Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Quarterbacks Smith, Glenn Both Looking to Improve as Lions Visit Alouettes

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Quarterbacks Smith, Glenn Both Looking to Improve as Lions Visit Alouettes

Article excerpt

Als, Lions looking to rebound from losses


MONTREAL - No one needs to tell Troy Smith he has to play better.

The Heisman Trophy-winner replacing future Hall of Famer Anthony Calvillo at quarterback completed fewer than half his passes as the Montreal Alouettes offence fired blanks in its CFL season opener last week in Calgary.

Smith hopes to start clicking with his receivers and moving the ball when the Alouettes (0-1) take on the B.C. Lions (0-1) in a bounce-back game for both teams at Percival Molson Stadium on Friday night.

"It falls on my shoulders as a quarterback," said Smith, who put up only 154 passing yards in a 29-8 loss to the Stampeders. "I have to do a better job of decision-making and distributing the ball.

"We have weapons all over the field, but if we don't protect and get the ball out on time, these weapons mean nothing. So it's on me."

The Lions' 35-year-old pivot Kevin Glenn may be thinking the same. His team took an early 14-0 lead but he then threw four interceptions in a 27-20 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos. It was only the third time the Lions lost at home since 2011.

And this week the Lions go into the game with the virtually unknown Ryan Cave playing the key position on the offensive line, left tackle. Cave was rushed in this week after Andre Ramsey fractured an ankle, Cave had only two practices with his new team.

The upside is that Cave spent most of training camp with the Alouettes and knows the players he will be trying to block.

"Everyone knows there's a new guy on the offensive line who's had two days of practice, but he's a very intelligent guy, very football smart," said Glenn. "He's picked up the scheme and blocking assignments very quickly.

"We'll see what happens in a game but I have confidence he'll do well."

The Alouettes got a break on Thursday when CFL disciplinarians elected to give linebacker Kyries Hebert a fine rather than a suspension for his clothesline tackle on Calgary's Jon Cornish.

So the stage is set for yet another in a long history of close battles between the Alouettes and Lions in Montreal. Last season, a last-play Sean Whyte field goal gave Montreal a 39-38 win.

B.C. coach Mike Benevides played film of that game to his players as a reminder.

"What happened last year was BS," said Benevides. "We had multiple turnovers and didn't score off it.

"We became unglued somewhat and, at the end of the game, there's a quarterback that hadn't played a lot (Tanner Marsh) who finds a way to get into field goal range and beat you. You can't let that happen."

Smith was tabbed as the Alouettes starter going into their first season since 2000 without CFL al-time passing leader Calvillo behind centre.

He had an impressive array of receivers led by S.J. Green, but wasn't able to find them consistently, often overthrowing them. …

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