MONTREAL – The life of a general manager and head coach isn’t always easy. Especially if you lose your two most important players, Vernon Adams Jr. and William Stanback.
Last year, the Montreal Alouettes went several weeks without Adams Jr., including in the playoffs. This year, Stanback fell in combat after just one game and his return is not expected until the end of the calendar.
However, Danny Maciocia, the Alouettes’ general manager, believed he had unearthed the needed depth behind Stanback. He had brought in Tavi Feaster, De’Lance Turner and Jordan Scarlett to identify American replacement options.
“It’s really weird, I thought we had tough choices to make. A few days later, a lot has changed. Whether it’s players who left or Williams’ injury, and here we are,” Maciocia explained.
Turner and Scarlett had been released as Fester appeared to be the best candidate. However, he had to return home because of family problems. The Alouettes also believed Cameron Artis-Payne, who was with the Birds in 2021, would come back.
This riddle is not easy to solve for Maciocia, who is still arguing with Feaster. In the meantime, he acquired Walter Fletcher of the Edmonton Elks.
“We like him a lot, he’s a carrier who can run with power, he can block and he has good hands to catch passes. We are very happy to have acquired it,” commented the DG, who worked on this file for two days.
The key, obviously, was finding an athlete who could quickly integrate into the Alouettes’ offensive system. Maciocia believes Fletcher meets those criteria.
“Definitely and I would go further. I sent his videos to Khari Jones (head coach) and André Bolduc (running backs coach). About 90 minutes later, they told me they thought they could keep the same attacking system if I could agree,” he said.
Luckily, those early adventures brought the Alouettes some good news in 2022. Chandler Worthy, a former receiver for the Toronto Argonauts, can play as a running back.
“It was a nice surprise for us too. I was hoping he would have played in that position a bit and he did. He looks very natural and does a good job, which is a plus for us. He’ll come back and if we need him in attack he’ll be there for us.”
In Tuesday’s practice, Worthy got several reps to support Jeshrun Antwi.
“When I arrived I told them that this is the position where I think I can contribute the most. It won’t be difficult, I was born to play this position. I don’t have to think about playing as a running back,” said Worthy, whose speed is unmistakable.
It remains to be seen whether he can collect repeated contacts at 1.77 m and 177 pounds. There will be no lack of motivation against Toronto, his former club.
However, Thursday night’s ground attack in Toronto will be mostly in the hands of Antwi. The 24-year-old running back rose to the occasion after losing to Stanback. If he can improve his blocks, he will be difficult to break in the short term.
But Worthy intends to assert himself as soon as possible and especially before the arrival of Fletcher, who will need 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 to the field, they will know me from that moment ”, he concluded with a smile.