Calvillo’s missing his impenetrable force field, but Stamps enter Montreal with humble attitude
It would be easy for Calgary D-linemen to lick their chops after Winnipeg racked up 11 sacks of Als QB in two games
The force field has cracked. The warm, safe, protective cocoon split wide open. Helm’s Deep breached.
That well-nigh impregnable fortification that has kept Anthony Calvillo upright, buoyant and relative lo these many years is showing signs of decay, of weakness.
What we’re seeing now is: A.C. under siege.
For so long, Calvillo’s legendary quick release aided immeasurably in keeping the sack totals down.
But the man didn’t become the game’s all-time leading passerby spending large chunks of time serpentining his way out of danger or picking himself up off the carpet on his own. He needed the kind of protection usually reserved for teen rock stars, visiting dignitaries or priceless works of art.
Keep A.C. free of unwanted fingerprints and there’s always been a pretty good chance the Alouettes would be celebrating at day’s end.
Yet in two starts this campaign, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ front sacked him an astonishing 11 times.
Is that making the large, carnivorous lads who reside along the Calgary Stampeders’ defensive front giddy with anticipation?
“Well, I know I’m not lickin’ my chops,” retorted star rush end Charleston Hughes. “Winnipeg has a very good D-line. One of the best in the league. That (11-sack total) just says a lot about them.
“We’re not thinking that it’s going to be an easy day at the office.
“You never know when Montreal is going to break out offensively. Early. Late. Maybe against us if we don’t do our business properly.”
For Stamps’ defensive line coach DeVone Claybrooks, the embarrassment suffered by Calvillo’s offensive line against the Bombers only promises to make his group’s job harder Friday.
“You know they’re going to shore up the problems, have stuff fixed by the time they play us,” said Claybrooks, who spent two seasons as a Calvillo teammate in 2007-2008.
“We’re not looking at it like they’ll be easy pickings. By no means. They’re professionals. They’ve got a standard and tradition over there about protecting A.C. And I know from first-hand experience that Jim (GM Popp)’s going to have those guys ready. That last game will not sit lightly with them.
“But after our Saskatchewan game we’ve got to regroup, reload and answer, too, and that’s what we aim to do.”
Much of the criticism following the 19-11 home loss to the Bombers has been heaped on new head coach Dan Hawkins and offensive co-ordinator Mike Miller. But as Claybrooks argues, the change in power, in philosophy, especially on a team as deeply ingrained in Marc Trestman’s way of doing things as the Als were/are, was always going to take some time to take hold.
“The thing of it is, defences progress faster than offences so it takes time for things to jell on that side of the ball, especially when you’ve got a lot of new pieces in the puzzle.
“They’re going to adjust their game scheme-wise, as well, so we have to be ready to adjust on the fly.”
Still, for two games, at any rate, Anthony Calvillo has looked uncharacteristically vulnerable.
“I don’t think he gets ‘flustered’,” said Claybrooks. “I think you can confuse him a little bit with different disguises, just like any other guy.
“But he’s a great quarterback, one of the best ever.
“I’m not worried about him. I’m worried about us. I’m not worried about his problems, I’m worried about ours. And we’ve got to do a much better job than we did last week, that much I do know.”
© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald