Who Will We Miss The Most

In printing out the roster from the Als last 2011 game against Hamilton, there are a pretty high number of 32 players no longer with the team, including injured list and practice roster. There of course could be a couple more tomorrow.

What is even more surprising is that only 3 have surfaced elsewhere in the CFL - McElveen (Ham.), Woldu (Sask.), Ryan Lucas (Wpg.). Although Boulay and Ferri are still possibilities.

I`ll take up some cyberspace and list them:

Kitwana Jones
Emmanuel Marc

Injured Lists

Practice Roster
Vince Anderson
Micheaux Robinson

The ones I feel we will miss the most are Spencer on special teams, Estelle, although his was an unfortunate injury. Seth Williams hasn`t shown me enough as yet. And Anwar Stewart more for his leadership than production.

Bowman’s absence will hurt the most, followed by Estelle.

To me none of these players will be missed,since we have better replacements.

Was Cobourne missed? No! Will Ferri be missed? No! Kenny Ingram will be better. Anwar,Eric,Jermaine,etc all have been/will be replaced adequately.


So what's the story on Estelle, has his knee not healed properly? He's probably the best man cover guy in the league otherwise.

I am quite surprised that Hecht hasn't caught on somewhere. Actually I'm surprised that the Als gave up on him. He was one of the best NI DBs in the league last year. He impressed me. I felt that he should have been in the RotY discussion.

With the departure of Boulay (and Proulx previously) and Woldu, would letting Hecht walk be part of an overall plan to just use less NIs in the secondary? I'm curious to how Als fans might see that.

He's been rehabbing, but is still quite a ways from being ready to play. When he's healthy, it wouldn't surprise me to see Popp reach out and sign Estelle to a contract. He's been one of our steadiest DBs for the past five years.

would letting Hecht walk be part of an overall plan to just use less NIs in the secondary?
That seems to be where we're heading. Hebert looks to be the starting safety, and we'll be starting at least one NI linebacker and probably one NI d-lineman to go with 5 O-linemen and fullback / WR NI starter. I think the secondary will be all-American, something we haven't had since the days of Barron Miles.

The Als brought Estelle in at the beginning of training camp for a medical evaluation, determined he was not close to being ready and sent him home where he had the surgery done. He was to have a screw removed to ease discomfort, but that would set his recovery back. Should he be able to pass a physical later in the season, it will probably come down to who needs a cornerback the most at that particular time.

You must have caught Hecht`s highlights because while he was a determined kid, he did not do the job, usually a step behind or overrunning the play. Not nearly as good as Butler in Sask.

With a new def. co-ordinator in Reinebold, he wanted a bigger body type in Hebert, thus the departure of Boulay. I dont think there is an Alouette prejudice against Canadian DBs, Popp drafted and reacquired Sanchez afterall. It is just a tough position for a Canadian to master. They liked everything about Woldu, but for whatever reason did not consider him starter material. I am curious how he does in Sask., hope he does well.

Thank you d&p and Sheldon for great info.

I hope Estelle does resume his career at some point and I wish him well wherever he may land. He's a great player and it would be tragic to see his career cut short. Similarly Stanley Franks in BC had a horrific leg injury in week 2 last year in which the doctors considered amputation. I haven't heard anything on his condition, I assume that it is more and more likely that his career is over. Total shame because he could play and was so full of potential only his 2nd year in the league. I would love to see him play again.

As for the NIs in the secondary, I apologize if anyone thought that I insinuated an anti NI bias in Montreal management. I absolutely did not intend that. In fact I am on record saying that the secondary is probably the worst place to "hide" a Canadian on the depth chart, so an effort to play NIs elsewhere I completely understand and actually agree with. And it has also not been lost on me how many NI DBs Popp has drafted/signed and actually used on the field over the years. Good NI DBs are extremely rare and Popp has been the best at finding them.

Woldu is one of those good NI DBs, although I don't think he is quite starter material. I don't think Riders brass plan on starting him anyways. Not a single new player was brought in to seriously challenge for a starting spot (although we haven't seen Macho Harris yet), and the Riders had the worst secondary in the league by a fair margin last year. Taman's strategy in the secondary was an afterthought. This is one of the reasons why Popp is a good GM and Taman isn't.

Well Santos has been released by the Argos - too bad, I always liked him and thought he would develop.

Pour ma part, je crois que ceux que nous pourrions regretter sont Spencer et Jones sur les unités spéciales.

Ensuite, je crois que nous pourrions regretter de ne plus avoir Boulay même si un autre prend le poste de partant. En cas de blessure, on sait que Boulay peut faire le travail sans que l'équipe en soit affectée. Ça reste à voir avec Townsend (en supposant que Townsend soit substitut), et à la limite, on a aussi Brouillette qui peut s'y débrouiller (excusez-la, j'ai pas pu résister).

En terminant, sans regretter Watkins, on pourrait regretter ne pas avoir un receveur comme Watkins. Lorsqu'on regarde Bratton, Richardson, Green, London et Deslauriers, on voit 4 gratte-ciel et 1 passe-partout. Huggins et Stewart sont faits sur un format analogue. Donc, si l'équipe ne retient aucun de Guy, Patterson ou Washington, l'équpe n'aura toujours pas de marchand de vitesse chez les receveurs.

Sort of makes you wonder why they even bothered to pick him up. . . mind you that Harris kid has been looking pretty darn good for them.

If you were to take Jeff and put him in the Saskatchewan system, it would be much closer than you think. I know we have been over this 100 times but NONE of the safeties looked good last year. I don't remember many plays where he was a step behind. I remember where he caught Barnes in Edmonton to save a garbage TD and gained on him. He is not too slow. Many times he was too deep and out of the play for sure...that was the system. Everyone was. The coaches never compained he was out of the play, that is what Tibesbar designed, he literally used the safety as a last resort instead of an extra body to create havoc or take risks with. You are correct with the first part, his top 5 highlights were equal to any rookie last year.

I am quite surprised that Hecht hasn't caught on somewhere. Actually I'm surprised that the Als gave up on him. He was one of the best NI DBs in the league last year. He impressed me. I felt that he should have been in the RotY discussion.
It has been the perfect storm of things going wrong so far for him to sign somewhere. First Tibesbar leaves for Purdue and they overhaul the defense(probably needed anyways), then he was released two weeks before camp when all camps were full. All the unsigned Canadians had been signed in March/April and were just being announced. Then they have this limited roster move rule for the first time ever. I think he will be waiting until after the final cuts are issued and possibly even have to wait for injuries. We are optimistic he will sign soon, but less positive every passing day with nothing.

Sticking with the thread, i will say Jones and Spencer will be missed. The defense was injured and should be heathly/revamped. The offense will continue to be a productive machine. Those special teams last year were bad, losing two veterans who were in the top ten in tackles, won't help.

If it is any consolation Kyle, Boulay was also released.

I would also be curious to know how Jeff feels he did on special teams and his opinion of Bischoff. Looking for a bit of gossip. :smiley:

It wasn't at all. That was actually bad on a couple of levels. It pretty much cemented the fact that Montreal was going with the import safety and one less place that would be possibly bringing Jeff in. Mr. Popp had a really nice exit talk with him and it seemed possible that he may be coming back after training camp. It was a "we know what you can do but we have some new players to evaluate and only have so many TC spots available" talk. Also the fact that they were probably going import at safety and there was no roster spot for him in 2012 would mean he would be ST's only and they didn't want to have people who couldn't fill spots taking up space. Add in the fact that Boulay is a NI safety with much more experience and he will now be ahead of Jeff on everyone's list as a FA. The positives are he is much more expensive and (this is speculation from me ) probably a lot more picky on relocating his young family for a back up or a ST player spot somewhere. I have a three year old and a wife, it would a tough decision for sure. Jeff has no kids and has been in Halifax living out of a suitcase training for the last six weeks. He is coming home on Sunday but he will have to take the first opportunity available because there won't many more. Last year he was fortunate to benefit from injuries to gain experience and it looks like he will be waiting for them this year for another shot. I know he will be ready. I have a ton of faith in him but he is very disapointed that he is still without a team. He loves football.

