Shades of Grey

GERRY MODDEJONGE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:26 AM ET

There is only one thing left to do if the Montreal Alouettes are to improve over last year.

The East Division champions finished 11-7, leading the CFL in scoring average (32.4 points per game) and total yards per game (429), while ending up second in passing yards per game (335). Their offensive line gave up a league-low 22 quarterback sacks.

But they fell 22-14 on home turf to the Calgary Stampeders in the Grey Cup.

"We definitely have higher expectations from ourselves," quarterback Anthony Calvillo said. "I truly believe that last year coming in, we really didn't know what kind of team we were going to have but, as the season went along, we started to grow.

"Whereas this year, we're kind of starting where we left off last year and that's with a great team. And that's the thing that we're going to try to improve on and that's our goal this year, is to win our division and get a chance to play for another championship."

Sophomore head coach Marc Trestman sees things differently.

"I don't even look at the Grey Cup as being part of what we do every day," said the former Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals and Oakland Raiders offensive co-ordinator. "I know it's in the back of everybody's mind. I look more towards what we're going to do together and how we're going to build this team over the next six months."

The Alouettes lost two coaches to college teams in the U.S., while offensive line coach Vince Martino is taking a year of absence.

They hired former Kansas State defensive co-ordinator Tim Tibesar as linebackers coach. Calvillo's former backup Marcus Brady signed on as receivers coach and Jonathan Himebauch is the new offensive line coach.

"We have a number of new players that will be with us. We have some new coaches," said Trestman. "Chemistry has to be rebuilt. Team backbone has to be built again."

It will be on the foundation of Calvillo who led the league with 43 touchdown passes and was second in passing yards (5,633), despite not dressing in a 37-14 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos to close out the regular season. He only threw 13 interceptions.

"We get rid of the ball very quickly out of our hands as a quarterback, that's just the way the system's built, so it works for our offensive linemen and it works for our receivers," Calvillo said.

---

ADDITIONS AND DEPARTURES

Additions: DB Stanford Samuels (released, Winnipeg), FB Martin Bedard (draft, 2009), C Luc Brodeur-Jourdain (draft, 2008), DB Jerald Brown (AFL), Darrell Campbell (AFL), FB Michael Giffin (released, Hamilton), DE Ramon Guzman (NFL), LB Billy Parker (AFL).

Departures: WR Elijah Thurmon (released), OL Luke Fritz (free agent, Winnipeg), DB Khalil Carter, WR Dave Stala (free agent, Hamilton), DB Shawn Gallant (Winnipeg), QB Marcus Brady (retired), OL Jeff Keeping (released, Toronto), OL Dave Mudge, DL Devone Claybrooks (free agent).


Photos