Als’ LB Patrick Levels guarantees win over Hamilton, calls out Ticats players & head coach

Photo courtesy: Dominick Gravel/Alouettes de Montreal

Montreal Alouettes’ strong-side linebacker Patrick Levels spoke to the media on Monday and did not mince words ahead of Sunday’s East Semi-Final against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

“We will win in Hamilton. Stamp it, put it as big as you need to put it. Black it out, ‘We coming: Montreal Alouettes, see you soon, can’t wait!'” said Levels via videoconference. “We’re here and I’m standing front-line, so if y’all got anything to say, I’m here and I’m going to stand on what I said.”

Montreal and Hamilton met twice in the regular season, splitting the games with one win apiece. The Ticats beat the Als by a score of 27-10 in late August before Montreal exacted their revenge with a 23-20 overtime win in early October.

“My boys are going to rally behind me, I promise you. (William) Stanback running through them boys like a running back. Defence, we’re on fire,” said Levels. “(Jeremiah) Masoli, come see me. Brandon Banks, come see me. I’m calling people out. Don Jackson, come see me. Coach O (Orlando Steinauer), come see me!”

Stanback finished the season as the CFL’s leading rusher, recording 193 carries for 1,176 yards and three touchdowns. He was held mostly in check in the two regular season outings against the Ticats, averaging just 4.1 yards per carry — two full yards below his season-long average of 6.1.

Levels admitted that the team was hoping to clinch a first-round bye heading into the postseason — the Toronto Argonauts ended up doing so at 9-5 — but said they have adopted a “road warrior” mentality.

“The season’s just getting started, baby. You go 1-0 every week and then y’all don’t talk about the regular season anymore. If Winnipeg doesn’t win the Grey Cup, nobody cares about them going 11-3, 9-0. Nothing matters except for right now,” said Levels.

“We went 7-7 — average record for the season, but we built ourselves through all those ups and downs. If you know how to fall down and get back up, that’s a lot more valuable to me than always being on top, then getting slapped in the face when the playoffs come and you don’t know how to respond.”

The Als had the opportunity to force Hamilton to beat Saskatchewan this past week to clinch second place in the East Division, but failed to do so with a loss against Ottawa. Levels is ready to move on from the loss to the Redblacks and focus on the postseason.

“We didn’t have control of our own destiny no matter what happened in that game. We’re not going to dwell on it, we’re not going to think twice about it. Honestly, I should have had a pick-six to the crib and then we wouldn’t even be talking about this. We’re on to Hamilton and we’ll see them boys in a couple days,” said Levels.

“We’re a team that can’t be beat. The only way we can be beat is if we beat ourselves and that comes off of turnover, penalties, and explosion plays being taken away,” he said. “Get ready for a show.”