Herb writing on Als again!

[url=http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/football/montreal-alouettes/Whitaker+hopes+injuries+behind/9901032/story.html]http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/f ... story.html[/url] [url=http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/football/montreal-alouettes/Zurkowsky+Woods+excels+with+passion/9900977/story.html]http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/f ... story.html[/url]

A full feature on the guy with MadJack's favourite haircut, no less!

Apparently, Stala has a torn hamstring that he says isn't serious, and Pippin has been bulking up.

Woods on his role in the defense: “Schematically, teams might not be looking for a lot out of the middle linebacker,? said the 6-foot, 245-pounder. “But I’m going to bring a lot of contributions from that position. This is a position they’re going to have to scheme for."

Definitely supports my feeling that Emry left because Thorpe's scheme doesn't make the MLB a star. Provided we're able to field a good NI starter elsewhere, I think we'll be fine without Emry. In Thorpe's defense, the mike backer has run-stopping responsibilities in the A gap, and some shallow coverage, but he's not a playmaker. The outside linebackers blitz and trade off more frequently. If Woods can be solid against the run in the trenches and avoid injury, we should be fine.

I think Emry looked at his situation post concussion and the role he was asked to play in Montreal and made a smart choice for himself. I'm ok with it, we still have no problem starting seven non imports, eight I don't know, where things have change the most is depth on the oline and on defense if they decide to start Brouillette but there may be another Edem that can come in and fix that. Philip Blake and Vaughn Martin would be awesome. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

Les plus garndes difficultés des Alouettes me semblent se situer dans la 4ième facette du jeu.

Great article Hurb !!

Aaand Woods hurt already, according to Herb:

Bear Woods, expected to start at middle-linebacker, didn’t practice on Tuesday. He’s suffering from a lower-body injury, perhaps a leg or ankle, and either went for an MRI or x-ray. More should be known Wednesday.

I like Woods, but he's had substantial injury trouble since joining the team. He can't be a viable starting MLB if he can't stay healthy...

Pretty crazy that we are going into camp with hardly anybody to compete at the MLB position. All I see on the roster is Wood and Venable.Now that the Als have no chance at Laurent, maybe they can invest in the position. It's a real sore point IMO.

At one point, Lavarias was in the mix too. It's a weird situation. Thorpe had better know what he's doing...

Pierre Durocher mentionnait que Boulay pourrait avoir sa chance à ce poste cette saison. Il ne spécifie pas si cette possibililté a été évoquée par Thorpe lui-même, mais il n'est pas le genre à inventer ce genre de chose. C'est donc quelque chose qui pourrait être dans l'air, même si cette information ne vient pas de Thorpe directement.

Que se passe-t-il avec Gary Guyton?

Guyton was released.

I haven't seen anything from Boulay last year that leads me to believe he's ready to be a Starting MLB. That idea is absolutely scary to me.

Middle linebacker Carmen Messina was added this morning. Played briefly with Detroit in 2012. 6.2 and 236,from New Mexico.25 years old.


Some very interesting tidbits from Jim Popp answering fan mail: http://en.montrealalouettes.com/article ... -mailbag-1

  • Duron Carter and S.J. Green examples of players he kept around on PR/injured reserve because the coaches didn't want them (absolutely insane that three stooges Hawkins / Miller / Berry couldn't see D. Carter's potential)
  • thinks former AFL DBs are better-prepared to deal with motion since the Arena league has stolen the CFL's backfield motion rules. Uses Parker and Brown as examples and advises us to keep an eye out for Chris Smith
  • Says Tyron Carrier was burned out last year from playing too much football in two leagues
  • He thinks Thorpe has some new tricks up his sleeve

Thorpe seems to be using the MLB almost like an NFL linebacker, looking for that bigger run-stopping / pass-rushing body type instead of the hybrid type most CFL DCs favour. So I guess it's not surprising that we could audition DEs to replace Emry at MLB.

That was my question :rockin:

[url=http://en.montrealalouettes.com/article/tc14-alouettes-mailbag-2]http://en.montrealalouettes.com/article ... -mailbag-2[/url]

Another round of answers from Popp. You really have to give him credit for giving expansive answers to sometimes difficult questions. Including one from a certain gentleman not content with our receivers. :smiley:

Also said the team will try again with Vaughn Martin.

This is my email to Herb yesterday:

[i]So some members on the Als forum are complaining that we haven't received any in-depth discussion of the battles for vacant positions in training camp. Care to prove them wrong? :wink: Specifically, what's going on with the field corner position (Byron Parker's old spot)? Who has the inside track to be the starter? Is Thorpe going to go import or non-import, given Emry's departure? Also, is there a chance that we'll start a non-import, such as Klassen, at DT?

And my own query: what kind of wrinkles do you think Thorpe will add to the base D package this year? What have you seen in camp so far?[/i]

And here's his response:

Nope, I don't care to prove them wrong - although I can understand where they're coming from.
I've always been more interested in doing stories on players as opposed to the other ones that are being suggested, but I can see why some people would want to read that. Personally, I think those stories work better in places like Regina, where there are multiple stories and writers.
Field corner is Ed Gainey.
Klassen will play a great deal. Will he start? Potentially, considering he's Canadian. But they rotate bodies.
Defence looks much the same. Plenty of blitzing.

He's right that if there were more people covering the team, this would not be an issue. Jacques Dussault who will be part of the 98.5 broadcast crew as analyst is a welcome addition. Also helps that he's an accomplished coach.

Yes, I agree with him there. When there are multiple reporters assigned specifically to cover a team, you'll get more in-depth coverage, and you'll have the resources for the on-field analysis. But when you're one guy covering the team, you have to write for the casual fan, not the hardcore fan. Your average Gazette reader probably doesn't even know what a field corner is, let alone that there's a vacancy at the position created by Byron Parker's departure. :wink:

Dont want to belabor this, but like today he sometimes does 2 stories - one on Klein, one on the CBA ending with brief notes on some of the stuff were talking about . He could use the second story for position stuff, and he also has The Snap on the website.

But it`s just not his thing, I have to accept or move to Regina as friends tell me.

And again his feature stories like the recent one he did on Johnson are usually great.

Sheldon, you have to consider his readership and what his sports editor likely wants. I doubt he even has the mandate to write complex, position-oriented pieces without having to check with his editor first. The Gazette never targets hardcore sports fans with its sports coverage. Even its Canadiens coverage rarely gets into the Xs and Os.

But it`s just not his thing, I have to accept or move to Regina as friends tell me.
And that's the thing. I used to be just as frustrated as you are about the deficits in Herb's coverage. But it's not his thing and it's the wrong paper and market. Do I wish things were different? Of course. But wishing isn't going to change anything.

The Gazette would not even spring to send him to cover mini-camp… Which kind of points to what Discipline is suggesting. His employer is not interested in becoming a “sports paper”. Also the Als need to rethink how they interact with the media. Maybe they need to bring some guys down to mini-camp with them. Toronto had a reporter in their draft room for example. The Montreal sports media does not seem interested in covering the Als very much.