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Long-time Montreal Alouettes defensive end John Bowman sat down with RDS’s Éric Leblanc (@eleblancRDS) to discuss some memorable moments from his time in Montreal.
Top three teammates
“This is hard because I’ve been around 14 years I’ve probably had 1,000-plus teammates.”
Anwar Stewart – When I first got to Montreal in 2006 he took me under and said, ‘you may be the next up-and-coming guy so let me show you the ins and outs, what to do and what not to do, how to keep your head above water because Montreal, if you go unsupervised, is a dangerous city.”
Anthony Calvillo – Consummate professional, always on. Battling cancer himself, his wife battling cancer. His upbringing … to becoming one of the best quarterbacks in all of football period. It’s a great story.
Billy Parker – A guy who gets no credit whatsoever, any time. I can’t say he single-handedly won us a Grey Cup but made sure we won a Grey Cup, big interception in the game. Again, from humble background, turned himself into a professional athlete.
Editor’s note: Parker had interceptions in both Alouettes’ wins in the 97th and 98th Grey Cup.
Top three players you played with
Ben Cahoon – Toughest guy. I’ve seen this guy get whacked and just get up … Best hands I’ve ever seen on anybody in the world. He did a cartwheel in practice and caught a ball.
Chip Cox – Athlete! There was nothing Chip couldn’t do. Top three fastest guys I’ve ever played with. He looks the same from 2006 from when we came in the CFL. Scuplted, super fast, smart, always competitive. We’ve had our run-ins, just because our egos, but as a football player, there was not much he could not do.
Avon Cobourne – His name doesn’t roll off a lot of people’s tongues but he came in with me in 2006, we both played special teams to earn our spots. He had to play linebacker, safety, he might have played defensive line a snap. He had to fight and claw his way to become the running back and when he became the running back, he wasn’t just going to give it up.
Top three pre-game talkers
John Bowman – I’m not going to toot my own horn but you can go ask players, I give some of the best pre-game talks out there. When the offensive line and the defensive line are in the locker room when everyone else is out warming up, before they bring us out we get in the huddle and I will break us down every game. And every game I’ll make sure I have something different for them.
Mike Sinclair – We would be in the corner as the defensive line warming up before the games and then (he’d say), ‘Jon, XYZ said you ain’t nothing. All your stats are inflated. You’re old.’ Mike always knew the right buttons to push to get you going.
Marc Trestman - The thing about Trestman’s speeches, he would hit you mentally. He wouldn’t inflate your ego, he would challenge you mentally, and make you take a look inside yourself and think beyond football, think about your legacy.