Kevin Glenn is slated to start at quarterback against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for a second game in a row, but this time with a new team.
In his last game Oct. 9 for the woeful Riders (2-13), Glenn was replaced in the third quarter of a 30-15 loss in Hamilton (9-5) by Brett Smith.
He will have had only two full practices and some long sessions of watching video before taking over behind centre to try to end the Alouettes (5-9) three-game losing streak and start pushing them toward a playoff spot.
“You’ve got to understand that in the CFL, a lot of plays and route concepts are the same,” said Glenn, who is on his sixth team. “Everybody borrows from each other.
“The biggest thing (to learn) is how each individual coach reads it, and the terminology.”
The Alouettes reached out for Glenn when rookie Rakeem Cato suffered a concussion in a 25-17 loss at home to the Toronto Argonauts on Monday. Their season-opening starter Jonathan Crompton was already injured for a second time this season.
Needing wins quickly to secure a playoff spot with four regular season games remaining, coach and general manager Jim Popp sent a fifth round draft pick to Saskatchewan for 36-year-old Glenn. His best years may be behind him, but the Detroit native’s experience should give a boost to a team that has struggled to move the ball.
“Everyone understands what he can do,” receiver Nik Lewis said of Glenn. “Before he got hurt, Saskatchewan had the number one offence in the league.
“No discredit to them, but I think we have a better supporting cast than they do.”
As weak as Montreal’s results have been this season, they have beaten Hamilton in both of their meetings, each time with Cato as the starter.
The Alouettes eked out a 17-13 victory at home on July 16 and then edged them 26-23 on Aug. 27 in Hamilton, with Tanner Marsh relieving Cato in the second quarter.
“What we did better in those games was we didn’t turn the ball over,” said Popp. “We were consistent throughout the game.
“We were able to move the ball and our defence and special teams were outstanding.”
The Ticats have a new look with quarterback Jeff Matthews, who will make his third start since MVP candidate Zach Collaros suffered a season-ending injury. The 24-year-old passed for 385 yards and three touchdowns (and no interceptions) against Saskatchewan as the Ticats ended a two-game losing run.
Hamilton is battling Toronto (9-5) and Ottawa (8-6) for first place in the East Division. The Alouettes’ best chance is to beat out B.C. and Winnipeg, each with five wins, for a crossover spot in the West Division playoffs.
Lewis said Popp sent the Alouettes a message by acquiring Glenn _ that they believe the team has the personnel to reach the post-season.
“Everything they’ve done has led us to believe we can win,” said Lewis. “We haven’t done it much, but we still have a chance.
“I look at B.C. and Winnipeg and they’ve got a tough road. If we win these next four games we’re on a roll, our confidence is there. And if we get on a roll, I think we’ll be one of the most dangerous teams in the playoffs.”