Montreal Alouettes quarterback Cody Fajardo has been around some Grey Cup-winning quarterbacks in his career.
He spent time with Ricky Ray and Travis Lulay during his days as a third-string QB with the Toronto Argonauts and B.C. Lions while spending an entire season this year with Anthony Calvillo as his coach in La Belle Province.
“Every single morning I go into the facility and A.C.’s there, I sit in his office and we watch film together. We watch the opposing team, we watch practice and we talk about the plays that are going (into the game plan). All that’s done before we get into our quarterback meeting which is when coach Maas is in there,” Fajardo said.
“In Sask with coach Maas being the offensive coordinator, he was game-planning, he was installing, he was watching film. A lot of the film work I was doing, I was watching on my own and trying to figure out the game on my own.”
The 31-year-old believes Calvillo has made him a “much better” QB, which has helped him lead the Als to his first CFL championship game as a starter. He’s channelled Ricky Ray with his postseason facial hair and there “might be a little bit of power” in it.
“After the Semi-Final game, he reached out to me and told me I looked a lot like him with a moustache throwing a wobbly touchdown. I reached out to him leading into this week for some advice, I’m not going to share because I don’t want to put his advice out there,” Fajardo said.
“I also reached out to Travis Lulay, a guy that I spent time with in B.C., who has won a Grey Cup and been a part of a Grey Cup week. I wanted to get some ideas from people I have a lot of respect for, that have played at a high level, and they did not hold back.”
Ray and Lulay shared their entire game plan for attacking Grey Cup week. The advice that stood out the most to Fajardo: stick to his routine. Easy to say and hard to execute as No. 7 tries to pull an upset win.
Lulay threw for 320 yards with two touchdowns to lead the B.C. Lions to a Grey Cup championship in 2011, earning game MVP honours. Ray won two CFL titles each with Edmonton and Toronto. He completed 35-of-45 passes for 359 yards with two touchdowns to earn Grey Cup game MVP honours in 2005.
Fajardo would like to replicate those types of performances in Hamilton during his first Grey Cup start. His Alouettes meet the Blue Bombers in the 110th Grey Cup on Sunday, Nov. 19 at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton. Kickoff is slated for 6:00 p.m. EST.