After just three weeks of the CFL season, the seeds of quarterback controversy sown by the Montreal Alouettes this offseason have blossomed.
After incumbent Vernon Adams Jr. was pulled early in Week 2, veteran backup Trevor Harris took the reins and impressed. Harris made his first start of the season in Week 3 with Adams sidelined with COVID and it’s unlikely to be his last after he threw for 262 yards and a touchdown in a 37-12 blowout of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
The prevailing wisdom is that Montreal is now Harris’ team for the foreseeable future, but one of the quarterback’s former teammates isn’t so sure.
“Is it Trevor Harris’ team? I don’t think it is yet with everything Vernon Adams has done for this team,” retired safety J.P Bolduc said on Ottawa radio this week.
“The last two offseasons, he brought all the receivers that wanted to participate to mini-camp and he paid for everything. He paid for their hotels, their food, everything. This guy has invested a lot of time and his own money in this team.”
According to Bolduc, who played three seasons with Harris as a member of the Ottawa Redblacks from 2016 to 2018, that style of hands-on leadership from Adams stands in contrast to what his backup can offer.
“Nothing against him, but Trevor’s not a natural leader. He’s not someone that leads by example all the time,” Bolduc noted. “He’s more of an introvert guy, but I’ve seen him on the field and he looks more and more comfortable with the ball and in the huddle.”
“I’m looking forward to seeing him play the best football that he has left. If he keeps playing like he did last night, Montreal’s going to be in good shape.”
Both quarterbacks have well-earned reputations for inconsistent play, with Vernon Adams Jr. known for his boom-or-bust playing style and Trevor Harris sometimes accused of struggling with the emotional roller-coaster of the quarterback position. However, both have produced impressive stretches of play more than deserving of face of the franchise status.
Adams started eight games for the Alouettes in 2021 before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury. He led the club to a 4-4 record and completed 59.4 percent of his passes for 1,949 yards and 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also carried the ball 51 times for 298 yards.
Trevor Harris took over the controls to end the season after being acquired via trade from the Edmonton Elks in October. He completed 70.3 percent of his passes for 703 yards, eight touchdowns, and two interceptions while rushing five times for 43 yards and going 1-2 as a starter.
Harris also started the East Semi-Final and threw for 364 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in a 23-12 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The 36-year-old veteran was allowed to test free agency, before re-signing with the team in the offseason.
While Bolduc may not be convinced that Harris will be able to fend off Adams for the rest of the 2022 season, the early returns have been impressive enough to be worthy of praise.
“That was a smart move by Danny Maciocia to sign Trevor for a cheap deal,” he said. “The guy’s making just over $200,000 this year for being a starting quarterback.”