Very good review.The Alouettes are a team on the bubble IMO. On offence they have perhaps the best QB tandem in the CFL, a superb RB in Stanback. Artis-Payne looked pretty good in relief. Eugene Lewis & Wienke are as good a receiver duo as there is in the league. The OL, however, needs to find a LT.
Defence is a mixed bag. Sewell & Moore were very good together in Edmonton. Usher, Ellis & Wakefield are a very able rotation on DE. That's where it stops. Frankly, outside of Ackie, I don't like much in the LB's. Levels leaves a big hole. And, as you say, they lost a lot of DB's. The "big" adds were Jermaine Gabriel, who turns 32, Mike Jones & Darius Williams, who had a penchant for bad penalties with the Elks.
With Reinebold they should be very good on ST's & I expect Alford to take the next step. I like Cote as the kicker too. The schedule is pretty good for the Als with byes nicely spaced. But their 1st 4 games are @ Calgary & Toronto & a home & away with Saskatchewan. A split would be a good start for them. IMO the 4 games with Ottawa may determine 3rd place. Ott may have slight edge playing Wpg, Edm & BC twice whereas Mtl gets Wpg, Edm & SK twice.
Yeah - some question marks there for sure. But the offence needs to be more diverse: keep running the ball lots with Stanback but more variety - sweeps, counters, etc. And spread the ball around way more to all receivers - use all 5 instead of over-loading on Lewis & Weineke.
I like Montreal. And I'm pulling for them big-time. Yes, I'm from Winnipeg. But I'm a big fan of Khari Jones. He does things the right way. And he's 100% approachable. I like what they've been doing out in Montreal. I'm not so sure this is just a bubble team. They've been adding pieces to an already developing structure and culture. They remind me alot of the Bombers in the way that they're building their team for the future. Even though we had nothing to play for in game #12 and #13 last year, Montreal took it as a test, and they won both. As they say...the other guys are being payed, too. They have pride and respect. So, here's hoping the Al's have a good season and come together even moreso.
Amazing. Last year all we heard at the season opening is how the defence was rebuilt and how good it will be. Losing Menard is really going to hurt. We haven't put enough pressure on the QB in years. Losing Levels is also going to hurt and the problem is I don't know if the U of M graduated any good lb's this year. By the way you are wrong about the QB situation. Adams was pretty poor last year when it came to finding the open man. Pass completion rate was under 60% and in a 2 down league that is not enough. As for Harris, remember he was let go by Edmonton and they didn't have anyone with experience left. And his play with us was just awful. To me Shiltz was better. So help me if I was at a game and Harris came in I would leave. I think he is way past his usable date.
The Als D last year let Muamba go and went with rookie MLB s who weren't even close to as good. Why would Menard leave his home Province to go back to BC - was it all about dollar$ ? Doubt Maciocia has much faith in Canadian talent to step-up and be good factors on his D. So Levels position and MLB and the main D-Line rotation will likely be reserved for imports only. Hopefully DeQuoy can progress to be a good force in the D-backfield.
And Adams needs to mature and start making better reads & decisions - love the long ball, but when it's there, and the OC needs to show way more diversity on offence - like using all 5 receivers.
I'm concerned that Harris turned the ball over during the eastern semi-finals way too easily. He needs to be more aware of where everyone around him is when he's in the pocket and when he's scrambling or repositioning himself. Also Dominique Davis had significant turnover issues in Ottawa as well, so these two guys are going to have to work hard to fix this the turnover issue. Otherwise, if Vernon Adams Jr gets injured, W's will be hard to come by. To be perfectly honest, I would rather be heading into the season with Shiltz instead of Harris & Davis because Shiltz was improving, throws a strong ball and had a fire in his belly...a strong determination to win. I liked the leadership he brought to the huddle. VA Jr is going to have to work on his accuracy because he struggled at times last year (many drives stalled), especially compared to 2019. QB's aside, the biggest challenge will be the lack of continuity because the Als lost too many very good players during Free Agency. It's difficult to win championships when you have such a high turnover ratio. This is particularly the case on defence. I will be watching every game and cheering them on but it looks like every team in the East improved in the past two months, except for Montreal. I sincerely hope I'm wrong but I'm very concerned.
I'm a fan of Adams but he has made it harder on me than 2-3 years ago. He's past ' potential' for me now. He's 30 and I really need for him to calm down. He needs to make 2-3 reads and deliver the ball or run. He cant expect 4 seconds of protection. He needs too show way more maturity as a pro QB. I've read that he does not show well in practice and that has to stop in order for all to improve on the squad.