Khari Jones has been installed as Montreal’s offensive coordinator, after three others reportedly turned down the position, but he does not know who the starter will be at this point.
“That’s always the No. 1 position on any football team, you want to make sure that your quarterback is in place. We’re going to look at everything, there are no decisions that have been made yet. I’ll give my two cents in where we need to go,” Jones told TSN 690 in Montreal.
The Alouettes currently have Darian Durant, Drew Willy, Matthew Shiltz, Antonio Pipkin and Jacory Harris on the roster.
“The main thing is that all of these quarterbacks and whoever you have in there they have to have that room to develop, they have to have that room to grow as quarterbacks,” Jones said.
“Many of the guys that are playing now, it wasn’t just a straight line road, it was going through some bumps and bruises. You even look at Mike Reilly who is outstanding at quarterback, but there were some years in there where they missed the playoffs and they were struggling a little bit. The main thing is you just have to give them some time to develop and some time to get comfortable in the position.”
Willy and Harris are pending free agents while Durant has a $150,000 roster bonus due on January 15. That timeline might speed up the decision process.
Montreal scored a league-low 314 points in 2017. That was 129 fewer than the next closest team (Hamilton: 443). Jones will be tasked with reigniting that offence.
“It’s just about this year and what we’re going to do as a team, and so I don’t really factor in the history of it all that much,” Jones said.
“Throughout my career as a player and a coach, these are the kind of situations that I’ve come in to and that I’m used to. When I went to Winnipeg as a player we hadn’t been to the playoffs in years and then in a couple of years, we were able to go to the Grey Cup. And same thing in coaching, stops in Hamilton and Saskatchewan and in B.C. we had a good run there. Those types of situations don’t scare me or anything. I’m more used to those situations.”