CFL: Previewing the 2011 CFL Season: Montreal Alouettes
The 2011 Canadian Football League Draft has come and gone and the teams have made their final selections.
Teams will now make the final preparations before training camp opens in 26 days.
A quick recap of the 2011 Draft have the Alouettes selecting kicker Brody McKnight, eighth overall in the first round. The team would then select offensive lineman Anthony Barrette in Round 2.
Rounds 3 and 4 would see offensive lineman Phillip Blake, followed by both Renaldo Sageese and Reed Alexander.
Finally, defensive lineman, Vaughn Martin would go in round five and Blaine Ruttan, a linebacker, in Round 6.
Looking back on the 2010 season, the Alouettes were nearly flawless throughout their 22 games, starting off with the remember-able Canada Day game versus the Saskatchewan Roughriders, that ended in a three-point win for the Roughriders.
Anthony Calvillo put on another clinic last season, as expected, and put up another batch of numbers such as 4,839 passing yards combined with 32 touchdowns, up from the 2009 season.
Calvillo did this all while seemingly keeping a big secret from the rest of the world, that he was facing a cancer scare on his throat and surgery would be required. Luckily, and from all reports, the surgery was a success and Anthony is well on his way to full recovery.
There will be some noticeable changes to the line-up this season as well, such as Ben Cahoon retiring, eventually taking up a job at BYU, his alma mater, as a receivers coach.
As well, star running back Avon Cobourne was left unsigned by the Alouettes and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats wasted little time snatching up the great back, adding immediate depth to their running game.
This season, the Alouettes will most likely rely heavily on newly-signed Ahman Green, formerly of the Green Bay Packers, to fill the void left by Cobourne.
Meanwhile, expect Prechae Rodriguez, S.J. Green, Kerry Watkins and the rest of the receiving core to step up in the absence caused by Cahoon's retirement.
This is no easy task, and both Carson Walch and Scott Milanovich will have their hands full.
As for defense, the retirement of Matthieu Proulx couldn't have come at a worse time, as the team will undoubtedly need to address the lack of depth at safety.
Expect Luc Brodeur-Jourdain to increase his game this season, after Bryan Chiu retired last season. The 28 year old was put in a very trying position and handled himself well, and I expect minimal changes there this season.
Once again, Adrian McPherson will return another season as Anthony Calvillo's back-up, but that doesn't mean the Alouettes can sit calmly on Calvillo, as he clearly only has one, two seasons max left under his belt.
Expect Marc Trestman to once again initiate his simple, tested and tried system of keeping football down to the basics.
The Alouettes are always a scary team and can explode at any point of the game.
In closing, not since the Edmonton Eskimos' amazing five-peat, has a team been able to pull off a three-peat and the Alouettes will do what they can to get back to the big game, on top, for a third-straight year.
The path set will not be an easy one and they will have a target on their back all season, but if they can handle themselves, I predict nothing less than a second place finish in the East.
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