Montreal @ Hamilton 11/05/16

Practices for the final game of the year are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

At Tuesday's practice Vernon Adams was back on the field after suffering a contusion on his thigh. Rakeem Cato however took most of the reps according to Herb Zurkowsky. Jacques Chapdelaine wanted to see if Adams is healthy enough to play this Saturday. Chapdelaine also mentioned that Shane Carden could get some reps during practice and see action against Hamilton.

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In Herb Zurkowsky's Als article today, the subject was whether Rakeem Cato is a starter or not. Obviously Cato himself thinks he is, but says he has been hurt by the unstable situation in Montreal. Chapdelaine hinted that Cato might be better suited as a backup because there is less pressure put on the young QB.

Rakeem Cato:

“I don’t think any quarterback would have done well in this situation we’ve been put in … with the things that have been going on in the locker room,? Cato said following Tuesday’s abbreviated practice at Stade Hébert. “No quarterback in history — Tom Brady, Joe Montana … the biggest quarterbacks you can name — nobody would have functioned right in this system. You can’t function like that.

“You’re either fighting with somebody or you have to be quiet and be a sucker. That’s not the way to play the game, being a sucker and being a yes-man,? Cato continued. “I’ve never played the game like that before.?

“In football, you have to depend on the next player,? Cato said. “You never know what those guys are going to do. Are they going to work hard, run hard, run their right route, know the right route, know the right play, know the snap count? All these things play a factor.

“I don’t blame nobody and I’m not stressing. I’m here to be a great team player and do what I have to do.?

“In my eyes (being a backup) might be possible. But in my eyes, I feel like I’m a starter … anywhere in this league. At all levels,? he said. “I’m going to always feel like I’m a starter. I’ve never been a backup.?

Jacques Chapdelaine:

“I think the pressure of starting got to him to some level, to some aspect. It may have,? Chapdelaine said. “It’s really unfair for a young guy to be put in that situation. It’s not that he’s not talented enough, that he can’t perform at that level. The intangibles of the job, dealing with the media on a daily basis … sometimes these young guys read and listen to what’s coming out. Then there’s the internal peer pressure as well.

“In his case, he had to right a season that wasn’t so right. That was another thing I’m sure played on his mind. That’s why you want to have a veteran presence at times, so the pressure doesn’t fall on the shoulders of a young guy.

“Rakeem’s an accurate passer; we know that. He reads well and has great vision. When he can capitalize on those things, he’s going to do well.?

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Jake Piotrowski's vision is better so he will start at LG instead of Ryan White.

With the exception of Zach Collaros who is returning after suffering a concussion, the Ti-Cats will be resting a number of their players as backups took 1st team reps at practice for: Simoni Lawrence, Larry Dean, Ted Laurent, Mike Atkinson, C.J. Gable, Adrian Tracy, Ryan Bomben, and Emanuel Davis.

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Als could end up as the Eastern team with the most wins against the West if the Redblacks lose this week against the Bombers. Because Redblacks have already clinched the East and want to rest Henry Burris, they are expected to start Brock Jensen at QB.

John Bowman getting at least one sack would mean him getting 10 or more for the 7th time in his career.

Nik Lewis needs 2 receptions to reach 100 for the year. Lewis is 2nd in the league in YAC, only behind Derel Walker.

Solomon Elimimian leads Bear Woods by 4 in Defensive Plays and 5 in Defensive Tackles. Since BC plays the last regular season game of the year, it would seem that who finishes first in both categories will be decided by him.

In the category of Total Kick Return Yards, Stefan Logan is currently 1st: 11 yards ahead of Chris Rainey and 49 yards ahead of Roy Finch.

Usually teams who end the year on the positive side in Turnover Ratio make the playoffs. This year's Als would be a rare exception as they are currently at a +3.

In this weeks Als Flightdeck show, Tim Capper mentioned that the CFL insiders he has talked to say that the QB on the current roster who has the best chance at becoming the stater in 2017 is Jonathan Crompton.

Capper also notes that a win by the Als on Saturday would be that the Als would finish the year "tied for second" in the East. Technically that would be an improvement compared to 2015 because last year, the team had 1 fewer win and ended up in 4th place.

Off-topic because he is now a former Al, but here is Duron Carter talking about living in Montreal. In the short clip, he comes off as a likeable and maybe a little sad that he is no longer an Alouette.

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Will be interesting to see what happens in the off season. Will Duron man up and try to convince Coach Chappy that he can be a team player and be offered another opportunity next season ???

I really need someone to tell me this won't happen. :frowning: :frowning:

This guy doesn't even live in the country as far as I know... Anyone remember tim ?

[i]Johnny would invite him to training camp and make him earn his spot. With the understanding that one strike and he's out for good.

Maybe his release was the kick in the arse that he needed. [/i]

Tim Capper must live in the Montreal area as he has often talked about his experiences at the stadium. If I remember correctly, he has season tickets.

Herb Zurkowsky posted today that Vernon Adams took 1st team reps and is expected to started against the Ti-Cats.

Yesterday, there was a short video featuring an Al recently cut. Same thing today. The NFL Network today released this short clip about LaQuan McGowan trying to make it in the CFL. McGowan must have been one of the free agent players the network was documenting for their reality show. As the video was posted today, some people are getting the wrong impression that he is currently an Alouette. Others believed that the Als never brought him in because he failed a physical. We all know LaQuan came in mid-season but never made it past the Practice Roster. He and Connor Halliday were let go when the Practice Roster Expansion ended .

Steinhauer is going to eat Adams alive.

