The Alouettes’ defensive line had reached breaking point

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“I think it was the right decision,” said veteran defensive end David Ménard of the sacking of post coach Todd Howard after the loss to Argos.

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While defensive lineman David Ménard said he was surprised by the firing of his post coach, Todd Howard, he also said the move was justified.

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“I think it was the right decision,” said the veteran defensive end on Tuesday after practice. “I wasn’t expecting it, but football is a business. When the team loses, the organization has to make some changes.

“I was afraid of (players) coming and going,” added Ménard, who signed with the Alouettes as a free agent after six seasons with British Columbia. “They chose a coach. Hopefully this will be the right move and the only move for the rest of the season. It’s part of the game. I think we’re going to be stronger (along) the front to move forward.

The Alouettes announced on Sunday that they had fired Howard, their defensive line coach since 2019, replacing him with Greg Quick, who had been defensive and special teams assistant. On Tuesday, the organization announced that Byron Archambault, the team’s national scouting director, is becoming a defensive assistant, making sure the club does not run out of a coaching corps. Archambault will keep his front office position.

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While it was unusual for a player to criticize a coach following a dismissal, there was a belief that something had to give with the Alouettes (2-4) on a two-game losing streak and usually having under -performed this season.

Montreal is second in the CFL with 16 sacks. But a source with intimate knowledge of the situation told the Montreal Gazette that there was complete confusion along the defensive line, adding that the group needed a new voice and a change of direction. attitude.

Howard also didn’t do himself a favor on the opening day of training camp, when he asked the former NFL first-round pick to practice with the starters against veteran Woody Baron. . This move was seen as a sign of disrespect for Baron. Jones was then released late in the camp.

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  1. Toronto Argonauts wide receiver Ricky Collins Jr. (2) tries to break tackles Ty Cranston (30) and Greg Reid (5) of the Montreal Alouettes after receiving a first half pass at BMO Field in Toronto on Friday September 24.  , 2021.

    Struggling Alouettes replace defensive coach Todd Howard

  2. Toronto Argonauts wide receiver Ricky Collins Jr. (2) breaks a tackle from Montreal Alouettes defensive back Patrick Levels (3) after receiving a pass in the first half at BMO Field.

    Unruly Alouettes make too many mistakes in last loss to Argos

  3. John Bowman of the Montreal Alouettes speaks to reporters as players clear their lockers in Montreal on November 11, 2019.

    Inside the CFL: Former Alouettes star Bowman weighs in on life after football

The Alouettes are allowing an average of 25.7 points per game. Only Ottawa gave in more. And the team has always made it big by going with a three-man front. Montreal allowed 11 passing games from 30 yards or more, including two in Friday’s 30-27 loss to Toronto. That included a 45-yard touchdown to Chandler Worthy just before halftime, two games after Vernon Adams Jr.’s interception. In other words, better secondary coverage is also required.

“We have a good group and a strong crew, but we have to leave the field when it’s second and long,” said Ménard. “I hope that with the change maybe it will make the guys a bit more comfortable. I don’t know if the guys felt comfortable; I hope not. But we’re 2-4 and hopefully (the move) puts the guys… more on the edge.

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Head coach Khari Jones said Howard was no longer a good candidate for the team, but denied he was made a scapegoat.

“I felt it was the right thing for the team to do,” Jones said. “I felt it was a move I had to make. … We feel like we have the right things in place to do what we need to do.

Quick, 64, a former linebacker coach is on his third stint with the Alouettes. He also worked twice with the Argonauts and was Saskatchewan’s defensive coordinator in 2015 when the Roughriders were 3-15.

Quick is vocal and energetic. Players will know exactly where they stand with him.

“There has to be a certain sense of urgency every moment we work,” said Quick. “I hope to bring this passion and this sense of urgency.

“You’re always trying to catch lightning in a bottle. I think there is a level of experience, a level of interaction, a way of working with me that corresponds to the players that we have.

Meanwhile, Alouettes running back William Stanback has been named one of the CFL’s best players of the week. Stanback gained 133 yards on 19 carries against Toronto – the third straight game and the fourth time this season, he’s gone over 100 yards. Stanback leads the CFL on rushing with 618 yards on 97 carries.

Adams trained despite bruising his ribs against the Argos and expects to play in Hamilton on Saturday.

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