There was a lot of talk about the Alouettes’ offensive line this week in practice. And for good reason: she conceded six sacks to the Ottawa Redblacks on June 10.
“It’s clear that a six-sack performance, we don’t want that to happen anymore, and we’re going to make sure that doesn’t happen again,” said guard Pier-Olivier Lestage as the game approached. Friday in Hamilton.
“We looked at the videotapes and looked at what needed to be fixed. […] We have new guys in several positions, a new coach and a new playbook: it is clear that we will improve from week to week. »
There has been a lot of talk about communication errors in discussions with Alouettes players and coaches over the past few days. Everyone agrees, however, that this is good news: it will be easier to correct.
“I would say it’s just about improving our communication on the offensive line,” offensive line coach Luc Brodeur-Jourdain first pointed out earlier this week. .
“There haven’t been a lot of changes, but we have a new center that has to learn a new language, a new quarterback and a new playbook. By combining all these factors, it sometimes leads to a timing that is not up to what we want at the start of the season. »
“We always want to protect the quarterback. That’s been our goal since Marc Trestman was the coach here,” offensive coordinator Anthony Calvillo said Wednesday.
“The six sacks two weeks ago were the result of a series of mistakes made by just about everyone, even our quarterback who sometimes backed down too deeply. Which is good news in itself: you don’t want one person to be responsible for all those bags. »
“Early in the season, the defenses bring you things that you haven’t seen on the videotapes,” added Brodeur-Jourdain. We try to plan everything, but we don’t necessarily succeed. We had a few strategic surprises during the match, but the physical response from the players was excellent. »
Moreover, quarterback Cody Fajardo was careful not to throw his linemen under the proverbial bus for this poor performance.
“It was the first week!” There are several reasons for this underperformance. First, their defense showed us stuff that I had never seen from their coordinator. We had to make a lot of adjustments in the heat of the moment. We’ll be a thousand times better this week.
“There is also pressure which is my fault, because I took too long to get rid of the ball. And there are also defensive linemen who win their one-on-one battles because they too get paid to play football. »
Even though the Tiger-Cats only managed two sacks in their first two outings, their defensive front is not to be taken lightly, as it will certainly be hungry for this first game in front of its fans.
We don’t yet know who will replace Brian Harelimana in the Alouettes’ roster, but it seems we already know who will replace defensive back Nafees Lyon against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Lyon did not train with their teammates on Wednesday near the Olympic Stadium. Instead, it was Kabion Ento, who is currently part of the training formation, who took his place during the various defense rehearsals.
The nature of the injury to Lyon, who had trained with the group earlier this week, is unknown. Against the Ottawa Redblacks, he had three tackles.
Harelimana was released by the Alouettes on Sunday. The Quebec linebacker, fourth-round pick of the Alouettes in 2020, had just signed a new two-year contract last April.
On Monday, head coach Jason Maas explained that Harelimana suffered congestion at his position. He will be replaced by a player whose name is currently on the Alouettes’ injured list.
Currently, linebacker Bryce Notree, defensive back Kerfalla Exumé and defensive end Avery Williams are on the one-game injured list.