MONTREAL | After just one game, the rumor mill is well and truly gone regarding the future of the Montreal Alouettes' football staff.
On Monday, however, Als owner Gary Stern reiterated his confidence in President Mario Cecchini, General Manager Danny Maciocia and Head Coach Khari Jones.
Present at his club's training for the first time in 2022, the businessman was questioned about comments made to the Montreal Gazette.
“This season will determine what the Canadian Football League [CFL] is and what the Alouettes are. Otherwise, at mid-season, you will see me act, although I am not sure what that means”, was thus quoted Stern by the English-language daily.
The article published this weekend continued by evoking that everyone at the Alouettes - from the president to quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. - had to fear for their jobs. Everything was reported to the four corners of the country, much to the chagrin of the owner.
"What I said was that if the crowd isn't there mid-season, we'll have to find a way in our structure to get more fans to our games. I have never commented on our staff. I love my staff. These guys work so hard,” Stern said, adding that the quote published by the newspaper in question was taken out of context.
“No one should speculate on Mario, Khari or Danny. I love these guys and they do a fantastic job,” he added.
We should not, however, play in the ostrich when it comes to Jones. The 51-year-old coach is in the final year of his contract with the Alouettes and a contract extension does not appear to be in the organization's short-term plans.
Is it a stretch to say he's playing his job this year and a poor start to the season could land him the door? According to Maciocia, we are still a long way from making this observation within the staff of the Sparrows, who lost their first match of the season 30 to 27 against the Stampeders in Calgary.
“I have a direct line with our owner and our president. I can tell you that we are really not there yet. If ever there are discussions on this subject, they will call me directly, ”said the DG, when he was asked about a possible change of head coach.
"We only played one game, it's not like we were 0-4 or 1-3. We did some great things last week. But, we have to find a way to go for victories, because we have a lot of talent among our players and excellent coaches. It's up to them to find solutions."
Focus on your job
Jones, who played eight seasons as a quarterback in the CFL, has become accustomed to ignoring rumors.
"I only focus on my work as a coach, that's what's most important," said the pilot. I want to help this team win. We are going in the right direction. I work well with Danny and Mario. Things are going well."
And what does he think of his owner, chairman and GM being present on the sidelines in training?
“Personally, I love it! Good thing our landlord is here. He pays for it all, after all. It's good that he can see the work we do to build on a successful team."