Fraser Caldwell | Ticats.ca Staff
HAMILTON, Ont -- The Tiger-Cats have a clearly defined priority on defence as they size up the BC Lions ahead of their Week 16 matchup on Friday night.
Lions quarterback Travis Lulay is enjoying another efficient season under centre, and reminding CFL defenders that with time in the pocket, there is very little he cannot do.
“The biggest thing is Lulay – containing him and getting the ball out of his hands,” confirms Ticat linebacker Rey Williams. “He’s the one who’s making that team go.”
“If you give him the time back there in the pocket, he’s going to pick you apart. He’s a good quarterback. He can run and he makes good decisions.”
“We need to force his hand.”
The Lions visit to Ivor Wynne presents a stiff test for the Ticats as they once again look to bounce back from a setback on the road.
Defensive back Dee Webb is relishing the challenge, and argues that there is no better team to make a statement against than the defending Grey Cup champions and current league-leaders.
“It’s a challenge for us – especially with the kind of season that we’ve had – to come back out and play well,” says Webb of their upcoming matchup.
“What better way to start this run than against the number one team in the CFL, the defending champions?”
“We’ve just got to go out and put on a show.”
Williams is confident that as they look to contain the dangerous Lulay, the Ticats have the tools at their disposal to do away with his rushing support.
“We’ll be fine in the running game,” says the linebacker. “We’re getting it together up front and we’ve got some new schemes.”
“We had an injury to [defensive tackle] Eddie (Steele) last week but we’ve got some guys who have been brought in and should play well for us.”
The Ticats effort to mount a late push and secure a playoff berth may be getting some help from the sickbay.
Several veterans who have missed extended periods due to injury – including defensive back Bo Smith and linebacker Markeith Knowlton – have returned to training this week.
Williams takes heart from such returns, and suggests that the inclusion of well-versed players to the lineup will help his team at this late stage.
“We’re getting some people back,” says the linebacker. “To get some more playmakers out there – guys who have played in this league and understand the schemes – makes me confident in these last couple of games.”
Hamilton is still seeking a steady level of play, a quest that has played out for much of the season. Webb believes that finding that form is a matter of professionalism, a result of a consistent attitude.
“It’s about being a pro,” says the defensive back of his team’s search for consistency. “You’ve got to bring in your lunch pail and go to work every day, not be inconsistent.”
The Ticats situation is a simple one at this stage: win what games remain. That four-week mission begins on Friday.
It’s simple. It’s win, and we’re in,” says Webb.
“We haven’t put a stretch together and we’ve got to do it in our last four games now.”