Before Wednesday’s hiring of former Green Bay Packer Head coach Mike Sherman to take over the reins, the dysfunctional happenings of the Montreal Alouettes had morphed that once proud franchise into an all-out laughingstock.
One rejection after another
Danny Maciocia didn’t want to work for team governor Andrew Wetenhall when they offered Maciocia the president of football operations gig a year ago but little did we know he wouldn’t be the last to say no to the owner’s son. The decision of no less than three defensive co-ordinators to withdraw their names from consideration for the Al’s vacant head coaching job signaled a full-blown gong show in the team’s front office.
Corey Chamblin(Toronto Argonauts), DeVone Claybrooks(Calgary Stampeders) and Mark Washington(BC Lions) all chose to stay put in their jobs as assistant coaches rather than accept any promotion that might involve being tainted by this train-wreck. Being a head coach is a significant promotion for any co-ordinator so these decisions to say no raised eyebrows across the league, in particular with the Montreal fan base.
Sherman Just What the Doctor Ordered
The Alouettes were the CFL’s worst team in in 2017 and their 3-15 record might’ve instilled optimism had a youth movement been part of it. But it was not. The Al’s still have the league’s oldest roster and six weeks after their ill-fated journey mercifully came to an end General Manager Kavis Reed has promised to start overhauling the lineup and make decisions for 2018 now that he has a head coach to work with in place.
Sherman doesn’t get a free pass for simply holding NFL credentials but his addition does evoke memories of Marc Trestman joining the Alouettes for the 2008 campaign and his five-year stay worked out pretty well producing a pair of Grey Cup championships.
It was an offseason of turmoil and instability. A cranky fan base, unhappy staffers in the front office—Assistant GM Catherine Raiche left the team just two days earlier—and evasive answers from Kavis Reed as to what the future direction of the Alouettes would be. Mike Sherman’s credibility as a proven winner gives Reed a second chance. He rolled the dice on Darian Durant in his first offseason and it came up snake-eyes. On Wednesday he rolled them again, this time on a man who hasn’t run a pro football team in twelve years.
Fans Deserve to take Wait and See Approach
Montreal is a world class city with a plethora of entertainment options at their disposal. The locals deserve to see a bigger snapshot of what is happening to their once proud Alouettes if they are to spend any more of their hard-earned dollars on this rump of a football team.
‘Youpi’ was a fabulous mascot for the Montreal Expos but even he could not mask the stench of what management was doing in running that franchise into the ground through its dying days. Alouettes mascot ‘Blitz’ cannot carry the load for Montreal’s pro pigskin team either. He needs help from his bosses.
The hiring of Sherman looks like the first positive step by Andrew Wetenhall since taking over his dad’s business one year ago. It’s still too early to tell if this management crew is on the road to redemption.
But for an outfit seriously lacking in credibility these days, Mike Sherman is a pretty good start.
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