The beaking from Montreal Alouettes linebacker Patrick Levels was heard by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Levels guaranteed a win in the East Semi-Final on Sunday while calling out quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, running back Don Jackson, receiver Brandon Banks and even respected head coach Orlondo Steinauer.
Boisterous star linebacker Simoni Lawrence did not directly respond but found the comments humorous, especially considering Levels signed a contract with the Ticats for the 2020 season that was cancelled.
“I’ll be honest, it makes me laugh. I don’t do that so I don’t know nothing about that. I just let people do what they do, whatever makes people feel good about life, do what’s best for you,” Lawrence said.
“We’re all grown men, some people might not like what he said, but we’re all grown men and we’re going to get the chance to prove whatever on Sunday. It’s one of those things where you gotta show it.”
Hamilton and Montreal met two times during the 2021 regular season, splitting the games with one win each. The Tabbies beat the Als 27-10 in late August at Percival Molson Stadium, but the birds came back to win 23-20 in overtime win in October at Tim Hortons Field. The Ticats posted an 8-6 record, one game ahead of the 7-7 Alouettes in the East Division, which earned them the right to host a playoff game.
“I don’t think it’s bulletin board material, we’re all grown men and we take this stuff very seriously. Every game we go in very serious, whatever somebody says to their team to motivate them, it’s on them,” Lawrence said.
“We’re always going to put our team first, you could feel whatever kind of way you feel about somebody, but it’s a team game and everybody has to buy in and be part of the decisions you make.”
That way of thinking has come from Steinauer and the team has embraced his teachings while recognizing the group of players is made up of grown men who are free to do whatever they want and choose to do. The 48-year-old bench boss elected to keep his message regarding Levels’ words in-house.
“With our football team, how we handle it is for us,” Steinauer said.
“We preach a culture about worrying about us because you can’t really worry about anything external. Any of that white noise outside of this locker room, it really shouldn’t have any affect on us,” Masoli said.
The veteran QB provided a glimpse into the approach inside the walls at the Tiger-Cats facility. Hamilton is on a Grey Cup mission and the black and gold group believe no distractions or obstacles can get in their way as the Ticats focus on playing at home for a CFL championship.
“We let guys do what they wanna do, everybody is a grown man and if they want to say something, they can say something,” Masoli said.
“So if somebody is talking it’s just talk, there is nothing for us to do about it besides show up and execute.”