September 2016 – Welcome Back Cato!!!

I don’t want to get too excited. Don’t NOBODY get too excited (you might jinx it). Herb announced the news with his habitual panache:

Those who have been clamouring for a change at quarterback finally have received their wish. Rakeem Cato has been given the keys to an Alouettes offence that seems to have severe transmission problems. And Cato, the second-year pro, did his best at practice on Monday to display there’s a new sheriff in town — that there will be a price to pay in what, at times, has been perceived as a lawless society where the inmates run the asylum.

While at times it’s felt contradictory, I have NOT been one of the ones who’s “been clamouring for a change at quarterback”. While I’m CERTAIN that properly utilized, in an offence geared towards his talents, athletic and otherwise, Rakeem Cato would be…WILL BE a better quarterback than Kevin Glenn EVER was.

But in an offence geared STRICTLY towards pocket passing, and with an offensive line that’s been put together (apparently) with ZERO thought to protecting a quarterback in the pocket…FRANKLY I fear for Cato’s life.

But more than this…I fear for Cato’s QUALITY of life. Rakeem Cato is a quarterback. I don’t know what his plans are for after the game, but for NOW, he should be playing football. In this present climate, with a dysfunctional team near tearing itself apart on a weekly basis, there’s every reason to think this team is setting the kid up for failure. Even Duron Carter gets THAT.

“There’s a lot of pressure on him, getting thrown into this situation. He doesn’t know who’s against him or with him,” Carter claimed. “He’s always heated. That’s the energy he plays with. He’s ready for his opportunity. I’m always going to rock with him. I’m going to catch a touchdown for him on Friday.”

Let’s face it…if I’ve been banned from posting on RDS and the Gazette  for ANYTHING…it’s for the same reason as last time…redirecting the narrative from whatever bullshit, fallguy nonsense Popp and his cronies are doling out, and back where it belongs.

So if Rakeem Cato and the Alouettes fail to improve…well as Herb puts it:

While Cato’s considerably younger and more athletic than the 37-year-old Glenn, we’ll find out fairly quickly whether it was the player or the system the quarterbacks are operating under.

BTW Herb: it’s “or the system under which the quarterbacks are operating.” NYAH.

At the beginning of the season I’d been lamenting the fact that the Alouettes’ offence, under Popp and Calvillo, seemed to be lacking CORE leadership. Discipline problems, MOST especially with, BUT not limited to Duron Carter have been plaguing this team since Week One. Arguably, it has cost us several games.

And while they MAY get Cato to do his Dancing Bear routine every time Glenn throws a touchdown…this OBVIOUS attempt at HUMBLING has done NOTHING to quiet the fire in Cato’s belly. So in THIS context what does leadership mean? To Cato apparently, it means “shut up and get to work.”

Cato wants to WIN. Up to this point the Alouettes have been playing like bunch of highschool kids torturing the substitute teacher. With Duron Carter playing the role of Vinny Barbarino. Wa? Where? I’m Vinny Barbaariiiiino. Only the name of this show is NOT Welcome Back Carter.

The reason for this behaviour is simple enough. Neither Popp nor Calvillo have the right to expect ANY respect from the men on this team. THEY have families to support. In order to do this they HAVE to win. If those who are leading them are incompetent to the point of sabotaging EVERYONE’S chance at success: lack of respect…AND discipline.

Enter Rakeem Cato.

In his 1st practice with the starting offence, Cato laid into Duron Carter pretty good. Listen to Herb trying to defend Carter’s disruptive poisonality:

Carter, who returned to the Als this season after a year with the Indianapolis Colts, has always been a free-spirit and unique individual. He dances to the music being played during warmup and can be seen joking, gesticulating loudly, between drills.

Poppa Carter MAY have gifted his son with a buttload of skills, but a bit less skill and a LOT more professionalism would make him not ONLY a good receiver, but an invaluable asset to his team. So far he’s been an asset, and a liability – flip a coin.

So while Cato won’t tell us WHAT it was all about…his message is CLEAR: Teacher’s BACK. Let’s get to work!

“I’m tired of all this talking,” Cato was heard shouting. “You guys always let it slide.”
“This isn’t just about (Carter). It’s about this organization, going out and having pride, playing for the next man, for the bird on the side of the helmet,” Cato said. “He’s going to act how he acts. When it gets like that, I’m not going to hush my mouth. I’m going to let it be known. Today, I didn’t hush my mouth.”

Sure there’s a new sheriff in town. And if he starts winning, or EVEN turns a pathetic offence into a mediocre one, his natural leadership will stand him in good stead. But if the predictability of this Calvillo offence, predictably tanks Cato’s efforts…

SCHOOL’S OUT FOR SUMMER

 

One final point. I will presume to sum up Cato’s feelings (and mine) on this day:

How long do you think Duron Carter’s cliquish, adolescent, disruptive behaviour would be tolerated by Wally Buono? John Hufnagel? You know. ACTUAL professional coaches and leaders. Or ANY gridiron football club south of the border…come to that…cause with all that talent and SIZE my friend…how comes THEY ain’t a knockin’ on YOUR door?

Leadership.

Go Cato.

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