Trying to sack bad rep

IAN BUSBY, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 8:14 AM ET

While this game means little to the Calgary Stampeders, tonight's matchup at McMahon Stadium is extremely important to Jason Maas.

The veteran quarterback can put the Hamilton debacle behind him, prove he can lead a team to victory again and show everyone he still belongs as a starting CFL quarterback.

And he can do it by taking control of a floundering Montreal Alouettes team.

In replacing Anthony Calvillo at the helm of the Montreal Alouettes, Maas is trying to take a positive approach, despite all of the negatives affecting the team during a stretch of four losses in five games.

"I feel like I have a lot to prove," said Maas, who only arrived in Montreal seven weeks ago in a trade.

"I don't rest on my laurels and what I did in the past, whether it's good or bad. I use the bad stuff as motivation to do better and usually try to forget the good stuff.

"This is a good opportunity to erase the last year and a half from my memory. This is a new start for me and I would like it to be a positive one."

The matchup is essentially meaningless for Calgary, which officially found out it will play the West semifinal in Saskatchewan Nov. 11 because the B.C. Lions beat the Tiger-Cats last night.

Calvillo left the Alouettes for the remainder of the season to be with his wife Alexia, who is battling non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The news came as a blow to the Als and leaves Maas and Marcus Brady as the QBs who will have to lead the team into the playoffs.

The Alouettes are putting their faith in Maas, who has struggled since leaving the Edmonton Eskimos following the 2005 Grey Cup season, in which he was an integral part.

Nothing went right for Maas in Hamilton, where his intense personality didn't mesh with a rebuilding team and he couldn't turn the Tiger-Cats into contenders.

The Ticats then brought Casey Printers in on Labour Day and Maas was dealt to Montreal. As an admitted negative thinker, Maas wasn't sure what his future held.

"From what I've done for the past year and a half, I didn't know if anyone would want me to come to camp next season," said Maas, who had a 5-19 record as a starter in Hamilton.

"As an athlete, that's what you think when you haven't been successful. When you don't get results, people start to question whether you can do it.

"With the injuries I had, especially to my shoulder, people were questioning that. I feel confident about my shoulder and my health, so there are no more problems with that."

He faces a Stamps club tonight trying to build some momentum heading into the post-season. Stamps head coach Tom Higgins said Maas is the perfect remedy to force his team to play hard.

"Jason doesn't play tiddleywinks or darts without making it competitive," said Higgins, who coached Maas in Edmonton. "We're relatively healthy. We'll have all guns blazing, lining up and playing the way it is supposed to be played. I hope.

"The reason I say that is because the athletes know what is at stake: Nothing."


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