WINNIPEG — Both the Ottawa RedBlacks and the Edmonton Eskimos took their final walkthrough on Saturday at Investors Group Field. The only thing left is to actually play the big game on Sunday.
“I think everyone is excited to get it going,” RedBlacks head coach Rick Campbell said.
The hard work is done and players are itching to get on with it after talking the talk for the past five days.
“We’ve been watching so much film,” RedBlacks quarterback Henry Burris said. “We’ve been over the game plan numerous times. It’s just time to get on the field now and put it all to work now.”
The Eskimos have won all four meetings in Ottawa’s first two seasons in the league, but the RedBlacks roster actually has more Grey Cup experience. Ottawa defensive back Jovon Johnson will be appearing in his third Grey Cup game after winning one with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and losing the other with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
“I kinda know what to expect. But at the end of the days it’s just the next game. It’s usually blown out of proportion because of what’s at stake.” Johnson said. “We got one game and one job and that’s to win.”
But now it’s on the biggest stage. Players will try to go through their same routines but Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly admitted there will be some butterflies.
“We’re robots man.” Reilly joked. “We’re just like everybody else. We get nervous but we try not to show it.”
The Eskimos had the league’s top ranked defense this past season with the RedBlacks right behind them but the 103rd Grey Cup may very well come down to the play of the two quarterbacks. Reilly is trying to win a second ring, but first as a starter after being the third stringer behind Travis Lulay in 2011 with the B.C. Lions.
“He’s a winner.” Eskimos head coach Chris Jones said. “It wouldn’t matter if we went out and played nine hole golf or putt-put golf or soccer or whatever he’s playing he’s going to try and beat you.”
The Eskimos starting lineup remains unchanged, while the RedBlacks are making one change with Brandon Sermons getting the start at cornerback with Jerrell Gavins injured.
The RedBlacks are attempting to become just the second team since 1948 to go from a two win season to Grey Cup champion.
RAW: Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell and QB Henry Burris media conference
“After all we’ve been through since we’ve been apart of building this organization up. We’ve came a long ways in a year.” Burris said. “It’s been a long time since anything with the name Ottawa in professional football in the CFL has been in the big game like this.”
The last time an Ottawa football team won the Grey Cup was back in 1976.
“All it takes is winning one to truly set the world on fire.” Burris said.
WATCH: RAW Jovon Johnson interview after Saturday’s walkthrough