Hamilton Tiger Cats Simoni Lawrence celebrates his sack against the Saskatchewan Roughriders during second half CFL football game action in Hamilton, Ont. on Thursday, June 13, 2019. Lawrence is knows as one of the best trash talkers in the CFL. But he says most of the league's quarterbacks don't bother to retort. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power

Ticats linebacker Lawrence says most CFL quarterbacks are quiet on the field

Ticats linebacker Lawrence says most CFL quarterbacks are quiet on the field

Bo Levi Mitchell has a future in the media once his career is over.

On Thursday during a Grey Cup Unite videoconference call with Saskatchewan quarterback Cody Fajardo and Hamilton linebacker Simoni Lawrence, the star Calgary Stampeders QB simply took over.

Following on Fajardo’s sentiment that if the CFL plays in 2021 that the opening game will be intense, Mitchell immediately turned his attention to the colourful Lawrence, who’s long been regarded as the league’s top trash talker.

“If you all thought Simoni talked a lot before, wait until that first game he gets out there,” Mitchell said. “Hey Simoni, let me ask you something.

“Every year you get voted best trash talker. So you have a lot of interaction with other players while trash talking, right? Who’s the worst? Who comes up with absolutely the worst replies to you?”

And before a visibly surprised Simoni could answer, Mitchell offered one of his own.

“It’s got to be a quarterback because we’re terrible at talking trash,” he said.

A smiling Fajardo agreed.

“I can’t say words,” he quipped.

When Lawrence chimed in, he said while he enjoys trying to talk Mitchell up, he generally stays away from it. Generally, though, quarterbacks turn a blind eye — or in this case ear — to Lawrence’s on-field chatter.

“Honestly, no quarterbacks really ever talk back,” Lawrence said. “I like messing with you (Mitchell) but I just stay away from you because, like, I know that, the gene, you got in you.

“You’ve just got to know your person, really. Nobody really talks back like that.”

Mitchell followed up by asking Lawrence if that includes the six-foot-three, 230-pound Mike Reilly, who has rushed for over 3,300 yards over 10 CFL seasons. But Lawrence said Reilly has never talked much.

However, Lawrence gushed about Chris Streveler, the former Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback who’s now with the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals.

“The Streveler kid, that’s why I love playing against him … because he’s one of those guys that really loves football,” Lawrence said. He’ll take everything that comes with it, I’m talking about ducking the shoulder and all that.

“But Mike doesn’t say much. I mean, Mike gets paid, he just chills.”

But when the conversation turned to Hamilton and the city hosting the 2021 Grey Cup, Lawrence spoke glowingly about his second home. The 31-year-old native of Upper Darby, Pa., has spent seven of his eight CFL seasons with the Ticats after playing with Edmonton in 2012.

“If everything pulls through the way it’s supposed to, the 2021 Grey Cup in Hamilton will be legendary,” Lawrence said. “It’s probably one of the funnest cities, low-key cities that you’re going to have fun in and the fans are nuts.

“A lot of small businesses in Hamilton would love to have it. We’ve got a lot of local suburbs outside of Hamilton as well that would all just partake and eat it all up. It’ll probably be one of the best Grey Cups in history.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 20, 2020.

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press

CFL

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