Dominique Ellis had no qualms about returning to Montreal even if the Alouettes were coming off a dismal 3-15 season.
Ellis was among a handful of veteran players acquired by general manager Kavis Reed this off-season to strengthen the CFL’s most porous defence, along with Joe Burnett, Tomie Campbell, Mitchell White and Henoc Muamba.
“Each year every team starts at zero,” Ellis said Friday at the end of the team’s spring mini-camp in Florida. “There’s new challenges for every organization.
“Of course, we have to do it on the field, but we’ve seen teams turn around. Look at (defending Grey Cup champion) Toronto. It can be done. It’s a lot of effort, but I believe.”
Reed and new coach Mike Sherman mostly wanted to check out quarterbacks in the mini-camp. The Alouettes do not have an incumbent starter with the departure of Darian Durant.
Veteran Drew Willy, former NFL starter Josh Freeman and returnee Matt Shiltz are among the pivots vying for the job.
That is not a major concern for Ellis.
“Every team has an issue,” he said. “The best player will play no matter what.
“No one is a starter right now. Everyone has to prove they can play. That’s just another position being evaluated.”
Ellis began his CFL career in Montreal in 2014 and 2015, then moved to Hamilton for two years before opting to return. He liked how Reed was rebuilding the team.
“It shows the organization is committed to change by bringing in this calibre of guys,” he said. “It’s extremely refreshing.”