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Dirty Bird Blog: Righting The Ship

Posted By Clifford Pine On Aug 4 2011 @ 11:48 am In Montreal Alouettes | 2 Comments

“May you live in interesting times!” — Chinese proverb (or curse)

For the first time in at least 3 years, we are in the midst of a losing streak. Uncharted territory for the Trestman era. But tonight versus the Toronto Argonauts,the Alouettes can get back its winning ways. The Alouettes handled the Argos quite handily a couple weeks ago and with Cory Boyd still on the sidelines and a hit or miss Cleo Lemon starting, one has to feel that this may be just what the doctor ordered for the losing ways to end.

So what’s been going on during this losing streak? How has this team that was able to easily win the way they have lose 2 games in a row? Who’s to blame for this mini-crisis?

The defense has been abysmal…lacking focus & discipline. I’ve lost track how many unnecessary penalties the Als’ D has taken. Everyone talks about Coach Trestman’s message of discipline and how he expects his players to respect the opponent, but this is not getting through. Tim Tibesar, the new Defensive co-ordinator has to help drive home that message.  When he was promoted, the thought was that the players would relate better to him compared to the older Tim Burke.  This defensive unit is essentially the same as last year, except for the addition of Dwight Anderson and the retirement of Matthieu Proulx.  It’s time for guys like John Bowman, Etienne Boulay and Shea Emry to grab a hold of the reins & be the leaders of this unit.

On offense, it all comes down to the quarterback and while Anthony Calvillo’s been doing the work, he’s actually looked human the past 2 games. After being knocked out of the Saskatchewan game with vision problems, AC had a hard time moving the ball during the Hamilton game.  It was as if the Tiger-Cats had solved the riddle of Calvillo.  Yes, the Alouettes in both games did manage to come back but in both cases, it was too little, too late for the offense to put points on the board.

It’s taken a while, but it seems like Sean Whyte has found his form. He’s only had one missed field goal this season. His punting though has left a lot to be desired. He’s given the opposing offense some great field position.  One thing we have to remember and what I keep reminding myself is that this is his first full year as the starting kicker for a CFL team. The reason Montreal chose not to keep Damon Duval was because of his inconsistent kicks in big games. I have a feeling Whyte will do just fine when those big game kicks come his way.

My clear bias aside, I think Montreal is too proud a franchise to drop three games in a row. I think they will take this opportunity to step up and remind the rest of the league that this is still the premier team of the CFL. I see them wanting to erase the last 2 weeks and return to winning like they can do. And if Chip Cox wants to return another fumble for a touchdown, that’s just fine with me.


There were reports after the game last Friday that Dwight Anderson was spitting at Hamilton fans en route to the locker room. Thankfully the CFL has dismissed the report due to lack of conclusive evidence. To the parties responsible for that waste of the league’s time, shame on you. I was going to say that they should concern themselves with their own head cases instead of  fabricating nonsense, but then the Tiger-Cats went and traded Arland Bruce to the B.C. Lions.  Well played.


I’ll be live-tweeting [1] during the game. Feel free to follow along, it’s a tremendous journey.


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