VANCOUVER – Now that Travis Lulay is the Most Outstanding Player for the 2011 CFL season, could that title put even more pressure on the B.C. Lions quarterback for Sunday’s Grey Cup?
His former teammate on the other side, Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Buck Pierce, doesn’t think it will. In fact, Pierce thinks Lulay won’t show any effects of the pressure of a championship game in front of his home crowd, believing the 28-year-old will simply treat it like just another game.
"Knowing Travis, I know he’s just going to soak everything in," Pierce said after the Bomber wrapped up their final practice of the 2011 season at BC Place Friday. "Be excited (Thursday) night but know the ultimate prize in on Sunday. I think he was deserving of that, and I’m happy for him on that front.
"I don’t think Travis is the type of guy to put a whole lot of pressure on himself."
Though the Grey Cup week has been relatively quiet for the Bombers, Winnipeg’s final practice of the year didn’t come without some controversy.
Defensive end Odell Willis, unhappy with his role on the club since the club chose to rotate him in and out of the defence in a continued effort to stop the run earlier in the season, has voiced his displeasure on Twitter again.
Willis provided some pointed commentary towards the CFL player’s association, publically voicing his disbelief on being passed over the CFLPA all-star team late Thursday night.
"I don’t care about that," he told reporters. "My resume is proof enough. Thirty-four sacks in three years, I feel like I’m doing good. When you put the film on and check it out, you’re going to see 40 (his number) doing what he’s doing."
This comes after Willis said, again, on Twitter, that he’d rather be at home for Thanksgiving and not at the Grey Cup. It was a noble sentiment, no question, but one that wasn’t sitting well with other players and coaches just days out of Sunday’s matchup with the B.C. Lions.
"I use Twitter to talk to the fans and I know those guys have all different ways that they talk," head coach Paul LaPolice offered, cautiously wording his answers when the subject of Willis came up in the coach’s press conference after the workout. "I haven’t really seen into too much about what he was talking about. I’ll have to research into it."
On the practice field, it looks like Kito Poblah will draw into the lineup as one of the non-import receivers. The rookie has missed most of the season with knee and shoulder injuries. He’ll likely replace Jade Etienne on the active roster, LaPolice said.