July 2018 – Als Give Up 6 Sacks in Loss – Trade All-Star O’Lineman

The consensus from the CFL fans I know is that Adams wasn’t so bad in his first start this season…despite Molson Morons screaming Manziel’s name while the offence was on the field. AND despite the fact that he had less than a week to prepare with the 1st team offence. AND despite the fact that the offensive line barely knew each others’ names, let alone having time to gel as a unit…

Anyone ever wonder about Kavis Reed? I have. I do. Just what kind of qualifications did he have, before being promoted from special teams coordinator to Head Kahuna? And for God’s sake: WHY?!?

Just as with Jim Popp being named Head Coach a season before, the Alouettes were forced to go “in house” to find a GM. And all because of ownership’s devotion to Anthony Calvillo as the inevitable coaching future of this franchise (I still suspect that’s the plan, somewhere down the road). After all, how do you convince ANY legitimate GM to lead this team, when he’s shackled to the idea that AC HAS TO BECOME head coach or OC, the second anything goes sideways. And whataya know; that’s exactly what happened the second Chapdelaine fell out of favor.

Reed was installed for some pretty dubious reasons. But as far as I understand it, a GM’s job is to lead the search for talent, manage the draft and salaries, player development and all that schmear. Now Didier Ormejuste from RDS lets loose with an accusation that’s rather stuck in my craw:

So how are we going to construct a team around Johny Manziel?. On top of which we’re not exactly adept at finding good players. Good American talent…we’re not capable of finding these players…

…you’re meant to construct your team via the draft. Not to construct your team through signing free agents. It’s now two off seasons for the Alouettes that Kavis Reed is VERY active in the free agent market….

…To me, all this gives me the impression that it’s simple; Kavis Reed didn’t do his homework during the offseason. His FIRST mandate should have been to find a talented quarterback and to bring him into the fold. All he did was to sign Josh Freeman. And that was a complete waste of time for the Alouettes. So, he didn’t do his homework and now he’s trying to make up for lost time.

I’ve been watching the CFL for about 50 years now. One thing I’ve noticed, as Didier suggests: teams that are struggling with BAD GM’s and BAD scouting, end up signing other teams’ “downward trending” ex-stars, instead of recruiting and developing their own stars of the future.

And arguably the “easiest” most abundant resource in the CFL is defensive backs. There are hundreds of defensive backs sitting at home, more every season, waiting for a phone call from someone like Kavis Reed.

And how hard is it to sign, recruit and develop a Canadian offensive lineman? And to get him to the stage where he’s an all-star? It’s a crap-shoot. Hit and miss. Pretty damned difficult, as it turns out.

Well, now Ryan Bomben is that all-star lineman. Joining the Alouettes in 2010, Bomben, drafted in the 4th round – 31st overall, played a huge role in the Alouettes’ ascendancy under Marc Trestman . Then the 6’4″ 305 pound Bomben was traded by Jim Popp to the Ticats in 2015 for 2 draft picks. Bomben was an all-star with Hamilton in each of his 3 seasons there.  The Als re-acquired Bomben in May of 2018.

“In exchange, the Alouettes have traded their first round (1st overall), fourth round (31st overall) and sixth round (44th overall) picks in the 2018 draft, as well as their second round pick in the 2019 draft.”

More draft picks gone…POOF! 3 Picks! A first overall pick, for an American defensive back in TJ Heath. A back we could have, SHOULD HAVE replaced with talent recruited out of college. Did the Alouettes need to replace Mitchell White after his horrible injury? Obviously. Get well soon, bud. Did the Alouettes have to sacrifice one of the best players, on an “improving” but still dangerously inadequate O’line? NO. They should have had a “next man up” attitude in the secondary, had Kavis Reed been doing his job*. God help Johnny Manziel in the pocket. God help our running backs. God help the Alouettes.

Oh, and speaking of recruiting talent out of college, when was the last time the Alouettes drafted OR signed a receiver out of college, and developed him into an all-star? Maybe S.J. Green. Signed in 2007 after an uninspiring career at South Florida. CFL All-Star in 2013 and 2017. Now we need to acquire the services of the likes of Adarius “Dropsy” Bowman, who arrived in Montreal today. What has this team come to?

