Canada….ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?!
Only one day left until the Montreal Alouettes take to the field for their first pre-season game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. This is the chance for fans to have some questions answered regarding what team will be on the field for the home opener. Questions like:
1. Who replaces Avon Cobourne in the backfield?
- According to Marc Trestman, the lead running back position was Brandon Whitaker’s to lose. Of all the RBs in camp, he had the inside edge of knowing the system in Montreal & what is expected of the Trestman regime. But true to form, no spot on the roster is guaranteed. Ahman Green was touted to be a threat until he showed up to camp injured. Emmanuel Marc & Yvenson Bernard were cast aside from those same Blue Bombers they play this Thursday & have a sort of friendly rivalry in camp to see who’ll be called upon. One of those two will have to step up to the next level.
2. Who kicks the ball?
- Will it be the former Lion that Jim Popp gambled next year’s first round draft pick on or the former Ti-Cat that was a last minute invite to camp? Both Sean Whyte & Sandro DeAngelis are determined to be the guy in Montreal that handle all kicking duties. Unlike the RBs, apparently both kickers are as far apart as possible, rarely interacting with each other. Both will get playing time on Thursday & both have the potential to excel.
3. Who’s catching the passes from Adrian McPherson?
There’s no doubt that Anthony Calvillo won’t even be dressed for the game. But he’ll be watching not only his backups QBs McPherson & Ricky Santos, but also who’ll be catching his passes when he does throw them. His standbys Jamel Richardson & Kerry Watkins won’t be playing due to injury, as well as possible Ben Cahoon replacement Danny Deriveaux. So look for S.J. Green & Brian Bratton to be the leading deep threats as well as youngsters Brandon London & Bo Bowling, both whom have impressed at camp. Prechae Rodriguez may not get reps right away, but I know redemption is on his mind. I’d say this is make it or break it time for the young veteran.
These & other questions will hopefully be answered in the next 2 games; Thursday vs. Winnipeg & next Wednesday vs. the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. This year for the first time, TSN & TSN2 will be showing the pre-season CFL games. But if you get a chance, go check the game out live. Yes, it doesn’t count in the standings and casual fans will be disappointed to see the superstars on the sidelines. But if you really want to see where your team is going as far as player development & depth goes, the pre-season games are a great window to that.
I’ll be back Friday with my thoughts on the first preseason game. Before I head off, two things for Alouettes fans:
- L’Equipeur was the offical supplier of Alouettes gear, but that seems to be on the way out & the team will handle the merchandise themselves. So right now all the L’Equpieur stores in Quebec are deeply discounting their remaining Alouettes merchandise. I’ve seen shirts, caps & jerseys at 50% off. So get ‘em while they’re hot!
- On the Alouettes web site, there’s a neat little message from Alouettes DE John Bowman giving a little shoutout to the fans. I think that gives the fans a personal aspect & reinforces the fan friendliness of the CFL & its teams. I’m also hoping that the Alouettes take more initiative to reaching out to all its fans. We may not have the volume of fans that teams like Saskatchewan do, but there’s no reason we can’t be at their level one day. Lord knows if Montrealers can be passionate about the Canadiens, they can be just as passionate about a championship team like our Alouettes!
Enjoy the game on Thursday, I’ll be live-tweeting my thoughts during the game so feel free to follow along: (@CliffyD)
GO ALS GO!
About the Author
Written by Clifford Pine
Montreal born & bred, lover of sports. Passionate about the Montreal Alouettes. Also a great cook & not too bad a dancer.