Montreal Alouettes

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:41 AM ET

PREDICTION: 3RD IN EAST

HEAD COACH: Don Matthews

GM: Jim Popp

OFFENSIVE THREAT: BEN CAHOON

DEFENSIVE STALWART: ANWAR STEWART

UNSUNG HERO: SCOTT FLORY

KEY ADDITIONS -- QB Nealon Greene, QB Marcus Brady, DB Davis Sanchez, LB Kai Ellis, DT Jerome Haywood, DT Dario Romero.

KEY DEPARTURES -- SB Terry Vaughn, DT Robert Brown, DB Reggie Durden, DB Almondo Curry, QB Ted White, offensive co-ordinator Doug Berry.

STRENGTHS -- When Anthony Calvillo is behind centre, your team has a chance. The Als offence lost a bit of its power over the off-season with co-ordinator Doug Berry going to Winnipeg to become the head coach. Perennial 1,000-yard receiver Terry Vaughn was shipped to Hamilton as well but Calvillo still has Ben Cahoon as his favourite target. The offensive line is one the best in the league and should break open big holes for second-year Alouettes back Robert Edwards, who has come back from the injury that kept him out of the Grey Cup.

WEAKNESSES -- The pressure defence abandoned its wild blitzing style early last season and the results were mixed. The entire defence was no better than average for the majority of the season but got hot down the stretch. The defensive line is quick but undersized and can't match up physically unless there is a threat of more bodies coming out of the secondary on blitz patterns. Look for the Als to once again send one more on the attack than teams can block to force bad passes and pile up the quarterback sacks.

INTANGIBLES -- Because Anthony Calvillo is another year older, Montreal finally decided to bring in some veteran backups in case he struggles or gets injured. Both Nealon Greene and Marcus Brady provide solid depth at the quarterback position, so look for Calvillo to have a great season with those two players pushing him to be better.

PROGNOSIS -- Montreal looks like a solid playoff team and will compete hard for a home date in the post-season.


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