HAMILTON -- With the unenvious task of facing a very talented group of receivers in B.C. this Friday, Tiger-Cat defensive backs Bo Smith and Marcell Young believe that the aerial threat posed by the Lions can be combated with sufficient study and diligence on the practice field.
“You’ve just got to really study those guys,” says Smith of the Lions’ vaunted receivers. “You’ve got to watch film, and see how they come off the ball, how they run their routes. You have to know what to do in certain situations. If they’re on a certain side for example, they might get the ball more there. We study the receivers and see their waggles and how they line up in their formations.
“Those guys are great receivers,” adds Young. “We’ve just got to trust in our technique and do the things that we’ve been taught and working on for the past month. They’re getting paid too, they’re professionals. They’ve been good at this for a while and they’re going to make plays, but we’ve got to make a few more.”
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Each game presents the players with another opportunity to test and hone their skills, and the prospect of lining up against such talented opponents should spur the Ticats’ backfield to raise their own game in kind. Both Smith and Young argue that Friday’s contest offers a tremendous chance to learn and to bond more closely with their teammates.
“We learn a lot,” says Smith of matching up against top receivers. “I’ve been playing Geroy (Simon) and (Arland) Bruce for five years. I learned a lot, and learned how they play. They’ve got good routes out there and they know how to use the field. You’ve got to get used to them and play against them to know what they do.
“It’s a great challenge,” says Young of the task ahead. “We’ve got to come together to get this win, because these guys are experienced. They know what they’re doing and they’ve played together for a good while. It’s a testament to them after the way they started out last year. We can’t get too high and we can’t get too low, no matter the result. We’ve got to stay even and keep working.”
For veterans such as Smith and Young, Friday brings with it the chance to reacquaint themselves with opponents they know well and reignite the rivalries that the backfield battle builds. Both men indicate that the relationship at work is a competitive but respectful one, mindful as both sets of players are that they face capable athletes.