Alouettes’ Danny Maciocia calls undisciplined penalties ‘extremely irritating’ but isn’t ready to cut players over them

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

Montreal Alouettes’ head coach and general manager Danny Maciocia has grown frustrated with his team’s tendency to take undisciplined penalties at inopportune times.

Linebacker Tyrice Beverette was flagged for roughing in the third quarter of last week’s 35-20 loss to Winnipeg when he struck offensive lineman Jermarcus Hardrick in the chest after the whistle had blown. The penalty negated a sack by Adarius Pickett and gave the Blue Bombers a first down instead of forcing them to convert on second-and-eighteen.

“The Beverette (penalty) was extremely irritating. It was unacceptable. We addressed it in a team meeting and the players addressed it amongst themselves and we’ve just gotta stop behaving in such a fashion,” Maciocia told the media in Montreal.

Winnipeg’s drive stalled two plays after the Beverette penalty, leading to a 19-yard field goal attempt from Marc Liegghio. Defensive lineman Mike Moore was called for pyramiding on the play, a penalty the league defines as “the practice of using another player to elevate one’s self to block a kick.” Zach Collaros took full advantage of the fresh set of downs, promptly throwing a five-yard touchdown pass to Rasheed Bailey.

Montreal has taken 69 penalties for 742 yards this season, ranking last in the East Division. The problem has only gotten worse since the firing of Khari Jones with the Alouettes taking 62.9 percent of their penalty yardage after Maciocia became the head coach.

It’s unclear why, but Maciocia believes his team’s penalty problems are coming to an end.

“We can keep talking about it here a little bit further but I think we’re getting to the tail-end of it, so there’s only so much more you can say,” said Maciocia.

When veteran reporter Herb Zurkowsky asked if he has considered cutting a player who takes too many penalties, Maciocia answered succinctly.

“I’m not ready to do that just yet.”

The head coach and general manager also indicated that quarterback Trevor Harris and wide receiver Eugene Lewis are expected to play this week despite missing practice on Sunday. Defensive back Wesley Sutton will be a “day-three decision” due to a concussion.

The Alouettes (2-6) are set to visit the Blue Bombers (9-0) at IG Field on Thursday where Winnipeg has won 12 consecutive regular season home games. Montreal currently sits tied for second in the East Division alongside the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2-6) and above the Ottawa Redblacks (1-7).