He is training currently but i will get back with what he says. I personally feel like he played well. He is a gritty special teams player. He loves to hit people and mix it up. At every single level of football he has always loved to play on all the special teams. Last year in Saskatchewan i saw him toss and be tossed by Shomari Williams but he went at him every kickoff. He will go with anyone no matter how big. One lunch hour in junior high i watched him get thrown around for 45 straight minutes and he never stopped yapping and getting beat on.

This was his special teams highlight last year at 1:12: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_Be5XvoUKw

His stats are deceiving because he accumulated four or five of his six special teams tackles in the first 1/3 of the season and when Boulay/Crawford were out with concussions and he was splitting time with Brouliette, his time on the teams really got cut back. Also on punts he was the upback so he was always stuck blocking the longest and wasn't down field to accumulate those tackles. I believe he can be a top 15 in STT player if he played full time on special teams.

I really expected him to play 100% of times on special teams for the Als and then he would have been a FA and they would evaluate him to see if he fit into their future plans after the 2012. I never expected they would let him go because his contract was favorable for them and he would have been valuable on special teams and as a fill in player at worst.

So basically to recap i feel like my best friend Jeff can be a starter/all-star and special teams beast on every single team in the league hahahaha. I might be the only one though.

I am extremely surprised he did not get an invitation from another team. I am glad he is staying in shape and ready. I think he will get an opportunity at some point this season.

Oh, I'd give him Nick Graham's spot tomorrow. Not that I think he's ideal for weak half, I think he'd be in a bit over his head to say the least, but I think he's a better player. Well, probably I would give Woldu Graham's spot, has more experience with coverages rather than just playing free safety, and I'd have Hecht as an NI to back up Woldu for sure.

I mean ideally I'd have just signed a good FA for coverage like Brandon Isaac or Lin-J Shell and this would not be a discussion, but the point being that Sask's secondary at this point in time is SO BAD, Hecht would definitely improve the group.

Well tell Jeff he has a fan. :slight_smile:

If Jeff ever ended up in Saskatachewan my wife would be thrilled. She is from Saskatchewan and a huge Rider fan. We have a Rider blanket on our bed and tons of other Rider stuff throughout our house. My years as a Stampeders fan would find that adjustment to be the most difficult but i would be a huge Rider's fan in a second.

I really believe if he could just get on a practice roster the coaches would like him very much and he would transfer over to a main roster very quickly. He is so smart and coaches pick up on that almost immediately.

I would also be curious to know how Jeff feels he did on special teams and his opinion of Bischoff. Looking for a bit of gossip

Nothing good or juicy. Pretty boring answer. He said that he thought he was a good coach. He got the impression he liked him a lot and he was put in the best positions to help the system in the packages he was on. He thought he could have played on more specials but with the injuries understood why he was limited the second half of the season when Crawford and Boulay were looking like they weren't coming back.

For the most part there isn't a whole lot in the Alouette gossip department. They were/are such a veteran team that it's just business at this point. Outside of the DA situation i can't think of anything really.

I will let him know his internet fan base has now doubled.

Who is Jeff`s agent - is it Darren Gill? I would assume the agent is working the phones.

I personally think it will come down to teams needing Canadian injury replacements later in the season. Alot of the draft choices return to school so there isn`t a hugh pool of Canadians out there.

It is Darren Gill.

Jeff just called and he has signed to a practice roster spot with the Calgary Stampeders. Great news for me because i live in Calgary now and it's close to home for us.