Lions safety Muamba 'growing up' 0
Cauchy Muamba isn't typically the first player that comes to mind when talking about the B.C. Lions defence.
There already happens to be a long list of outspoken and proven difference-makers hogging all the spotlight in the backfield.
The likes of Dante Marsh, Ryan Phillips and Korey Banks have been the face of the Leos' defence for the last half-dozen years. Fellow veterans Anton McKenzie, Lin-J Shell, Byron Parker and Keron Williams have also made a name for themselves across the league.
Even rising talents like linebacker Adam Bighill and defensive tackle Khalif Mitchell have made headlines over the past weeks.
Now it's Muamba's turn.
The 25-year-old safety was named the CFL's Canadian Player of the Week Tuesday after a stellar performance against the Saskatchewan Roughriders Sunday, becoming the fourth Lion to be given that honour this season. He had two interceptions for a combined 16 return yards and one tackle.
"It means a lot," Muamba said. "Right now my confidence is high, and I just want to do the same thing coming into this week."
Drafted in 2010 out of St. Francis Xavier University, the first-year starter is finally coming into his own. So far this season he has 15 tackles but his performance over the weekend was the best in his short career so far. Having a plethora of experienced defenders around him has certainly helped his progress.
"It's a luxury," Muamba said. "It's like having coaches on the field with you. They know what they're doing and they know what I'm supposed to do. The more I listen to them, the more plays I make. I got no pressure and I'm just having fun out there right now."
One of the more vocal guides for the Congo-born non-import is cornerback Marsh, who first joined the Lions in 2004.
"He's had a great skill set since Day 1,'' Marsh said. "I tell him the story (former Lion) Carl Kidd used to always tell me, 'You're amazing dude. Do what you do in practice and in these drills in the game. You got all-star guys in front of you, all you got to do is relax and do what you're supposed to do.' He's growing up in front of your eyes."
When the Lions visit the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Friday, Muamba will be playing against younger brother Henoc - a linebacker who also had a big week with two forced fumbles and two tackles against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
The brothers speak every week but Cauchy doesn't plan on doing any trash-talking, or so he says.
"Bragging rights?" he said. "It'll be good to have a good game, but I won't stick it into him. I have the Grey Cup already."