If he does Cato will come in...

In a week where Cato has not gotten starter reps, I'm not confident that lightning will strike twice. We already match up so poorly against Steinhauer's D...

In a normal situation, one could argue that a non-playoff contender would use its last game to audition players (and test some new play schemes) for next season. It's not about the urgency to win. Starting Cato or Adams at QB shouldn't be a debate topic - since both are arguably unproven contenders with different strengths and weaknesses.

But considering the organizational dysfunction, the controversies surrounding the ownership, GM, the coaching changes, the O and D playbooks, in-game strategy failures, and wild roster dramas ... all bets are OFF about what will be learned vs. Hamilton that can be carried forward to next season.

Frankly I am hoping for a rebuild, in which case this last game is little more than a farewell party. However, I fear fans are being setup to be sold a 2017 repeat performance with the same cast - and promises of a better outcome. If that's the strategy, FUGGEDABOUDIT.

Who is starting at QB should not be a surprise as Jacques Chapdelaine recently said the goal for the remaining games was to give Vernon Adams as many reps as possible. Team has to evaluate Adams to see if he has any short or long term potential.

Als actually want to win Saturday’s game and will likely play their best players. Ti-Cats on the other hand, will give a number of their better players a rest. Hamilton’s goal is just to come out of the game healthy. How well the Als 1st string does against the Ti-Cats backups is what you will learn.


-Ti-Cats are currently in a 3 game home losing streak. Last time they lost 4 in a row was 2006.

-Hamilton is a -121 in points for the 1st half, and a +130 for the 2nd half.

-Ti-Cats have fallen behind by 13+ points 12 times this year.

-Ti-Cats have 2 QB’s with 15 TD passes. Last time that happened was BC in 2008.

-Hamilton leads the league with 33 TD passes which is the 2nd time in 52 years. Other was in 2012.

-Zach Collaros 1st 4 starts: 14 TD’s, 378 yards per game, 2 INT, 123.7 rating. His last 5 starts: 4TD’s, 259 yards per game, 6 INT, and 80.1 rating.

-This year will be the first time ever that the Als finish in 3rd place (by record/tie-breaker) and miss the playoffs because of the Crossover Rule.

-In the last 52 years of Alouette history, there has only been 2 QB’s that have won their first 2 starts. One is Vernon Adams. The other is Jonathan Crompton.

-If Nik Lewis and Emmanuel Arceneaux each reach 100 receptions, a record will be established for most receivers in one season with 100 catches (5).

-Als have allowed only 1 TD in the last 2 games.

-Montreal leads the league in TD’s allowed (34).

-A win would mean the 1st Alouette road Winning streak since October 2014.

-With 13 more, Stefan Logan can be one of 16 players ever to reach 1000 punt return yards in a season.

-Rakeem Cato’s 73 yard run was the longest by any player in the CFL this year.

-Last time the Als have allowed this many sacks (63+) was in 2007 when they gave up 68.

-League confused the Boulay’s when they mentioned that Mathieu was 3rd in the league in Special Teams Tackles for the year.

-If not activated for Saturday’s game, I believe that Cam McDaniel will be the only player with the Als to spend the full year on the Practice Roster.

I don't see what you do at all. Collaros will play a quarter at most. Most of the vets on Hamilton's defense are not dressing. I think either of our two young QB's can win this game. Our guys are playing for their jobs, they are playing not to get hurt...

You figured we'd get murdered last week. I felt we could be competitive, this game I think is ours to lose....

We'll see.

Only thing left to fix on this team to compete for the Eastern division is the offense. Popp will get another off season to redeem himself and we go from there. I like our coaching staff. I like our defense, our ST.

Foucault will be part of this team next season, Popp will have a good stash to improve the roster... So we'll see what he can do. I would have preferred he be replaced with Sunderland but he has another year on his hefty contract so I understand the situation.

Adams was poor last week. The stat line favored him. By the time he left, he'd done nothing outside that one TD drive in which he ran as many times as he passed and Nik Lewis had done the hard work turning short passes into big gains and first downs.

But you're right, we'll see. I hope to be pleasantly surprised.

Each QB had one good drive. Cato failed to score on the one yard line twice...They are young Quarterbacks with different skillsets. I'm not going to judge either of them too hard. You don't pick up this game in 10 starts or 1.4 start.

Personally I'm happy with the growth Cato showed on the field this season. As for his temper well I get it, he was right about feeling the way he was, he just needs to learn to channel it better. Last time we had a guy who could not control his temper to that extent it was Lawrence Phillips...

[i]Yes, but Cato won't walk out on the team.

Or run someone over with his car... :roll: [/i]

Eric LeBlanc wrote that Shane Carden and Greg McGhee both took reps on Thursday and could see playing time against the Ti-Cats. If that is the case, Rakeem Cato would seem to be the QB not dressing for the finale.

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I know that is the way it is in the CFL bu those things always drive me nuts. Let's give the QB's fifteen minutes of reps and then let them go out and win a job !

Agreed. Here's a cup of coffee, go win the game. Oh, you didn't? Well that must be an adequate sample of your abilities... :roll:

I would start Cato over Adams, but for God's sake, if you're going to start Adams, play him the whole damn game barring injury. Kid is in his first pro season and this is only his third start. What is to be gained by pulling him to throw in two rookies who have even less experience and zero starter reps?

False alarm. Greg McGhee is not on the active roster for the game, but for the first time this year Cam McDaniel is there.

In: Anthony Coady, Cam McDaniel
Out: Jared Koster, Marcus Henry