As we established last week, the problems with the Montreal Alouettes go far deeper than quarterback play or even the respective football acumen of their head coach and general manager. No, the issue lies with Alouettes ownership making football decisions without the benefit of a football pedigree.
I believe that the team desperately needs a new head of football operations, someone who has complete say on all things football – and it can’t be Kavis Reed.
Now, assuming that this team will eventually smarten up and hire the right person for the job, here are some of my top candidates for the position.
The Grey Cup winner and former Esks GM and coach is a local product, currently serving as the head of the Montreal Carabins program. Many like his ability to handle both languages and the fact that he’s expressed very little interest in the job. But he has also rubbed some in the league the wrong way in the past. Still, when you consider a football operations position in this province, you can’t do so without thinking of him.
As a former QB and the former head coach of the Ticats, Austin has the pedigree for this role But he’s got a very cushy Consultant role right now in Hamilton and I doubt he wants to take on the pressure cooker and insanely big challenge that is Montreal. Or does he?
The former Alouettes defensive lineman and current Stampeders defensive coordinator reportedly did not want to be considered for Montreal’s sideline boss job. But, what if he was offered the chance to lead the entire program? That might be too good to pass up. A guy known as a player’s coach and a great soundbite, Claybrooks would be a fun and intriguing choice.
The former player turned standout analyst and broadcaster has been around the game for decades. He’s well respected throughout the league and knows player personnel as good as anyone. In the mould of the Redsox and Yankees hiring ESPN analysts, could the Als do the same with Forde?
The legendary league coach and executive played for Montreal once upon a time. Buono will step down from the Lions at season’s end. But could the allure of a turnaround in his old stomping ground be enough to get him to stay active in the league?
Whenever the Wetenhalls decide to cede control over to a competent, experienced, innovative candidate, there’s clearly no shortage of options at their disposal. The question remains: will they make the move any time soon?
Another former Alouette and current TV analyst, Climie is a lawyer by trade and has been an astute observer of the league for many, many years. It remains to be seen whether or not he’d even want the job. But you’d be hard pressed to find a more intelligent candidate who understands the Montreal market better.
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