MONTREAL – Life as general manager and coach is not always easy. Especially when you lose your two most important players, Vernon Adams Jr. and William Stanback.
Last year, the Montreal Alouettes had to do without Adams Jr. for several weeks, including the playoffs. This year, after just one game, Stanback has already fallen in battle and his return is only expected at the end of the calendar.
Danny Maciocia, general manager of the Alouettes, nevertheless believed that he had unearthed the necessary depth behind Stanback. He had called Tavien Feaster, De’Lance Turner and Jordan Scarlett to identify American replacement options.
“It’s really weird, I thought we were going to have tough decisions to make. A few days later, many things changed. Whether it’s the players who left or William’s injury and that’s where we are, “Maciocia explained.
Turner and Scarlett had been released as Feaster seemed like the best candidate. However, he had to go home due to a family problem. The Alouettes also believed that Cameron Artis-Payne, who was with the Birds in 2021, would be returning.
This puzzle is not easy to solve for Maciocia who is still arguing with Feaster. In the meantime, you have proceeded to acquire Walter Fletcher from the Edmonton Elks.
“We like him a lot, he’s a porter who can run with power, is able to block and has good hands to take passes. We are very happy to have acquired it ”, commented the DG who worked for two days on this dossier.
The key was obviously to find an athlete who could quickly integrate into the Alouettes’ attacking system. Maciocia believes that Fletcher meets those criteria.
“Absolutely and I would go further. I sent the videos of him to Khari Jones (head coach) and André Bolduc (running back coach). About 90 minutes later they told me that if I could reach an agreement, they thought they could keep the same attack system, “he said.
Fortunately, through these first adventures in 2022, the Alouettes have learned some good news. Chandler Worthy, former Toronto Argonauts receiver, can play as a running back.
“It was a nice surprise for us too. I was hoping she played in that position a bit and she did. It looks very natural and does a good job which is a plus for us. He will come back and, if we need him in attack, he will be there for us, “Jones reacted.
In training Tuesday, Worthy received several reps to support Jeshrun Antwi.
“When I arrived, I told them this was the position where I thought I could contribute the most. It won’t be difficult, I was born to fill this role. I don’t need to think of playing as a running back, ”said Worthy, whose speed is unmistakable.
It will rather remain to be seen whether he can take repeated contact at five feet eight inches and 177 pounds. The motivation will not fail against Toronto, his former team.
That said, the ground attack will rest mostly in Antwi’s hands on Thursday night in Toronto. The 24-year-old running back has risen to the occasion after the loss to Stanback. If he manages to improve his blocks, it will be difficult to remove in the short term.
But Worthy intends to impose himself as soon as possible and above all before the arrival of Fletcher who will have to familiarize himself with the Alouettes playbook. This time, Worthy intends to surprise fans who don’t know him.
“100%! They will see me when I go out on the pitch, they will know me from then on,” he concluded with a smile.