Interview with Tibo Debaillie, defensive tackle of the BC Lions. Discussing the upcoming matchup against the Calgary Stampeders in the West Semi-Finals. Topics include the game day preparations as well as thoughts on certain Stampeders players and if that impacts how the team prepares to play Calgary. Conducted on November 2nd.
Tibo Debaillie has been a key element of the BC Lions’ interior defensive line playing at nose tackle and defensive tackle. On the season, Tibo has 14 tackles and a sack. While his presence on the stat sheet may not pop out he has played at a high level at his position and at times has been in a rotational role. He has been recognized for his level of play in being named to the Pro Football Focus Team of the Week 3 separate times this season.
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The East Semi-Final will be played on November 4 at 3 PM EST (12 PM PST) The game will be broadcast on TSN in Canada and will be available to stream for free outside of Canada through the link below.
The West Semi-Final will be played on November 4 at 6:30 PM EST (3:30 PM PST) The game will be broadcast on TSN in Canada and will be available to stream for free outside of Canada through the link below.
Did you do anything fun for Halloween? Any team costume parties?
“Not really to be honest. I’ve never really been a big fan of the whole Halloween thing. Like I don’t like any scary movies or whatever. And it’s not that big in Belgium either so I didn’t really do anything.”
With BC’s season ending on a low note losing at home to Calgary 41-16, do you feel like ending the season on such a low note could in a way be a positive in the sense that there’s less room for complacency?
“Yeah for sure, we have to make sure that we bring our a-game to this game. The last game didn’t really matter to us and it meant everything to them so they definitely brought their A-Game and it showed up in the end at the score.”
In the last game discipline was an issue with a a couple of unnecessary penalties taken by players. Do you confidently feel like the team will be more disciplined this week?
“Yeah. For sure. You know, this is, it’s very uncharacteristic of us to do stuff like that. You know, what happened happened, and we can’t we can’t we can’t change it. But, yeah, which is very uncharacteristic of us, and it won’t happen again.”
When we spoke last you mentioned your girlfriend is from Calgary. Is there any kind of family controversy with you playing her hometown team?
“No not at all. Her family here is a big hockey family. So they’re all in on the flames, so, there’s no controversy. And she’s actually coming over game as well as she’s bringing herr brother as well. So it’s gonna be a great time.”
BC with home-field advantage, obviously, huge in football, but do you think in a way that there’s less pressure for the visiting team?
“I wouldn’t say so. Playing in our stadium I know for opposing offenses it’s really loud. It’s a really loud environment because outside the really, really loud, and it’s a dome. So, I think for the offenses it’s definitely harder to play in our stadium.”
If you were Calgary’s head coach, what do you think is the most dangerous element of BC that you would wanna diminish?
“I’d probably say our explosive offense. Our offense is really fast. You know it’s gonna be a problem throughout the whole game. We’ve seen that a lot this year, where our offense just scores very quickly, and they just keep it rolling throughout the whole game.”
Do you and the rest of the defense prepare differently in regards to Defending against Calgary’s run game given that they have, 2 running backs who’ve shown that they’re very skilled in Diedrich Mills and Kadeem Carey?
“No, we focus more, coach RP and coach Bo always says to focus on nothing- it doesn’t matter what they do. it matters what we do, and we know that they want us to have a big day on defense. So that’s all we worry about and setting the tone. We’ve done it plenty of times this season, so we just gotta do it again against Calgary.”
What do you think of this statement? I have a feeling that the Grey Cup winner is gonna be the team that week. Is the best combination of run-stopping and running the football through the playoffs.
“If you as an offense, you begin to just keep pushing the ball or ball down and down their throat, especially if you’re ahead. It’s gonna be really hard. And if as a defense, you can stop the run. You’re gonna have a chance to get to the quarterback.”
What do you think of Calgary’s defensive side of the ball? With you being a defensive player there, any players to you that stand out?
“Yeah. Of course, like, we have Micah Awe. He’s a really good linebacker, very aggressive, knows what he’s doing. Reads the offense really well. He’s all over the field. So, that’s definitely somebody that they’re gonna have to watch out for.”
What do you think of Calgary’s passing game?
“Well, if you if you look at the last 3 games, we played in, they don’t really have a lot of passing yards. It’s more like especially last game too. Just a lot of checkdowns because there’s nothing open. A lot of checkdowns. So we’ll see how it goes, because we have one of the best DB cores in the league. So we’ll see how it goes.”
And leads to my next question. Jake Mayer, seems to have a tendency to get rid of the ball quickly with short passes like you were just saying. Do you think that that requires a higher level of play out of the pass rush?
“He does get rid of the ball really quick which makes it harder for for us to get back to him. But, we’re gonna we’re gonna do our best to get there as fast as possible. We know that about him that he likes to get rid of the ball quick. So if we can stop the run, make them hold the ball it’s gonna be a great game for our defense.”
How do you prepare for a game mentally with the pressures of it being a win-or-go-home type of game?
“We just like, for me personally, I just play this game as any other game. I’ll go a 100% all out. And if we win the game, that’s good. If we don’t, I at least know that I’ve done everything that I can to maximize every opportunity on the field. You can’t you can’t really let the hype of this game get to your head so much because then he’s gonna be nervous and maybe do something wrong on the field or whatever. So they’re just approaching it every other game.”
Do you have any playoff superstitions?
“No. Every game I do the same. I do have some superstitions but not I’m not gonna change it for the playoffs. It’s just every game I do my pregame warm-up, which is the same every game. So, that’s about it.”
What kind of music are you listening to before the game?
“Music, usually I listen to rap and rocker music like Metallica.”
Any specific song that you’re gonna play before this one?
“For Whom the Bell Tolls. I love that song by Metallica. You know, I’m blanking out now, but there’s a couple of great Metallica.”
Spinning off to looking at the other side of the league, who do you think is gonna win the game between Montreal and Hamilton?
“I think that’s gonna be a great battle too. I’m gonna have to go with Hamilton because I know JB’s, a great running back. And if we can’t stop JB, it’s gonna be hard to win that game. Definitely gonna be a battle. Gonna be a great game.”
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