Als’ Sherman expects to make decision on starting QB early in training camp

Montreal struggled at quarterback last year as veteran Darian Durant had more interceptions (16) than TDs (15).

Durant is now with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, leaving journeyman Drew Willy – entering his seventh CFL season – as the Alouettes’ most experienced quarterback.

This off-season Montreal signed Josh Freeman, a 2009 NFL first-round selection of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Alouettes’ muddled quarterback situation is hardly ideal for new head coach Mike Sherman, who had Hall of Famer Brett Favre under centre when he was the Green Bay Packers’ head coach (2000-2006).

Sherman liked what he saw from Montreal’s quarterbacks during the club’s mini-camp in Florida earlier this month, but has definitely tempered his enthusiasm.

“What I saw at mini-camp was we have quality players at that position,” he said. “But at the same time with shorts on, without a pass rush, without all the other nuances that come with the game of football it’s hard to evaluate until the lights are on and it’s real.

“Would we prefer to have a returning starter who’s a star player that we expect to play every game? Absolutely. But I do think from watching them down in Florida at the mini-camp, we’re going to have a very competitive camp. I think we’re going to have to make a decision fairly early in order to get that player who’s going to be our starter the reps he needs to get ready for the season.”

Sherman said the onus will be on Montreal’s coaches to adequately prepare all players, including the starter as the Alouettes try to improve on their league-worst 3-15 record from last season.

“It’s on us to develop these quarterbacks,” Sherman said. “But it’s not just about the quarterback.

“It’s about did we fix our defence? Did we help our special teams? We lost games a lot of ways last year. I’m hopeful and confident we’ve plugged some holes, particularly on the defensive (and) special teams side. Offensively, the offence has to do a great job as well.”