Boy, did they ever fool us or what?
Every sports reporter in the country thought that Montreal would hire a head coach with CFL experience. From Claybrooks to Chamblin, the rumours were aplenty. When the popular name of Marcel Bellefeuille surfaced, fans in this province thought that it was a foregone conclusion that the Als would hire their second straight bilingual coach. But it was not to be. Instead, they went for a name that resonates throughout the North American football world.
Mike Sherman is a successful coordinator and head coach in the NFL. No, he didn’t win a Super Bowl as the team boss, but he did win many NFL and college games. He coached big names. He was successful with big names. It is curious that he was plucked from the high school ranks, but you can’t ignore his past accomplishments.
Sherman’s introductory presser was predictable, full of cliches and boring “the right way” speak. But the Alouettes need stability and fundamentals right now. And Sherman is certainly capable of providing it.
While detractors may worry about his ability to adapt to the Canadian game, the CFL is more about talent level, both on the sideline and on the field. With a strong reputation, Sherman is bound to be able to bring in high-level coaches, both from Canada and down south. His name may also carry weight with ex-NFLers looking for a new lease on their football lives.
Sherman has also served as an NFL GM, so the belief is that he’ll have a major say in personnel decisions, assuaging my concerns about Kavis Reed being THE guy on that front.
Montreal has the oldest roster in the league. At 63, Sherman is one of the older coaches now in the league. What does that tell you? Well, it tells me that Reed may force Darian Durant on his new coach, preaching that he just needs the offensive mind that helped Brett Favre excel in Green Bay. Oh boy, I certainly hope that this isn’t the case.
Perhaps Sherman’s extensive network of contacts in the football world can yield an under-the-radar recommendation of a QB to bring in an and compete for the starting job. That’s my biggest hope for this hiring. In a league where the quarterback absolutely dictates how far you’ll go in the postseason (see Calvillo, Anthony), the Alouettes can’t afford to start a mediocre or even slightly above average rear pivot. They need franchise face.
So Sherman is a breath of fresh air in that he elevates the level of respect for the team across the league. Now it’s time for he and Kavis to justify it.
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