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Montreal Alouettes

(11-7 in 2008 - 1st in East Division)

General Manager: Jim Popp | Head Coach: Marc Trestman
Offensive Coordinator: Scott Milanovich | Defensive Coordinator: Tim Burke

Video: 2008 Rewind | 2008 Statistics | 2009 Schedule | Team Page


Key Addition: QB Anthony Calvillo - Although he's not an addition per se, the league's Most Outstanding Player was eligible to become a free agent. But GM Jim Popp knows how important he is to the success of the organization and locked him up for another year.

Other Signings and Acquisitions: OL Gurminder Thind, OL Andrew Woodruff, LB Cam Hall, DB Stanford Samuels

Key Deletion: Another Year in Calvillo's Career. As the 36-year-old pivot goes, so go the Alouettes. But with no heir apparent in the offing, the window of opportunity to win another Grey Cup closes with each passing year.

Other Releases and Deletions: QB Marcus Brady, OL Luke Fritz, OL Jeff Keeping, OL Dave Mudge, WR Dave Stala, DB Donovan Alexander, DB Khalil Carter, DL Devone Claybrooks, DB Shawn Gallant

Matt Dunigan's Quarterback Analysis: The Als have put most of their eggs in one basket! With the exception of Brad Banks, the Als don't have experienced QBs waiting in the wings if their talented reigning MOP Anthony Calvillo goes down. Their most experienced QB behind AC, Marcus Brady is now the receiver coach. Yikes! Enter Adrian McPherson, Chris Leak, Ricky Santos and the aforementioned Banks. McPherson was the short yardage specialist in '08. He showed signs of being productive in those situations and will continue to be used in that context. Adrian has the inside track on holding AC's clipboard all season! Banks needs to play and has been in the CFL since '04. I'd be ready to explode being around that long and only seeing limited action and I'm sure Brad holds similar sentiments. Plenty of arms in camp for the Als that should do wonders for AC in keeping him from taxing his arm too much during preseason. Know this, there is certainly plenty of previously decorated talent and potential lined up behind #13 and offensive coordinator Scott Milanovich will have 'em ready.

Jock Climie's Offensive Analysis: The Als' receiving corps developed into a highly productive unit last year, thanks to the varied skill set each member brings to the table. They are of course led by Ben Cahoon, who continues to pile up the catches against defences. Remarkably, he can still make it happen on critical passing downs even when the defence knows the ball is coming to him. The Alouettes' deep threat is Jamel Richardson, who emerged as one of the league's most dangerous vertical receivers last year. Rounding out the starting four is the very solid Kerry Watkins, along Brian Bratton who continues to improve. Naturally, so long as Anthony Calvillo is slinging the pigskin, the Als can expect to have the best passing attack in the East. In fact, now that Marc Trestman has had an entire off-season to scheme, they will likely vie for the top spot in the entire CFL. The running game rests squarely on the shoulders of Avon Cobourne. The Als were not the same without him in the lineup last year. With defences naturally focused on stopping the Alouettes aerial attack, expect to see Cobourne rack up some big numbers, both rushing and catching out of the backfield.

Glen Suitor's Defensive Analysis: Not surprisingly, the two teams that played in the Grey Cup game in November are the only two teams in the league that are not rebuilding their defences heading into the season. Montreal finished second behind Calgary in run defence last year and second behind the Stamps in points allowed. But there is always room for improvement and for Montreal, it may be in their pass defence, where they ranked seventh in 2008. Last season, Montreal had the most underrated front four in the CFL. While all attention was focused on the B.C. Lions' defensive line and Cam Wake, the Als' front four, led by Anwar Stewart and Keron Williams, quietly racked up 43 sacks on the year. This front four is intact in '09 and will likely get a lot more press this year and deserve it. A healthy Davis Sanchez all year will strengthen the secondary, put there may be some competition in camp in a couple of spots in the back end. If Montreal can improve their interception totals and pass defence, they should be a dominant unit all around in 2009.

Duane Forde's Canadian Content: It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that the best team in the East also has the best homegrown talent in the division. Need proof? In 2008, slotback Ben Cahoon led the CFL with 107 receptions, guard Scott Flory was named the league's Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman, and four of the Alouettes' five O-Line starters were Eastern All-Stars. Defensively, Montreal boasts a ratio breaker in cornerback Davis Sanchez as well as safeties Mathieu Proulx and Etienne Boulay, who also happen to be the last two non-imports to be finalists for the CFL's Rookie of the Year award. Enough said.

Chris Schultz's Overview: The best CFL team over the last decade has been the Montreal Alouettes. Six times they have made it to the Grey Cup Game, significantly more than any other team. But they have only won one Grey Cup and that has to be frustrating for the organization. Personally, I think pain is an excellent motivator. Often we will do more to avoid awkward situations than confront them but it's not Marc Trestman's approach to live in the past in order to enhance the future. More...

What Makes Them Good? General manager Jim Popp has a great ability to find talent allowing the franchise to constantly reload. And rookie head coach Marc Trestman instilled a strong work ethic that impressed many around the league last year.

What Makes Them Vulnerable? Future Hall of Fame quarterback Anthony Calvillo is another year older. The Los Angeles native will turn 37 before Labour Day and the pressure will be on the offensive line to keep their meal ticket on his feet. 

Coach Trestman Says... "I'm looking forward to a big season this year. We have a lot of great returning players and the new guys will be expected to step up and make a name for themselves as well." -

2008 Statistics

Total 584 63 429 324 114
Rank 1st 1st 1st 2nd 5th

Total 423 42 396 318 100
Rank 2nd 2nd 6th 7th 2nd

2008 Team Leaders

Player, Total Jamal Richardson, 16
* Led the league
Jamal Richardson, 1287 Avon Cobourne, 950

Player, Total T.J. Hill, 84 Keron Williams, 10 Davis Sanchez, 3
Reggie Hunt, 3

2009 Draft Picks

Rd Player Position School
1 Dylan Steenbergen OL Calgary
2 Martin Bedard TE Connecticut
2 Matt Singer OL Manitoba
3 Nikolas Morin-Soucy DL Montreal
4 Stan Van Sichem DL Regina
4 Ivan Brown DL Saskatchewan
5 Benoit Boulanger RB Sherbrooke
6 Ryan Mousseau C Concordia

CFL Feature

CFL on TSN analyst Paul LaPolice opens his playbook and breaks down key plays from each week's games. More...

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