s defense will be tested early and often, but they have been coming together as a group at the right time. If Winnipeg can keep the Lions to 20 points, then surely Montreal can match or even top that. Discipline will be key to this group and it may come down to forcing the B.C. offense to make crucial errors.

These next two weeks will hopefully provide CFL fans with some memorable football.  The Als fan in me is hoping that this is the year the dreaded B.C. Place curse is finally broken. The Alouettes have not won in B.C. Place since 2000 and that simply has to change. (N.B. The Alouettes did win a game in Vancouver back in 2010, but the game was played at the temporary Empire Field.)

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Last week’s win versus the Tiger-Cats had many notable moments. Standing out amongst S.J. Green’s monster night & Anthony Calvillo’s birthday heroics was the absolutely brutal hit Kyries Hebert put down on Onrea Jones during Jerald Brown’s INT of Henry Burris. The pickoff was nice but Hebert’s block was the very definition of punishment.

I’m willing to bet when Mr. Jones now goes to bed, he checks the closet & under his bed for an Angry Bird! As a result, an Alouette was #1 when it came to the CFL plays of the week for the second week in a row.

The one moment that was probably overlooked was the clutch catch made by Bo Bowling late in the 4th quarter. I’ve been saying for weeks now that he should be rotated into the WR lineup instead of merely returning kicks.

With the knee injury to Brandon London, expect Bowling to come in and be that 2nd & short reception guy that’s been lacking since the Ben Cahoon days. Jamel Richardson & S.J. Green will always be front & center in Calvillo’s arsenal but if given the chance, Bowling could be that x-factor that is able to slip under the radar like Brian Bratton tends to do and score TDs.

Trent Guy won’t be returning kicks this Friday, so expect the speedy Victor Anderson to come in and hopefully light up the Lions’ special teams.

And you can’t count out our own Vancouver boys Shea Emry & Sean Whyte. They always seem to play well against the Lions and these next two weeks should be no different.

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Another short column this week…be sure to check out the tailgate [1] in Montreal tomorrow afternoon before the game. Follow along [2] on Twitter for live game-day tweets and last minute news.

GO ALS GO!!!

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[1] check out the tailgate: http://www.LesGarsQuiVivent.com

[2] Follow along: http://www.twitter.com/CliffyD

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