MONTREAL – Vernon Adams Jr. didn’t quite reassure Montreal Alouettes fans in his first outing in nearly a year, while head coach Khari Jones played a bad game of hide-and-seek with reporters about his starting quarterback Thursday in Calgary.
“It’s up to Khari and the coaches to decide,” Adams diplomatically replied on Friday. No matter what they decide, I’m going to show up for work every day and give my 100%.
“Nobody told me I was going to start the year, but that’s my impression,” he said later. I don’t know how to answer that. All quarterbacks want to be the starter. If you don’t want it, what are you doing here? »
Everyone knows Adams will be behind center to start the season against the Stampeders – Jones had even told The Canadian Press earlier this week that there was no doubt as to the identity of his No. 1 quarterback – but the coach still wanted to maintain the false suspense.
“I’m not sure who will be my starter, but I’m not going to announce it now,” he said after his team’s 27-26 victory in extremis on Friday in the last preseason match of the season against the Ottawa Redblacks.
Toward the end of his briefing, when reporters asked if the entire coaching staff was on the same page about quarterbacks, Jones showed a very, very rare time of impatience as he answered the question. .
“Everyone is on the same wavelength. We will be, because he will be our starter. I know you like to make a big fuss out of it, but whoever gets to go gets to go. You pick someone and line up behind them. »
Yet these questions were legitimate. Jones has completed just six of his 12 passes and three of his last four shots have ended up in the hands of the opposition.
“I am very critical of myself. Hopefully on the movies, we’ll see the little things that need to be fixed, Adams said. But at the end of the day, I have to protect the ball better. »
“I’m going to watch the movies and make sure I saw what I saw,” Jones said. I thought he did some really good things, especially on the first series. There were of course things that did not go in the same direction. I don’t think it’s entirely his fault, but it falls on his shoulders because he’s the quarterback. »
Trevor Harris, his second, was also ordinary. He started his night by throwing the hosts’ fourth interception. He only completed three out of seven passes.
In fact, the Alouettes’ best quarterback on Friday was Davis Alexander, who completed nine of 13 passes for 127 yards and orchestrated the winning comeback with less than two minutes to play.
Gowanlock and Richards attract attention
Not everything was negative in this meeting, like the play of Brock Gowanlock and first choice in the last draft, Tyrell Richards.
Gowanlock was particularly brilliant, with a fumble recovery, three sacks and three tackles. The 2020 eighth-round pick didn’t want to take credit, however, but wishes it had been noticed.
“It’s a team game. On the fumble recovered, it was Tyrell Richards who did all the work with a spectacular tackle on the quarter, noted the defensive end. I was passing by and the ball literally fell into my hands. On my first sack, the opposing quarterback found himself in the arms of two of my teammates before running away and crossing my path.
“I hope I’ve done enough to make room for me. There is nowhere else in this league and in the world where I would want to play. (…) It is not me who has the last word. That will be up to the coaches to decide. But it is clear that I hope to have made my place. »
“Tell me about a guy who stuck to the ball. He guessed the accounts, it was beautiful to see, praised Jones. That’s what we wanted to see.
“He was a little shaken during camp, so we didn’t see him that much. At the same time, there are things we don’t want to see during camp, like defensive players who load our quarterbacks! Defensive linemen are the ones who can stand out the least in a camp, because I always tell them to calm down and watch out for our quarterbacks. »
As for Richards, he was used extensively in special teams and also in defense. His sack against Tyrie Adams literally lifted the fans gathered at Percival-Molson Stadium and caused the escape recovered by Gowanlock.
” Which game! Ottawa had the wind in its sails and was moving the ball well. This game put an end to that. We had so many turnovers against us, it felt good to have one in our favor. »
Jones and the Alouettes will have to make their choices by 10 p.m. Saturday.