The Alouettes’ last game against the Toronto Argonauts took me back 10 years. I’ve watched Argos head coach Ryan Dinwiddie and remembered how we briefly worked together on the Montreal club’s coaching staff in 2013.
As a head coach, Dinwiddie is serious and almost stoic on the sidelines. He quietly becomes the Bill Belichick of the Canadian Football League. With a few championships less than the legendary New England Patriots coach…
Getty Images via AFP
When he was the Alouettes’ offensive quality control coach, Dinwiddie didn’t get much sleep. After seeing him at work I would tell you that he did practically everything. Let’s assume he learned it the hard way, initially on the orders of American Dan Hawkins, who didn’t last long at the helm of the Alouettes.
At 42, Dinwiddie is already a brilliant coach and I’m surprised he never got a chance in the NFL in a quarterbacks manager role. For now, the Argonauts continue to benefit from his expertise. Dinwiddie also won the Gray Cup with Toronto last year, in his first appearance in the finals as head coach.
Looking back on the recent game against the Alouettes, it’s still incredible that the Argonauts were able to win while multiplying penalties against them.
Despite the loss, Montreal did well. It was probably mental exhaustion in the fourth quarter that ultimately cost the Alouettes the game. There’s also defensive half Kabion Ento on the crucial touchdown, which looked very bad. When mental fatigue sets in, two things matter in football: you have to concentrate on your task and on your technique. Ento missed his shot against David Ungerer III with less than two minutes left. It’s safe to assume he expected a run from the quarterback, although it wasn’t his responsibility to prevent such a play.
Marc Antoine Dequoy Photo Martin Chevalier
On a positive note, I really admire the work that Tyrell Richards and Marc-Antoine “Flash” Dequoy do on the special teams. With his speed, Dequoy is exceptional. As long as he’s on the field for the Alouettes, I can’t imagine how an opponent could one day hit the end zone with a kick return.
lose to learn
At the end of the game, Alouettes head coach Jason Maas said that you have to lose in order to win better later on. Such comments do not shock me at all. It’s true that sometimes you lose to learn. In the case of the Alouettes and their last three games, that makes sense. They received three big runs in a row against the Blue Bombers, Lions and Argonauts.
This spring break must be beautiful, it’s a good time to mentally recharge. However, on the return it will be time for results and of course we are talking about victories. Next game: July 30 in Montreal against the Calgary Stampeders.
Interview by Benoît Rioux