Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 9)

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The Montreal Alouettes have been a team of change over the last few years with two of their biggest pieces leaving the team.

The Alouettes were one of the most dominant teams in recent years as they continued to stay at the top of the East for years.

The biggest part of that dominance was the pair of quarterback Anthony Calvillo and head coach Marc Trestman.

Calvillo had come to the team after struggling as a member of the Las Vegas Posse and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

He signed with the Alouettes in 1998 and began a career that put him as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game.

Despite winning the 2002 Grey Cup his career never really took off until he was joined with Trestman who was hired as the head coach in 2008.

From that point on Trestman and Calvillo made the greatest coach-quarterback tandem in the CFL.

They kept the Als at the top of the division for years and took home two Grey Cups together.

Then after the 2012 season Trestman made the decision to leave the CFL and take over as the head coach of the Chicago Bears.

The year later turned out to be the last year of their star quarterback as Calvillo retired after the 2013 season.

Since the two pillars of the franchise left Montreal there has been a seemingly endless rotation both at head coach and quarterback.

The Als replaced Trestman with a successful NCAA coach in Dan Hawkins who looked to be a good fit in the Canadian game.

He came into the league excited to handle the motion and the intricacies of the new game he was set to coach.

He won his first game as head coach, largely thanks to the fact that Calvillo remained with the team that year.

Still the Als struggled to get much going and started the season at 2-3. The record was not what the Als were used to and so Hawkins was out as the Als fired their coach after only five games and was replaced by general manager Jim Popp.

The moved worked for the time being as they finished third in the east and made the playoffs but lost in the semi-finals.

Then in 2014 the Als went into the season without Calvillo and without a head coach.

They looked for a replacement in a constant rotation between Tanner Marsh, Alex Brink, and eventually Jonathan Crompton. On the sidelines the Als had found a new coach as Tom Higgins took over from Popp.football-sidebar

The season did not start out well as the rotating quarterbacks led to a 1-7 record in the first half of the season.

After that Jonathan Crompton took over and Higgins job was saved as the Als won eight of their last ten games to make the playoffs.

They lost in the east final but it seemed like the search for the replacements was over as Crompton solidified his spot in the starter’s role and Higgins seemed to be the solution on the sidelines.

2015 has been another testing year as the Alouettes lost Crompton and back-up Dan Lefevour to start the season.

Rakeem Cato has proven to be a good option but they still only won two games through the first eight weeks of the season.

Week 9 they got back to winning in beating the Lions but the bad start to the season had already taken its toll.

After the Alouettes beat the Lions the changes continued as Jim Popp announced that Tom Higgins was no longer the head coach.

It has followed the pattern of this team over the last few years as they continue to make changes in an attempt to find the success that they had so recently.

Jim Popp will take over once again as the head coach while the organization tries to figure things out as the halfway point of the season approaches.

The Alouettes are a team that seems to be doomed by their recent success as the organization is one that wants success now and is not willing to wait.

The firing of Higgins is the continuation of pattern and if it goes any further the team may be in danger of a period of inconsistency that won’t help them win another Grey Cup.

Fourth Down:
(Thoughts on Week 9 in the CFL)

The New Class
This week marked the introduction of a new Canadian Football Hall of Fame class as the a new group of legends and great contributors got their time in the limelight earning their own busts among the greatest people who Canadian Football has ever known

Simmons Finds a Home
Jasper Simmons did not seem to fit into the Calgary Stampeders scheme but last year’s defensive player of the year nominee from Ottawa found a new home quickly signing with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Calvillo Moving up
With the firing of Tom Higgins the Alouettes’ coaching staff was shaken up and one of those moves was with one of their legends as Anthony Calvillo went from being the receivers coach to the quarterbacks coach in the change


Week 9 Scores:
Montreal Alouettes 23 – 13 BC Lions
– The Alouettes have not been a great team throughout the year but they travelled to BC and ended a long streak as they were able to get by the Lions in their first win in four weeks and their first win at BC Place in 15 years

Hamilton Tiger-Cats 49 – 20 Edmonton Eskimos
– The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are on a different level right now as they have beat all comers in the last five games but have done it with massive score differentials and that continued against a good defensive team in Edmonton as every wonders when and how the Tabies can be stopped

Calgary Stampeders 34 – 31 Saskatchewan Roughriders
– The Roughriders once again looked like they were in line for their first win of the season but once again they failed to pull it out as a last second field goal gave the Stamps a win and kept the Riders without a win this season

Toronto Argonauts 30 – 24 Ottawa REDBLACKS
– The Argos are not making it easy for themselves as they once again got off to a slow start and began the fourth quarter behind but found a way to win as the defence tightened up at the right time and Trevor Harris led them to another win

Week 10 Matchups:
Montreal Alouettes vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Thursday August 27th; 7:30 pm ET)
– The Montreal Alouettes head into a new week with a new head coach in Jim Popp and potentially Crompton under centre but they have a massive hill to climb in the Ti-Cats who have yet to lose at Tim Hortons Field and have been putting up massive deficits for five weeks

Toronto Argonauts vs. Edmonton Eskimos (Friday August 28th; 9:00 pm ET)
– The Argonauts are heading to Edmonton for their second matchup this year and the Eskimos are looking for revenge after being embarrassed in the season opener by the Argos and have some extra motivation after a poor performance in Week 9

Calgary Stampeders vs. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Saturday August 29th; 6:00 pm ET)
– The Bombers have had a week to think about where their team is as they head into an important game against the Stamps looking to end a two-game losing streak while the Stamps try to extend their lead in the West

Saskatchewan Roughriders vs. Ottawa REDBLACKS (Sunday August 30th; 4:00 pm ET)
– The Riders are once again looking for their first win of the season after coming so close for so many weeks and they try to take on the REDBLACKS in a sold out TD Place as the REDBLACKS try to keep up in the east division race

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