The Alouettes’ good start to the season is inevitably due to the contribution of the players in the three different facets of the game: attack, defense and special teams. The brilliance of some athletes deserves special mention.
• Also read: A look back at the middle of the season in the CFL – the Alouettes create THE SURPRISE
While stability on a personal level is being praised with new owner Pierre Karl Péladeau and the return of President Mark Weightman, the challenge on the football pitch is different. As the injuries progressed, however, Caleb Evans was able to replace Cody Fajardo as quarterback, while the Alouettes didn’t suffer too much from the injury to Canadian wide receiver Kaion Julien-Grant. Behind William Stanback, running back Walter Fletcher proved that he too can do a great job. On defense, losing some elements could have hurt a lot, but others filled the gap.
Caleb Evans Photo Patrick Doyle provided by the CFL
The Defense Unit
There’s Noel Thorpe’s defensive system and the fact that the Alouettes’ players chose to stick with it. The addition of Shawn Lemon at the line of scrimmage is important, but it’s the overall defensive unit that has shone since the start of the season, averaging under 20 points allowed per game. Losses to Najee Murray, Avery Williams and Ciante Evans didn’t impact the team too much as the performance is collective. Hats off to Tyrice Beverette, Marc-Antoine Dequoy, Kabion Ento, Wesley Sutton, Kordell Rodgers and Frédéric Chagnon and many others.
Marc Antoine Dequoy Photo Martin Chevalier
This question was on everyone’s lips at the training camp: Who will be the Alouettes’ receiver in 2023? If veteran Greg Ellingson is still waiting due to his health condition, it’s newcomer Austin Mack who has provided much of the answer. With a total of 773 yards in nine games, the American even dominates the CFL. Tyler Snead had five touchdowns.
Austin Mack Photo Martin Chevalier
The special teams are golden in the Canadian Football League and the Alouettes do their job incredibly well. The often-overshadowed Quebec kicker David Côté missed a few field goals but remains a reliable player. We have him to his credit for three successful kicks in as many attempts for 50 yards or more this season. Had it not been for his long field goal in the fourth quarter Saturday in Ottawa, the Alouettes would have come up short.
David Côté Martin Chevalier / JdeM
The offensive line
There’s center Justin Lawrence, then Quebecers Pier-Olivier Lestage and Kristian Matte, among others. These players play exclusively on the Alouettes’ offensive line and often make the quarterback and running back look good. Earlier this month, at the end of Week 10, that offensive line was on the CFL’s roll of honor following the Alouettes’ 41-12 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Kristian Matte Martin Chevalier / JdeM