Alouettes feature Stanback and Ménard finalists for CFL best prizes


Stanback (MVP) led the CFL on floor, while defensive end Ménard (Canadian MVP) had eight sacks at the top of the team.

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When William Stanback finally got a chance to sit down and look at the big picture, he quickly realized that there was no shame in being considered the CFL’s second-best player this year. season.

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The Alouettes full-back was a finalist in the East Division for the league’s MVP, an award traditionally won by a quarterback. As you might expect, Winnipeg quarterback Zach Collaros was this year’s recipient, one of four Blue Bombers who took home individual awards at Friday night’s ceremony at the Hamilton Convention Center.

Stanback was at peace with his finalist status.

“I’ve come this far and I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot,” CFL ground point guard Stanback with 1,176 yards for two games missed, told the Montreal Gazette. “I am satisfied.”

Alouettes defensive end David Ménard, who had eight sacks at the top of the team, was the division finalist as an outstanding Canadian, but he also settled for finalist status. That award went to BC linebacker Bo Lokombo, who spent 2019 with Montreal.

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“Of course I’m disappointed,” Ménard told The Gazette. “But just being a finalist… there are so many Canadians in the league playing. Being in the bottom two means a lot.

Other Bombers winners include linebacker Adam Bighill (defensive player); tackle Stanley Bryant (offensive lineman) and head coach Mike O’Shea, who guided Winnipeg to a league-best 11-3 record and a second consecutive Gray Cup appearance against Hamilton. Ottawa returns specialist DeVonte Dedmon (special teams) and Lions linebacker Jordan Williams (rookie) rounded out the awards.

The vote was conducted by members of Football Reporters of Canada as well as the nine CFL head coaches.

Collaros had 3,185 yards and 20 touchdowns leading the league, completing over 70% of his throws. He was only intercepted six times. Stanback aimed to become the first Montreal player since Anthony Calvillo, in 2008 and 2009, to be named MVP.

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While Tiger-Cats wide receiver Brandon Banks took home the award in 2019, the previous four winners were all quarterbacks. Calgary’s Jon Cornish in 2013 was the last running back to receive the Outstanding Player Trophy.

Stanback returned to the Als after failing to stay with the Las Vegas Raiders – despite earning a six-figure signing bonus – in 2020. Stanback, who gained 1,048 yards in 2019, when he was appeared in 14 games, thinks he only started scratching. the surface of its potential.

“I expect bigger and better things in the future,” he said. “I have a lot of room for improvement and I will only improve myself. It just shows what we have (in Montreal) and are able to do. I appreciate (the coaches) for putting myself in a position to be successful.

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Stanback, who has scored three touchdowns, has passed 100 yards in six of his 12 games, including a season-high 203 yards – tying a career-high – against Toronto on Oct. 22. But he struggled in three games against the Ticats, including Montreal’s 23-12 loss in the Eastern Division semifinals on November 28.

After six seasons with British Columbia, Ménard joined the Alouettes, excelled individually and started to receive recognition – as well as increased playing time. He was named one of the league’s player of the month for October.

“I think I’ve proven what I can do,” said the Chicoutimi native. “I’ve been trying to do this for many years, but it went a bit unnoticed. The award I’m a finalist for… tells me I’m on the right track.

And, as a potential free agent in February, Ménard’s timing is impeccable. He said he hopes to sign with Montreal again.

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