larks | Khari Jones’s last chance?

It is an organization that does not help itself more than that of the Montreal Alouettes. She had made an appointment with her supporters in Complexe Desjardins at 12:00 on Wednesday to present her 2022 edition. The players arrived around 12:30 pm…

Posted on June 22

Miguel Bujold

Miguel Bujold
The press

Due to a lack of communication, the buses carrying the players left the Olympic Stadium at… 12 noon. There were between 50 and 100 fans waiting patiently, even though some started tapping their feet. Not strong.

Neither club president Mario Cecchini nor general manager Danny Maciocia were in attendance. Cecchini contracted COVID-19 and recorded a short video addressing fans.

Of all the club members present, Anthony Calvillo received the most applause. Among the players were Eugene Lewis, Jake Wieneke, Marc-Antoine Dequoy and David Côté who were warmly received. Fans also heartily applauded head coach Khari Jones.


PHOTOGRAPH OLIVIER JEAN, THE PRESS

Khari Jones

It’s important to bond with our fans. In 2019 they were still very noisy in the stadium [Percival-Molson] and they gave us a very good home advantage. We have to recreate the same.

Khari Jones, head coach of the Alouettes

Indeed, the Alouettes need to recreate the magic of 2019, and it is urgent. Otherwise, Jones will probably lose his job in ten days.

The Alouettes could very well be 2-0 now, but it’s more 0-2. The next two games, to be played in Montreal on Thursday and July 2 in Regina against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, will therefore be crucial for Jones’ future. Everyone on the team knows it. Jones wouldn’t survive a 0-4 record, that’s almost certain.

In addition to spring break after his double against the Riders, Montreal welcomes the worst team in the league, the Edmonton Elks, when it returns to the game. Knowing that it’s always better for a new coach chief to face a less formidable opponent like introduction…

Jones is not going to be fooled. He knows very well what hangs at the end of his nose. The quick quarterback change he made last week said a lot. There is a tremendous sense of urgency.

“I don’t read articles and I don’t watch TV, so I don’t think too much about it. I can’t worry about things I can’t control. If I leave, I leave. What I’m worried about is finding a way to win the next game, not so much for me as for the team,” Jones replied when I asked him about his future with the team on Wednesday.

The Alouettes absolutely cannot afford to lose again. After several years of misery, the bleeding has stopped in 2019 – thanks to Jones – but it remains fragile. It takes wins to take up more space in Quebec’s sports landscape (a little punctuality wouldn’t hurt either).

Players and assistant coaches remain loyal to Jones. He continues to be loved and valued at the club.

But we all know it wasn’t Maciocia who hired him. And general managers want and deserve to be able to hire the person of their choice for the most important role of a football team. Neither Jones nor Maciocia can be blamed for the current situation. That’s just the way it is…


PHOTOGRAPH MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, LA PRESSE . ARCHIVE

André Bolduc

The candidates

If Jones loses his position, there are only three logical choices to replace him. Three men known to the public who would improve the visibility of the club.

The first is André Bolduc, Jones’ assistant and responsible for the running backs. The problem is, he wasn’t hired by Maciocia either.

The second is Anthony Calvillo, who continues to improve his French and is the best player in franchise history. He was hired by Maciocia, but would he be ready to become head coach?

The third and most logical option is Maciocia. If the sideline adventure didn’t work out, he could pick a new head coach at the end of the season.

It’s uncomfortable to talk as if Jones was already standing with one foot outside the organization. He deserves a better fate. Sadly, it seems written in the air that his coaching career with the Alouettes is coming to an end.

Unless there’s a winning streak that would start with Thursday night’s game. It won’t be easy without William Stanback, Jake Wieneke, Greg Reid and Chris Ackie.

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