Mike Sherman has simple goals for the Montreal Alouettes.
The Alouettes hired the former NFL coach Wednesday to fill their vacant head-coaching position. Sherman replaces general manager Kavis Reed, who assumed the position on an interim basis last year after firing Jacques Chapdelaine.
Sherman, 63, takes over a Montreal squad that posted a CFL-worst 3-15 record last year. The Alouettes become the third East Division team to have a former NFL head coach, joining Toronto (Marc Trestman) and Hamilton (June Jones).
“With me, you’re going to find what you see is what you get,” Sherman told reporters during a news conference. “It’s very simple and I have very simple objectives.
“I want this franchise to be in total alignment with this city.”
And to illustrate that point, Sherman recollected his days growing up in Boston and watching the Montreal Canadiens and Bruins square off.
“I didn’t watch a ton of hockey but whenever the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins played we were tuned to that TV . . . and I remember those games,” he said. “Ken Dryden, Guy Lafleur, Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito and those championship battles.
“I always remember that and it affected me as a coach because you couldn’t tell if they were playing for the Stanley Cup or just the first game of the season. They always played at a high level against each other and that’s exactly how I want our team to play.”
Sherman has coached at the high school, NCAA and NFL levels over his career. He served as head coach/GM of the Green Bay Packers from 2000 to 2005 and has a career NFL coaching record of 59-43.
And Sherman said his wife, Karen, signed off on him accepting the Alouettes’ job because what the city of Montreal has to offer.
“I have to say this, if it wasn’t for Montreal, this city and what it offers to people that come here, that’s what really excited her about me taking this job,” he said. “If she had said, ‘No,’ there would be somebody else standing her, for sure.”
In May 2015, Sherman became the head football coach at Nauset Regional High School but resigned two years later. And Sherman took a stab at speaking French, albeit a very brief one.
“Bonjour,” he said. “That’s as much as we’re going to get today.
“But it kind of rolls off your tongue. If I get a couple more to roll off like that, I think I’ll be OK.”
Sherman also praised owner Robert Wetenhall and team director Andrew Wetenhall for their interviewing process.
“I’ve been in a bunch of interviews in my career,” Sherman said. “When I interviewed with Bob and Andrew, it was one of the most precise, innovative, thoughtful interviews, I think, I’ve ever had as a football coach.
“When I left that room I was very much impressed by ownership.”
But the bottom line in pro football is winning, something Sherman said requires plenty of sacrifice and dedication.
“Winning comes at a cost,” he said. “Winning consistently comes at a great cost.
“You’ve got to put a lot into it to win consistently. That is hard to do and we have to get our football team, the Montreal Alouettes, to play winning football, consistently winning football and we will get there.”