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Dakota Prukop on Montreal’s Linebacker Blitzing, Grey Cup Preparations

1 on 1 interview with Winnipeg Blue Bombers Quarterback, Dakota Prukop. Conducted Saturday at Tim Hortons Field ahead of Grey Cup.

Could you speak a little bit about when you came back to the bombers after you were in the USFL?

“Yeah. It was great. You know I got to come up here, I felt like, obviously I was in midseason form in terms of just I’ve been playing and feeling comfortable and just taking snaps, and so it’s cool to step right back in. But the best thing was getting back up here with this team of guys that I knew and, you know I just really enjoyed playing with. So it was a real cool experience to get back up here and just kind of the welcome open arms of all my teammates, was glad everything worked out the way it did.”

What are your thoughts on Montreal’s pass defense throughout the regular season? They had the fewest yards per attempt allowed. When you watch them what do you see and what comes to your mind?

“Yeah. I mean, no surprise. You know, Coach Thorpe, someone I’ve played on teams where he was the defensive coordinator, and, he’s, an amazing defensive coordinator and I’ve got a lot of respect for him and as our offense does.”

“And, you know getting to play on the biggest stage of Canadian football against what we feel to be the best defense outside of our team is a treat. You know, you wanna play against the best, for the best game. So, we’re not surprised at all that we’re facing these guys, and it’s been a fun week of gameplay.”

What do you think of Montreal’s usage of the linebacker blitzing, and how is Winnipeg preparing for that?

“Yeah it’s great. Again, Thorpe. You know, you always know you’re gonna get some real unique and Cool box play from him with the way he uses his linebackers, and he has a lot of versatile guys, which allows him to do a lot of different things. You know, we have in our offensive line room and their ability to make in game adjustments Just gives us a lot of confidence in the quarterback room that, you know, we know that they’re gonna throw some unique things at us, and we’ll make our Our adjustments will be alright.”

The other aspect of the game, the ground game. Montreal held the running back to under 4 yards per carry on 8 of his 12 rushes Last week. How important is it for the run game to be maintained?

“Yeah. I mean it’s a staple of, you know, good championship-level football’s being able to win the battle at the line of scrimmage. And our offensive line knows that they have a tough task ahead of them this week, and that’s what they’re excited for. They’re excited to meet that challenge. And I’m excited to be a part of the run game and help them achieve that goal.”

How do you prepare for a game as a game in which you’re not the 1st stringer? How do you fight, sort of the human brain tries to be lazy. How do you avoid the complacency of, there’s a chance that I might not be throwing passes, so I don’t need to be as prepared?

“Yeah. Well, we have a versatile package for me and things we’ve been actually working on all year. And so we have unique things set up that I can I can use my legs or my arm right. But specifically to your question about how do you stay prepared. You know, Coach O’Shea talks a lot about having a consistent process.”

“At this stage and with this many games under my belt, especially as a backup. You know, I just have a process I stick to and a routine that, if you stick to that week in and week out, no matter the result, it’s something you can always fall back on to make sure you stay ready.”

Other Interviews ahead of the Grey Cup:
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
: K Sergio Castillo, DE Willie Jefferson, QB Dakota Prukop, RB Brady Oliveira
Montreal Alouettes: LB Tyrice Beverette, LB Reggie Stubblefield, DT Mustafa Johnson, K David Côté, DE Shawn Lemon, CB Kabion Ento

Reading Suggestions:
How Montreal Can Beat Winnipeg in the Grey Cup: Eight Keys to Victory
CFL Western Final Film Takeaways
CFL Eastern Final Film Takeaways
Other Articles:
BC Lions’ Tibo Debaillie Interview Ahead of West Division Finals
Reflecting on the CFL West Semi-Finals
Alouettes’ Jeshrun Antwi Interview Ahead of East Finals
East Semi-Finals Reflections
Alouettes’ Reggie Stubblefield Interview Ahead of East Semi-Finals
BC Lions’ Tibo Debaillie Ahead of CFL West Semi-Finals
Predicting the Rest of the CFL Season
CFL 2nd Period All-Star Team (Weeks 8-14)
CFL Midseason All-Star Team, Awards
First Period CFL and Divisional All-Stars
@JonathanClink on Twitter

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Jonathan Clink Reporter
Jonathan Clink joined CFL News Hub in early April of 2023. His primary responsibilities are covering the BC Lions and Montreal Alouettes. He self awarded himself the CFL Rookie Journalist of the Year in 2023 following the 2023 CFL season. He also proclaims himself to be a "really cool guy". He was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and lived a large portion of his childhood in Northwest Ontario. He currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan and misses being being able to have 4 months of skating every winter. Clink has written over 240 articles for CFL News Hub. He was the publication's boots on the ground at the 2023 Grey Cup in Hamilton. Clink has always had an obsession for sport and has a background in other sports as well having played hockey all his life and soccer, basketball, and lacrosse in high school. As a young child he used to log his hockey statistics after every game which is either an indication that he was destined for the role or perhaps and indication that he is rather strange.
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