Montreal Alouettes’ quarterback Trevor Harris is still a strong supporter of teammate Vernon Adams Jr. after replacing him in Montreal’s recent loss to the Toronto Argonauts.
“I know quarterbacks that have been put in a situation like that and crumbled. I’ve also seen quarterbacks that have been put in this situation and took off from it and Vernon’s a tough mental guy. He’s mentally tough and he’s a grinder,” Harris told Natey Adjei on the All Ball Podcast.
“He’s got the mental fortitude to do whatever it is that he sets his mind to in this league and there’s a lot of belief in that locker room in Vernon — coaches included. We just have a fortunate situation with quarterbacks and the coaches have said they feel pretty good about both of us and obviously at some point in time we’re going to need both of us.”
Alouettes’ head coach Khari Jones pulled Adams after he produced only two first downs over Montreal’s first four possessions against the Argos on Thursday. Harris entered the game early in the second quarter and moved the ball more effectively, completing 18-of-30 pass attempts for 270 yards and one interception.
Harris was surprised to see the field so early, though he was fully prepared to run the offence.
“It was quick but you know, that’s just pro football,” said Harris. “A lot of times a coach is just looking for a spark to see if a quarterback can do that. Rick Campbell used to do that in Ottawa to me in ’17 and ’18. He’d just say, ‘I’m going to put Dom (Davis) in to see if he provides a spark for us.’ If it does, it does. If it doesn’t then you go back to your guy.
“Maybe that’s what [Jones] was doing. Who knows? We trust Khari with everything. He’s a great leader of men, he’s an amazing coach and we’re thankful to have him.”
Harris engineered a 63-yard drive late in the fourth quarter to set-up David Côté for a potential game-winning field goal but he pushed it wide left from 21 yards out. McLeod Bethel-Thompson kneeled twice to seal the 20-19 victory on behalf of the Argos.
It remains unclear who will start for the Alouettes when they host the Saskatchewan Roughriders this week, though Harris could have the inside track after Adams missed practice on Monday due to illness. Regardless of who is under centre, Harris knows there could be further changes over the course of the regular season.
“There might be a time where we go back to V.A. and I told him he’s just got to be ready for that — don’t change a darn thing in the way he prepares,” said Harris.
“I’ve also been in his shoes where I’ve played in front of a healthy Ricky Ray, I’ve played in front of a healthy Henry Burris. When you have a guy that has had success in the league, as a coach it’s a little bit easier to turn when you have a Ricky Ray. I’m not saying I’m a Ricky or Henry — not even close, I don’t have any of that pedigree — but I’ve just been in a situation where they’ve been behind me and I know it’s a little bit easier for a coach to turn to him.”
People on the outside might suspect that there is animosity between the veteran quarterbacks as they compete for playing time but Harris indicated that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“V.A. and I have a tremendous relationship. We’ve done nothing but support each other and grow and learn from each other this year. We’ve had a fantastic relationship and it’s not just lip service. I’m not just saying that out loud, we’ve worked really well together and we’re going to continue to work well together,” he said.
“He’s in the beginning stages of his career. People forget he’s been around here for a while — he’s only 29 years old. He’s got maybe a decade left to play and he’s doing nothing but growing and learning this year and watching his trajectory this year is going to be really, really fun. I think you’re going to see a lot of great football ahead of him.”