Friday, 25 June 2010

8 Teams, 8 Days: Montreal Alouettes

Last Season: 15-3, 1st in the East (Won Grey Cup 28-27 over Saskatchewan)

Offense

Deadly, just deadly. That's the only word that can describe the Montreal Alouette offense. The Als are, and have been for some time, the class of the CFL, and they are led by future Hall Of Fame Quarterback Anthony Calvillo. Calvillo enters 2010 as the two-time reigning MOP, and if he stays healthy, a third consecutive MOP isn't out of the question. At Running Back, the Alouettes rely on Avon Cobourne. Cobourne is a phenomenal dual-threat back, and he should continue his steller play in 2010. The Receiving corps remains intact. Back from 2009 are Ben Cahoon, Kerry Watkins and Jamel Richardson. Those three are as good as any in the CFL. The Offensive Line is where we see the first departure, with the recent retirement of Brian Chiu. Chiu is likely headed to the Hall of Fame, so his presence will be missed. That said, I fully expect Alouette Head Coach Marc Trestman to be able to find a suitable replacement.

Player to Watch: Brain Bratton

Defense

The Alouette defense is back for another solid year. On the Line, Anwar Stewart returns to wreak havoc on opposing QBs. The Linebackers look to continue their stellar play, with the hard-hitting Chip Cox and Shea Emry returning for 2010. The Secondary lost Davis Sanchez, but should still be able to hold its own with players like Matthieu Proulx and √Čtienne Boulay The defense in Montreal doesn't get as much publicity as its counterparts on the other side of the ball, but teams don't win with only offense. The Als defense has been one of the most consistent units during the past couple of seasons.

Player to Watch: Shea Emry

Overall

Until proven otherwise, the Alouettes are the favourites. In the past ten years, they have been to seven Grey Cups, winning two. Sure, the win total is not what it should be, but ask any fan of any other team, and they should tell you that they'd take it. Going into every season knowing your team has a legitimate chance to win the Grey Cup is the dream of every fan. With Calvillo, Cobourne, Richardson, Cahoon, Watkins and Stewart all returning, the Als are loaded and ready to make a run at another championship. The one knock against Montreal is that they are a little long in the tooth. This is a veteran team, and sooner or later these guys are going to retire or break down, and the question persists: are the Als ready for that? We probably won't have to worry about that in 2010, as the Als look poised to contend for their third Grey Cup of the decade.

PREVOUS: Calgary Stampeders

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