First bits from Als conference call.Kudos to Frank Zicarelli

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During an availability Tuesday with members of the national media, Higgins was asked the inevitable question about his quarterback depth chart.

“That’s very premature,? Higgins said. “Everything’s written in pencil.?

There’s an experienced arm under contract in Alex Brink, last seen in Winnipeg, a low-maintenance, high-character pro whom the Argos brought to their mini-camp last season.

There’s a potential star in waiting in Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein, whom the Als recently signed.

As of today, it boils down to Troy Smith and Tanner Marsh.

“Troy and Tanner will be competing nose to nose,? Higgins said.

Eventually, Higgins will have to name an incumbent, but that time isn’t now.

As someone who has been around the league for as long as he has, Higgins knows how a team must have two quarterbacks to turn to in an 18-game schedule.

Popp ended last season as the Als’ interim head coach, filling in for the ill-fated Dan Hawkins.

For as long as Popp has guided the Als, there’s always been this question of finding a replacement for Calvillo.

There was a plan in place for Calvillo to replace Tracy Ham, a decision that would pave the way for countless seasons of success.

What offers Popp encouragement is how Marsh and Smith both lead the Als to wins last season, how each endeared themselves to their teammates.

“I feel very good about it,? Popp said of his quarterbacks.

He also feels good about the Als roster, which did its main makeover last off-season.

Like any executive, Popp can’t control injuries and the Als were hit hard last season, especially on offence in virtually all areas on the field — quarterback, tailback, offensive line and at receiver.

Defensively, the Als need to find someone to replace Shea Emry, who signed a free-agent deal with the Argos this off-season.

Emry, a non-import, is a ratio-changer, his absence forcing the Als to look at different options when managing their roster.

Jamel Richardson and Brandon Whittaker are back, but it remains to be seen if these two quality offensive players are back to their stellar ways.

Popp brought back Larry Taylor, a special-teams dynamo who had some great seasons in Calgary, a key addition Popp hopes will jump-start a special teams unit that regressed last season.

Popp also mentioned on Tuesday how he’d like to see Duron Carter get some touches in the return game following his breakthrough season last year.

Assuming the locker room is conducive to winning, the Als will be good, even as the quarterback situation resurfaces.

“I think people will be pleasantly surprised at how good the Montreal Alouettes will be out of the gate,? Higgins said.


The league’s one-time director of officiating, new Als head coach Tim Higgins is hoping the CFL’s decision to review pass interference has no impact on the game.

That’s asking a lot in a pass-happy league such as three-down football, which introduced the revolutionary rule of video review that cuts to the heart of judgment calls.

Ironically, Higgins recalled two incidents during his time with the league that would have been overturned had the rule been in place.

“Both involved Montreal,? said Higgins, who joined Als GM Jim Popp on Tuesday during a national conference call with the media. “They both would have been reversed. It’s vivid in my mind, almost like how you would remember a traffic accident.

“Montreal was playing in Winnipeg and there was a pass interference called in the end zone that put the ball on the one-yard line. The second was in the semifinal playoff between Montreal and Hamilton.?

The latter sequence unfolded last season in Guelph, where the Als blew a lead on the same overtime afternoon an official blew a call in the end zone featuring a blatant pass interference involving Duron Carter, but no flag was thrown as Montreal lost a game it controlled for most of the day.

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Anyone know what happened to Didier Ormerjuste ???

Hes still around fortunately or unfortunately depending on ones feelings. I know mine. He somehow comes across as the kid who would run to the teacher and squeal on stuff the other kids were doing in class.

In past years the calls would include someone from the business side besides the coach and GM. Weightman for the Als.

This year I guess they can`t tell the press how well they are doing with tickets and sponsorships while at the same time crying poverty to the players.

For those who want to listen to the conference call, you can download it here

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Thanks for posting.

I would have liked someone to have asked about Laurent but I guess reporters aren`t curious like we are!

One thing I think is now certain is that Matte will be the LG. As for Woods at MLB, I`m sure he will have competition from Guyton and others. And strange still no mention of Cordell.

Maybe the Als plan to trade him or cut him with the signing of Klein ???

That impression says a lot more about your willingness to enable bullies than it does about Ormejuste.

Where did I say the "stuff the other kids were doing " was bullying?

I got to meet Didier and he’s very personable and relaxed off camera.