The off-season is underway and every team faces questions. Today, I look at three questions concerning the Montreal Alouettes.
1. What will Calvillo do?
The No. 1 question every off-season in Montreal always revolves around the status of Anthony Calvillo. I think every year since about 2007 we've openly wondered whether we just saw his final game or not. Many will point to his advancing age (41) and how the Als haven't dominated like they used to, making the playoffs but losing in their opening contest two years in a row (the Semi-Final last year to Hamilton and the Final this year to Toronto). But through it all, Calvillo keeps coming back. I expect no different in 2013. Anthony Calvillo proved he can still play at an elite level and I expect him back under centre for the Alouettes next season.
2. Will they re-sign McPherson?
Montreal has another quarterback question to ask this off-season at this one revolves around Adrian McPherson. McPherson has been a backup in Montreal since 2008 and is set to become a free agent in February. He has made it known in the past that he feels he is ready to be a starting quarterback in the CFL and he will be 30 when next season begins. Time is running out for McPherson to take a team on his shoulders. That makes me think that if Calvillo does return, McPherson will find employment elsewhere. The two potential destinations are Winnipeg and Edmonton. I'll put my money on McPherson leaving la belle province for the green (and gold) in Edmonton.
3. Can they reclaim their spot atop the East?
It seems odd to pose this questions when Montreal just finished atop the East Division in 2012 and haven't missed the playoffs since they came back into the league in 1996. But the last two playoffs have yielded zero wins and the teams in the East seem to no longer fear the Als like they once did. Hamilton, despite a down year, beat the Als in two out of three contests and their lone loss was by just two points. Toronto showed no fear in going into Olympic Stadium and erasing a 10-point first quarter deficit in the East Final. Even Winnipeg went into Montreal and got a win this year. Montreal used to be the big bully that everyone feared, but that's not the case anymore. While I still believe they are capable of winning a Grey Cup, they are no longer a lock for anything. They may be able to reclaim their spot, but they will have to earn it the hard way.