A question from a CFL fan first (Rider fan second in this instance).
Is it time to let Adrian start a game or two this year? From my viewpoint your team is "merely mortal" when AC is taken out of a game in progress. I, for one, would really like to see what AM could do with first team reps in practice and a whole game at his control, not when he is pressed into service, but when the coaching staff shows confidence in him with a healthy AC on the sidelines.
There is 3 or 4 practices a week and the playbook is designed with AC in mind (an experience pocket passer). The day AC retires the team will design its offence with Adrian in mind and turn the team over to him. We will not see Adrian's full potential until he's the #1 quarterback, that's how it is supposed to work.
From the practise schedule
The team alternates between 1 and 3 practises per week
Depending on travel and scheduling.
For anyone who's old enough to remember Tom Wilkinson and Warren Moon of the Eskimo Dynasty years
The art of platooning quarterbacks was on display at it's finest level
Wilkinson was a fine pocket passer...Hall of Famer...but not especially mobile or athletic QB.
Wilkinson mentored Warren Moon over several seasons on the way to the greatest Dynasty the CFL has seen in modern history...1978-1982
Each quarterback stepped in for the other when needed
Moon's athletic ability was a fine complement to Wilkinson's dropback passing
And believe me...our Alouettes took it on the chin...consistently.
While online sources seem to often credit Warren Moon with winning the 5 consecutive titles...Tom Wilkinson only retired after the '81 Cup...and over the course of Moon's tenure in Edmonton...the Eskimos platooned the two great quarterbacks with the greatest success.
One can complain about the extra practise and strain on players and coaches
The time and effort needed to effectively run two dissimilar offenses
And perhaps the game has changed...two hour practices once a week
I'm sure players of old would be mildly amused
Still...if we want to talk about the continued dominance of this team
Of perhaps dreaming of beating...yes...even surpassing Edmonton's 5 straight Grey Cups
Then how about putting in the extra time and effort
If only to prepare a young...potential emergency replacement for AC
But also with an eye to the future
And the Next Great Dynasty
It may just be a coincidence
But it was Warren Moon
Legend and superstar
Who after working with AD
Pronounced that he had the best throwing arm he'd ever seen
History repeats itself all the time
When it looks like the swell is building up
And you have one chance to ride the Big One
Why not grab it...see where it takes you?
Comparison is anything but far-fetched
The reality today is the lack of practice time and that is written in the CBA and was meant to allow players to build other revenue streams. I don't know what it was like back then in regards to practice time but it was probably different. I am sure most coach in the CFL would love to have more on field time to give reps to their second stringer and develop two quarterbacks. In fact the #1 problem for teams is that when the starting QB goes down, their season goes down the drain. That would not happen if they had more practice time and bigger rosters. With the economics of the CFL I doubt we will see that unfortunately.
What would be great is to have a minor league where teams have a full roster in place and the gate receipts attached to finance the operation. 3000 to 10 000 seat stadiums. Teams could use the same playbooks and philosophies and not have to hide players on phantom rosters and they would get full reps and play under the same rules. I could see places like QC, Halifax, London,Moncton,Victoria,Laval, Cold Lake, Saskatoon. players would play for something like 20 000 a year with the exception of the QB's who would get let's say 60k. Would be good all around , would attach fans, would feed the league and would grow quarterbacks.
I think there's something all Alouettes fans will have to start coming to terms with.
Calvillo's longevity is phenomenal
He is possibly faster and more accurate than at any other time in his career.
But he'll soon be 39 years old.
In relative terms that's really not much
But for a pro athlete...
and especially one who's job involves being smacked around by 300 pound behemoths
39 is getting up there
It's not his ability to perform
It's the increasing wear...increasing fragility of an older body
Believe me...I'm speaking from experience
While it might seem reasonable to expect AC to go full out
Until he finally runs out of gas
Declaring, "that's how it's supposed to work"
It could easily be as reasonable to lower AC's workload
To "strategise" and bring in a more mobile quarterback
Against teams with a dangerous pass-rush (for instance)
To increase AC's durability and lengthen his career.
It won't be that long before such discussions become more commonplace
And these last two seasons have shown that even a quarterback that rarely gets hit
As he gets older...each hit takes it's toll
If a quarterback can be said to only have a limited number of hits he can absorb
Then AC can reasonably be said to be near the end of that run
And his continued survival as a quarterback mean stretching that run by any means necessary
Calvillo never was the starter till Ham retired. the last year Tracy was in Montreal he couldn’t stay healthy and Calvillo got to start some games because of it but it was not a platoon system. At least that’s my recollection of it.
Nobody is saying that Calvillo/McPherson is anything like a platoon…except perhaps in the form of last game against the Riders.
That is: Calvillo has a pretty bad start…McPherson comes in in “relief”
A proper platoon would have immediately implemented a completely different game-plan
No doubt formed around McPherson’s unique running and passing abilities.
That’s the beauty of the platoon.
As everyone knows…Calvillo may play in rarefied air…but it’s not a vacuum
Opponents spend off-season…pre-season…regular season…and then the post season thinking up ways to stop Anthony Calvillo. On some days these game-plans actually succeed. It’s rare enough. But it does happen.
What an amazing tool it would be that on these rare occasions we could pull out a pre-packaged “AD offence”…practised and ready to go?
Everyone understands that there are obstacles. I say the reward would be well worth the effort
And as time sneaks up on AC…yes as it did on Tracy Ham…it’s obvious that such preparations could be more than prudent.
The Alouettes platooned Jones and Wade in the early 70's
Before Joe Barnes stepped into Jones' role
Jimmy quickly adapted to the Canadian game and in 1974 he led the Alouettes all the way to the Grey Cup championship. He was ineffective in the game and was replaced by veteran Sonny Wade who would go on to lead Montreal to a 20-7 victory. Jones friend Rodgers would prophetically proclaim to Jim Proudfoot of the Toronto Star. "Look, Wade did a heckuva good job today, but it was Jimmy Jones who got us here.? said Rodgers. “The sad part is that too many people are going to forget that and Wade will get all the credit.