So God help Kavis Reed, as he continues to make stupid and incompetent decisions and inflict his complete lack of scouting and recruiting resources on this team. The fans have spoken. Reed is OUT if the Manziel trade doesn’t improve this team. And without the resources needed to surround Manziel with the talent he needs/WE NEED to succeed, what choice do we have:



Will Kavis Reed’s position be in jeopardy should the Alouettes continue to lose with Johnny Manziel?

91% say OUI!

You can add me to that number.



BACKDATE: A selection from October 2016: with me promoting the idea of a platoon between Cato and Adams:

“The Alouettes can go in one of two directions: Sure, they can go the traditional, expected route and sign somebody’s reject veteran quarterback. We can sit Vernon Adams behind a Ricky Ray, or Darian Durant or hey, why not get Kevin Glenn back? And we’ll float around in the murky waters of a quarterback’s declining years, until he’s injured or ineffective and we HAVE to play our ONE young, up-and-coming star QB anyway. And he’ll FLOUNDER a bit, stumble and pick himself up, with NOBODY comparable to spell him, or back him up. Meanwhile we’ll have wasted yet another season, will little to show for it.

[Reed dumped Cato, sat Adams behind Durant and then traded his ass. We indeed floated in murky waters as Durant graced us with his declining “months”, and yes, we endured yet another wasted season.]

OR we go ALL in. Build for the FUTURE. You SAW Cato run for 73yds on a read-option, right? That play has been available ALL SEASON LONG. Using Cato and Adams as runners…having Chapdelaine construct a dynamic offence featuring BOTH Cato and Adams as DUAL threats…attacking defenses with their legs as much as with their arms. THAT is the solution to the problem of starting quarterbacks who are arguably YEARS away from being capable of reading a defence like a veteran.”

[So maybe this plan still has a chance, with Manziel and Adams leading the way. Oh I forgot. Reed is still GM]

A few selections from December 2016, my reaction to Kavis Reed being named Alouettes GM:

“One might imagine a certain reluctance on the part of ownership to re-visit the AC as OC experiment. The hiring of Kavis Reed as GM seems to fly straight in the face of that most reasonable assumption: Calvillo is here to stay. Calvillo is the future…whether it makes any sense or not. Whether it means a COMPETENT GM candidate will EVER lead this team…or NOT.

[Calvillo’s finally gone after last year’s post-Chapdelaine debacle. NOT ONE GAME WON after kicking Chappers to the curb. Calvillo’s OC record in tatters at 6-23 or some such. Can’t even be bothered to check anymore.]

So who “wins” with this decision? NOT the fans, who want NOTHING more than a talented GM with contacts on BOTH sides of the bolder, ESSENTIAL in building us a WINNER. Reed himself must be worried. If he flames out and PROVES what everyone in the game assumes: that Kavis Reed is simply NOT GM material…well…it could be Edmonton OR Saskatchewan all over again: ra ra ra!

[Still waiting for the GM this city deserves.]

Certainly NOT the players heading into contract negotiations. The list of Alouettes potentially heading into free agency is LONG. And, lacking a GM who can seamlessly replace the “old and infirm” with young, dynamic talent…well all players LOSE…even those who WOULD potentially be signed by this team, in some parallel Universe where decisions ACTUALLY make sense…and we ACTUALLY have a competent GM.

[We lost Bear Woods, SJ Green and basically half of our defensive squad. All so we could sign Durant. Reed hasn’t recruited any new ‘dynamic’ talent to speak of. Kavis Reed is one move away from flaming out altogether.]

I’m sure Chapdelaine is concerned. What HC/OC wouldn’t be? Without a fresh infusion of talent this team, this offence can do little else but FLOUNDER and die a slow motion death…with a whimper. Forget the BANG. And the buck stopped elsewhere….AGES ago.

