Why is Darian Durant still starting for the Alouettes?

Montreal Alouettes quarterback Darian Durant (4). THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

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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Matthew Ross

Matthew Ross

Matthew Ross is a radio host on TSN 690 Montreal and has contributed to the Montreal Gazette, MLB.com and AskMen.com. He's a native Montrealer and misses watching Anthony Calvillo just like everyone else.
Matthew Ross
Matthew Ross
About Matthew Ross (27 Articles)
Matthew Ross is a radio host on TSN 690 Montreal and has contributed to the Montreal Gazette, MLB.com and AskMen.com. He's a native Montrealer and misses watching Anthony Calvillo just like everyone else.

26 Comments on Why is Darian Durant still starting for the Alouettes?

  1. It really doesn’t matter if Durant plays. At least he will get a chance to finish his CFL Career on the field.

  2. Maybe because they play the Riders next week? Who knows with Montreal.

  3. Jim Mullin // October 20, 2017 at 12:00 pm //

    The answer could reside in the way Drew Willy’s contract is written. You’ll never get the answer to that.

  4. Joey>>>>>>>>AnyAlsFansWhoPayAttention>>>>>>>>Matthew

  5. Paul Bomber // October 20, 2017 at 12:21 pm //

    I’m still trying to figure out why Montreal gave him an elite-level QB contract in the first place.
    To the basic question asked here – Kavis is the issue, not Durant. There are two much more logical options: See if Willy can find his groove or give an extended look to Shiltz.

    • Marc Lebut // October 20, 2017 at 3:48 pm //

      Both are part of the issue. Reed more than Durant, but Durant is. He’s not worth 400K. He’s worth no more than 150K. I mean, I would have prefered to see Adams or Cato struggling than a “proven” vet like Durant. All he’s proven this season is he’s washed up.

  6. Reed keeping his job next year will plummet ticket sales in Montreal. If Durant came back as the team’s QB, they would be lucky to have 2,000 show up. Both Reed and Durant have to go and now!

    • Last year I went to 7 of 9 home games. This year seeing how Reed is not taking his job seriously or just not capable, I did not attend one game. Looks like I won’t be seeing any game at Molson/Percival next year till they get rid of the deadwood team of Reed/Durant/Willy. I don’t mind watching a losing team but I like to see them at least starting to build to a future.

      • Marc Lebut // October 20, 2017 at 3:58 pm //

        Rid of Reed, Durant, Willy… and Mack, and Calvillo, and Lathrop, and Quick, and Hogan, and Charbonneau, and Boivin, and Wetenhall, and Dozier, and Simmons, and any DT, and Jackson, and Rutley, and Campbell, and at least half of rest of this team.

        They were supposed to start to build the future. So they got rid of Cato and Adams, re-signed Rutley, released Jackson to keep Logan, hired Ryan Philips (who they released shortly after he was back healthy) to release Johnson (who is still playing), released Woods day 2 of TC to release his oh so great next man up last week, released Jake Ruby to hire Simmons.

        You don’t build future on mediocrity.

  7. Prove me wrong // October 20, 2017 at 12:56 pm //

    Perhaps it is a mix of issues. Giving a known QB (Durrant) a chance to gain his old form would give Montreal alternatives heading into 2018, in that if Durrant can regain his groove, he would make the most logical starter (under a restructured contract). They should be giving playing time to all three, like a job interview for next year. Though if the Als go after anyone of the QB free agents at the end of the season… who knows.

    • Paul Bomber // October 20, 2017 at 2:01 pm //

      On the Durant/groove theory: my counter point would be it’s not a groove issue. It’s an old man issue. He was effective when defences had to respect his ability to scramble. That’s no longer an option. But props for trying to give the Als brain trust some credit.

  8. i am an als die hard fan, i do agree with alot of people on here, we are out of the play-offs, so i would go with kevin shiltz, at least to start the game.i said from the beginning that the als should have never given up on air canada, a real canaian. mr. bridge would have looked really good just about now.

  9. Scottsask // October 20, 2017 at 1:41 pm //

    I have the answer…… Kavis Reed is nothing short of a fool. Sorry ALS fans.

    • Again Scottie don’t throw stones worry about your own joke of a gm

      • George Porge // October 20, 2017 at 3:05 pm //

        Dude, even I can see that Jones’ team is at least trending upwards in the “W” column. I don’t think Reed has ever been part of an organization that hasn’t gone downhill after his hiring.

      • Joke of a gm? His team just made the Stamps look like a joke and I for one thought it was hilarious.

    • Marc Lebut // October 20, 2017 at 4:01 pm //

      Scottssk, you’re bang on. Fooler than him can be Wetenhall and Boivin.

    • BleedzGreen // October 20, 2017 at 7:25 pm //

      @Scottsask: Bingo!

  10. Each of the 3 QBs should play a game to end out the season.

  11. Hmm. You been sleeping the last number of rider games?

    • Your Stamps were sleeping tonight. 30-7! That was a nice TD pass Mitchell threw to Carter btw. LMAO

  12. justforkicks // October 20, 2017 at 3:06 pm //

    Maybe it’s giving DD an opportunity to “apply” for the job by showing he can come back after his injuries and horrible season.

  13. idiotwind // October 20, 2017 at 3:56 pm //

    There’s a slew of free agents coming into play who are younger than Durant – Bridge, Franklin, Lulay, Buckley, Harris, Masoli, to name a few. There’s also Ray, older but better. Plus either one of Collaros or Manziel will likely be available. Whether they want to go to Mtl is a question but Reed will certainly be able to bid on them & has shown he will overpay. I can’t see any reason to bring an overpaid Durant back.

    • Marc Lebut // October 20, 2017 at 4:04 pm //

      Yes, but none of those guys will come to Montréal. It’s so much of a mess only players who can’t find a job will sign. No wonder why Alouettes convinced all stars like Willy and Simmons to sign.

  14. Marc Lebut // October 20, 2017 at 4:24 pm //

    The first Alouettes game I watched, Kay Dalton was HC. It wasn’t pretty, but it wasn’t such a mess.

    Alouettes are in total shambles. As long as the owners will make great decisions like they did since 2013 (Hawkins, Higgins, Popp, Reed, Mack) the Alouettes will set new mediocrity records. They messed so much that they can’t even find anyone to take Reed’s spot. That’s why he’s been confirmed. They’re so toxic NO ONE credible wants to work for the Alouettes. Firing Chapdelaine and Thorpe convinced everyone serious not to work here.

    So Kavis is saying he’ll find a “strong coach” with “great assistants”. BS all the way. Joe Galat 2.0 (or 0.2?). He’ll hire Mike Kelly as HC, Jeff Reinebold as DC and Chevy Chase as STC. Oh wait! Chevy Chase can triple his paycheck with one movie. Forget it, we just lost the best of these three.

    So why play Durant? Probably to give him a reason NOT to play in Regina and get destroyed in front of his only remaining fans. Durant is done in Montréal, as much as he’s done, period. No one cheers for him in Montréal after the numerous horrible games he’s played. He’s not bad. He’s very, very, very bad.

    As this fiasco is still going on, Reed is giving his ol’ buddy Durant a last chance to display the great QB he is, so maybe someone will take him next season as a backup once he’ll be forced to release him. Or maybe, he gices him a chance to get hurt, so he won’t be allowed to release his buddy until the docs say he’s game ready… in 2 years.

    The ONLY good reason to play Durant for the rest of the season is so that Shiltz and Pipkin won’t get destroyed.

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