(Montreal) Montreal Alouettes fans know it well: Vernon Adams Jr. can sometimes look like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It is enough to know which one the team will face this Sunday.
The BC Lions quarterback (3-1) is capable of both good and bad. As proof, he leads the Canadian Football League in completion percentage and number of passes (69.8% for 97 for 139), passing yards (1,249) and touchdown passes (8).
Adams also leads in interceptions with eight, including six suffered at the hands of the Toronto Argonauts last week.
Which quarterback are the Alouettes (2-1) preparing to face? The best, believe the members of the organization interviewed this week.
“From what I know of him, he bounces back well,” said safety Marc-Antoine Dequoy. He is someone who can make exceptional plays, but also make a lot of mistakes. It is expected that he made the corrections. If he finds his rhythm early in the game, he becomes confident. It is therefore necessary to make him feel that he can be hit, that he will be in a hurry. Make sure it does as little damage as possible. »
“He’s a guy I know well and I have a lot of respect for him. Games like that happen, but I expect nothing less than a good game from him,” said defensive coordinator Noel Thorpe.
The latter does not want to pay attention to Adams’ poor performance against the Argos, comments that have echoed with head coach Jason Maas.
“I don’t care much about it. If you’re going to throw four interceptions, might as well throw six! You have to keep throwing the ball,” said Maas, himself a former quarterback.
“I’ve been in this league long enough that I’ve seen some incredible stuff, quarterbacks throwing four interceptions in the first half and following with four touchdown passes in the second,” Maas added. I myself have already thrown four interceptions in the first two quarters and none thereafter. We have to keep playing. He’s a great quarterback and he can make great plays. The Lions also left him in the game. I don’t think his confidence was shaken. »
And then, the Alouettes still have other aspects of the Lions to worry about.
“They’re great [in pass pressure], especially on the defensive line,” Maas said. Betts is a machine: some of those sacks haven’t even happened chasing the quarterback, but simply because he’s in the running back’s face when the quarterback wants to hand the ball to him. They put a lot of pressure and count on a good secondary behind. You have to understand what they want to do first, then counter it on the pitch.
“We obviously worked in pass protection this week. It’s taken up a lot of our time over the past few weeks. We have to better identify what the adversary presents to us and it is in the classroom that we learn that. But you also have to do it on the pitch and avoid mental mistakes. It is up to the coaches to understand it first, then to teach it to the players. »
Despite the Alouettes’ failures in this phase of play, the offensive line will be the same against the Lions.
“I’m confident we still have the right people in place to protect our quarterback,” the head coach said. I give credit to the opponent too: sometimes the other team does a good job, it’s up to us to bounce back. I think our guys have done it so far. »