September 2016 – In Defence of Duron Carter

I know. I KNOW.

Duron Carter is a bad seed, bad apple…all kinds of BAD. There are less and less people willing to tolerate Carter’s antics…DESPITE his dominant athletic abilities. Carter is a bad teammate. He’s SELFISH. But the ONE THING Duron Carter is NOT is stupid. Carter claims his selfishness is a good thing…so let’s examine that, shall we?

Carter came to the Alouettes ostensibly to get another shot at the NFL. With Kevin Glenn at quarterback and Anthony Calvillo as offensive-coordinator, Carter had EVERY reason to believe he’d tear up the CFL this season, and get another shot at the BIG SHOW. While that attitude has, at times, stuck in my craw…it’s a reality that’s shaped the CFL for decades…and it won’t be changing any time soon.

After the first few weeks of the season it must have dawned on Duron Carter that his offensive-coordinator was in WAY over his head. Calvillo was appointed OC after the firing of LONG TIME NFL coach Turk Schonert. Despite being only several weeks into his coaching career, Calvillo was appointed to (arguably) the second most important position on a football team, after Head Coach.

The fact that this appointment had MUCH more to do with sentimentality than actual football savvy CANNOT have been lost on the players at the time. I’m sure EVERY player  on this team was hoping Calvillo would emerge from his offseason…playbook in hand…ready to prove the naysayers (that’s yours truly) DEAD wrong.

That didn’t happen.

Calvillo has been a disaster as an offensive-coordinator. And while I can claim to KNOW a hundred and one reasons for the failure…it’s the players who’s lives are affected, who’s careers are stunted, by a coach who’s unqualified for his position.

Sep 10, 2016 – I’m tired of this and y’all I’m mad every game because everybody is calling a chess game and we playing checkers ‼ it’s very frustrating.

A lot was made of this Carter tweet. I remember MY reaction very well. “That’s FUCKING brilliant.” is an exact quote. While most took it as yet ANOTHER example of Carter’s disrespectful behaviour, I’d like to use Matt Dunigan’s words AGAINST him for a second:  when Cato complained that Carter was disrespecting him, Dunigan countered that Cato had to EARN his players’ respect on the field*…that he hadn’t done that yet. By winning…presumably.

Well…by the same token…Calvillo has done NOTHING in his career as coach to earn the respect of his players. In reality, his underwhelming “checkers” playbook/calling has been the ONE ELEMENT on this team that hasn’t been “good” to “excellent”. How can the players NOT have increasing disrespect for a coach who’s doing OBVIOUS and perhaps IRREPARABLE damage to their careers and livelihoods?

Now that Chapdelaine has been given (presumably) control of the offence, Carter has a bit MORE to add:

“It starts at the top. He holds himself to a high standard. He holds the receivers to a high standard and I think that trickles down,” Carter said. “He’s a nice guy, but he also has moral values. He doesn’t take any bull from anybody. I think it’ll be a good fit…we need somebody that’s in touch with the players.”

While it’s never a good idea to put words in another’s mouth, the constraits against “speaking out” and breaking the pro sports culture of silence sometimes make it necessary to at least attempt a translation. It MAY be a bit of a stretch, but let’s assume Carter’s enumerating the qualities the outgoing coaching dynamic-duo (PoppVillo) were lacking:

“It starts at the top. He doesn’t hold himself to a high standard. He never holds the players to a high standard and I think that’s why there’s no trickle down,” Carter said. “He’s a nice guy, but he has no moral values. He takes any bull from anybody…especially ME.  I think it was a BAD fit…we need somebody that’s in touch with the players.”

As far as Chapdelaine’s replacing Calvillo as head of the offence is concerned, Carter seems scarcely  able to contain himself:

“I think Jacques is a more than capable coach. I’m excited,” Carter said. “He’s an offensive mind. Him having more power will work out for us. I think he’s in a better position now to influence the offence. He just has a knack for calling plays. He knows exactly what to call. Him having that authority now, that will give us a dynamic that (other teams) aren’t ready for.”

Not to toot my own horn or nuttin’, but you’ll find references all OVER this blog, to plays or even sequences of plays that I assumed, by their creativity and unpredictability, could ONLY have come from the brain of Jacques Chapdelaine. I join Carter in salivating over what 6 WHOLE games of THAT Alouettes offence might be like.

Wouldn’t it be funny if MOST, if not ALL of the Alouettes discipline problems this year stemmed from the disrespect NATURALLY DUE to a puffed-up wouldbe Napoleon of a Head Coach, and the disrespect that grew organically, as players came to realize Calvillo’s unsuitability for his position?

True enough…who can blame Cato for trying to reign in a disruptive influence…someone who at a whim could make his career a SUCCESS, or might well tank his chances at becoming a starting quarterback in this league. What could Cato do but attempt to bring structure and order where there was NONE?

But perhaps there’s just a thimbleful of vindication for Carter as well…who it seems, in the most constraining of circumstances, has been trying to send a message NOBODY in Montreal has been particularly eager to hear:

Anthony Calvillo is a BAD offensive-coordinator. SOMEBODY do something.

Well Duron. Somebody FINALLY did. Time to pull everything together. Get to work. Get into the playoffs. Win the Grey Cup!!

You’ve ALWAYS had the talent. NOW you have the coaching.

GO MAKE HISTORY!!!

!!!GO ALS GO!!!

 

 

 

*the fact is, Cato complained NOT because Carter disrespected him as a quarterback, but Carter wasn’t showing him the common respect EVERYONE has a right to expect. “Respect due to a dog” In Cato’s words. NOTHING to do with on field performance.

Can’t help feeling Dunigan’s mind gets more “embrumé” every season. The fact that I probably watched 80% of the hits that have affected him this way sits uneasily, I have to admit.

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