Following a bye week, the Montreal Alouettes returned to practice this week. In one of those ‘what are they doing’ moments, general manager and head coach Kavis Reed has given Darian Durant the first-team reps, implying that he will be under centre when the Als take on Hamilton Sunday afternoon at Molson Stadium. Only one question comes to mind: why?
The Alouettes are already out of the postseason picture. Yet, they would rather give Durant the nod over exploring the future of the franchise? Is this the GM’s way of telling everyone that Durant will be the starter in 2018? If he isn’t saying that then what the heck is he doing?
Reed has been quite public with various Montreal outlets that he believes the team is headed in the right direction, despite the atrocious record. He’s talked about the locker room chemistry and about signs on the field that things are getting better. But generally, when you have a bad record and you are relatively healthy, it implies that the team is either really young and only needs more experience, or that there isn’t enough talent on the roster. Looking at the average age of the team I am thinking it’s the latter.
Durant, who has been a major disappointment as the starting quarterback, will be 36 next August. Sure, Henry Burris succeeded after the age of 40 years old. But when was the last time we were talking about four consecutive good games played by Durant? Add in his lengthy injury history and it just seems odd that Reed would even consider bringing him back in 2018. It’s almost like Durant couldn’t get adjusted to the lofty expectations, big city vibe and legendary quarterback shadow that is the Montreal market.
The other part of this mystery is that Reed has been effusive of Matt Shiltz, the young third-string QB who’s looked good in limited time. At 24, the six-foot-two Shiltz is certainly worth a look here as the season winds down. If not now, when?
Shiltz came from Butler, hardly a powerhouse football program. But he is mobile and seems to carry himself with confidence – a trait that not all Als players have right now.
But alas, are we doomed to only wonder just how good Shiltz is, or will Reed come to his senses, pull Durant early on Sunday and let the kid play? Otherwise, he’s essentially acknowledging that we’ll see more of the same in 2018.
In trying to search for reasons why Durant would be playing, I thought maybe it’s related to bonuses. Does Durant have any milestones he needs to hit that Reed more or less promised him? It wouldn’t be unusual for a high profile veteran to be given such a high amount of respect.
But if this really is all about bonus money, then while Durant may come out ahead, the future of the organization and the fans may come out on the losing end.
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