In the history of the Alouettes, Anthony Calvillo has formed remarkable duos with some of his receivers. There were Calvillo and Ben Cahoon, Calvillo and Jeremaine Copeland, among others. For the last two games, we find this same kind of chemistry between the former star quarterback and … Trevor Harris.
Of course, the cohesion between the legend and the current Alouettes pivot differs from that which united Calvillo and his main pass receivers.
But since the departure of Khari Jones, it is Calvillo, quarterbacks coach, who calls the plays concerning his proteges. And the Alouettes, led by Harris, are nearly flawless in the pay zone.
A shortcoming of the team
This aspect of the game was one of the shortcomings of the team since the start of the season.
"For the past two weeks, we've been doing a lot of reps in practice to correct our problems in the pay zone," explained head coach Danny Maciocia.
So far, the strategy seems to be paying off. In a last-minute 32-31 loss to the Edmonton Elks two weeks ago, the Alouettes made four of their five attempts between the 20-yard line and the goal line.
In the 40-33 victory over the Ottawa Redblacks last Thursday, they made five of their six attempts.
The smiles back
Maciocia points out that this success rate is not unrelated to the victory against Ottawa.
The victory, he said, brought a smile back to the Sparrows, who had been downcast for a few weeks.
Monday noon, despite the wind blowing on the training ground, the sun was beating down again and the atmosphere was relaxed.
"It felt good to win one after the heartbreaking losses we've suffered since the start of the season," said the Alouettes' interim driver.
As good news rarely comes alone, the return of one of the stalwarts of the offensive line, Sean Jamieson, scheduled for Thursday against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, will be welcomed with open arms by Maciocia. Jamieson injured his right knee in Toronto in mid-June.
However, Montreal will have to deal with the loss of the very first pick in the last draft, linebacker Tyrell Richards. The latter left the field limping against the Red and Black.
"He'll be out at least this week, after that we don't know," Maciocia said.
Calvillo et Ray
A 36-year-old veteran, Harris has seen some big-name quarterbacks since his debut in the Canadian Football League in 2012.
When we talk to him about the importance of having a mentor like Calvillo by his side and the chemistry that seems to have developed between the two men, he first recalls his first steps on the circuit, in the Toronto Argonauts uniform.
“At the time, the great quarterbacks in the CFL were Calvillo and Ricky Ray [who was the starter in Toronto when he started with the team]. It was a chance to have been able to rub shoulders with them both during my career, even if it was in different roles, ”pointed out the American.
The same vision
Like Calvillo, Harris is not a very mobile quarterback. He much prefers to use his arm.
What he did successfully against Ottawa, making 80% of his pass attempts, for gains of 341 yards.
"Trevor and I have the same vision of football, so it's easy to work with him," Calvillo said. Those plays in the last 20 yards, we knew that was problematic. We have practiced them often in the past two weeks. We rehearsed all possible situations. »
– With the collaboration of Mathieu Boulay