[Predictably (literally) Chapdelaine’s offence went nowhere without any new talent, and with an asshat like Durant at the helm.]

So WHO all does that leave? Ownership seems inclined to make it’s decisions unilaterally, regardless of their perceived “questionableness”. But ultimately, ownership is answerable to the public…UNLESS they plan to populate the stands ENTIRELY with their own clones. AND the public is yet again EXCLUDED from the process entirely, in a Colbert-ian continuance of the “untruthiness” that has marked this team’s dealings for ALL TOO LONG.

NO. The SINGLE human being who benefits from today’s decision to promote Kavis Reed to GM is Anthony Calvillo. As the Chapdelaine iteration of this club INEVITABLY falters under the weight of this folly, YET ANOTHER mid-term coaching abortion will undoubtedly be at hand.

[Calvillo proved inarguably that he was the worst offensive coordinator in Alouettes history.]

AND…in the absence of ANY legitimate replacement…as Thorpe de-camps at the EARLIEST possible opportunity…AC will once again grace us with his masterful game of checkers. AND with a dwindling pool of talent, and a next-to-rudderless offence, WHAT OTHER FATE AWAITS US ALL BUT  THE COMPLETE FAILURE, AND EVENTUAL, INEVITABLE DISSOLUTION OF THIS FRANCHISE?”

[Thorpe was unceremoniously kicked out with Chapdelaine. Victim of Reed’s hollowing out of the defense to make room for Durant’s cap-hit. How’re things in Ottawa, Noel?]

Oh we’re close to going under, all right. Still, I guess I should have added: UNLESS KAVIS REED MANAGES TO SIGN JOHNNY FOOTBALL AND SAVE HIS OWN ASS AT THE LAST MINUTE.

It’s no fun being right all the time, when you’re right about the world being shit.

*A partial transcript of 3DownNation’s Drew Edwards and Justin Dunk, saying pretty much the same thing (not sure who is who, they change after each paragraph) :

Ryan Bomben, he himself has been an East Division all-star the last couple (of years) as well, and he’s going to make more money than T.J. Heath but, you should be able to find American defensive backs. You should be able to find the next T.J. Heath. He’s not going to be as good as T.J. Heath right now. But if you have faith in your scouting system, then that player ideally would be on the practice roster so you can bump him up when Mitchell White gets dinged or Joe Burnett goes out. Now, instead of that, the Alouettes have made the decision to trade Ryan Bomben, one of the best Canadian offensive linemen, bar none, that could play guard or tackle…for T.J. Heath, who clearly the Argos where alright with parting with.

Also, Landon Rice was the 6th man in Hamilton. And was behind Ryan Bomben on the depth chart. Going from Ryan Bomben, 2 time all-star to Landon Rice is not an upgrade…
Again, it seems like you’re giving up a significant asset to solve a short-term problem, or a problem that you should be able to solve another way. Finding guys like Ryan Bomben is more difficult than finding guys like T.J. Heath.

Way more difficult.

POSTSCRIPT: You know. It’s taken a while for this trade to sink in. I finally realized that I liked the Manziel trade largely because it not only fixed our quarterback problem (hypothetically), by adding Washington and Rice, it fixed and offensive line problem that went back to Jacob Ruby, the revolving door in a uniform we acquired with the draft pick we got for Ryan Bomben, the first time we were stupid enough to get rid of him.

Ruby was a fucking disaster. And you can do a search for the number of times I’ve used that word on this BLOG. WAIT. OK…I stopped counting at 12. I promise…Jacob Ruby was REALLY bad.

But as I said, I figured with Washington and Blake and JFK and Johnstone and Bomben…HELL how could we NOT have a great O’line…eventually? The Johnstone is injured. And then fucking Reed trades Bomben.

FUCK the Manziel trade. It’s fucked because Reed traded away the best commodity and insurance that fucking trade had to offer: a solid fucking O’line.

All after a game where we gave up 6 sacks. With Adams running for 76 yards. When was the last time an Als quarterback did THAT? Riiiiight. That one Cato play. Thx for reminding me.


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