Veteran Edmonton Elks national offensive lineman Matt O’Donnell is an angry man.
His unit allowed quarterback Trevor Harris to be sacked seven times in the Labour Day Classic rematch loss to the Calgary Stampeders in Week 6.
“We take the sh*t seriously, sorry for swearing but pretty pissed off about it. We didn’t do a good job of keeping Trevor clean. That’s on us, everything starts up front. Versus a four man rush, we didn’t step up enough,” O’Donnell said.
“To make the offence go we gotta make sure he stays clean. They embarrassed us, I’ll say it plainly: they embarrassed us. Inside out, top to bottom, however you want to put it, they embarrassed us.”
Shawn Lemon and Stefan Banks each had three sacks on Harris while Mike Rose had one in the 32-16 win over Edmonton. Next up for the Elks: the best defensive end in the league, Willie Jefferson travels to the Alberta capital on Saturday.
“Their difference-maker, their leader, their playmaker, he’s definitely their guy. Willie Jefferson is the best defensive player in the league as you guys saw in 2019 — defensive player of the year,” O’Donnell said.
“He’s a great player, brings it on every single play, rushing the quarterback, trying to stop the run, swatting balls down, you gotta make sure you get after him every single play and try and take a piece off him.”
Jefferson leads the best defence in the CFL which has allowed a league-low 76 points, 12.6 per game. Edmonton has scored the least amount of points in the West Division, 94 total and 18.8 per game.
“Up front starts and ends with us — run game, pass game, the offence. We gotta add some more meeting time, more weight room time, more time on the field, more communication,” O’Donnell said.
“We have a great team coming in this week and we gotta put up or shut up. We gotta make sure we come out with that swagger and play physical.”