The story for the Montreal Alouettes in 2013, as it has been the past 15 years, is Anthony Calvillo.
The veteran signal caller has seen seven coaching changes during his tenure in Montreal. He was named an East Division All-Star under Coach of the Year Charlie Taaffe; won a Grey Cup, a Most Outstanding Player Award, and was twice named a CFL All-Star under Hall of Fame coach Don Matthews; and two consecutive Grey Cup victories, Most Outstanding Player Awards, and All-Star selections under now-Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman. New head coach Dan Hawkins surely is hoping the 40-year-old has some gas left in the tank for his coaching reign.
Hawkins, who cut his coaching teeth in the NCAA, will need Calvillo to be a team leader and help him navigate through the unique challenges of the Canadian game. Calvillo's 2012 stat line suggests there is no reason to believe he won't be up to the task (his 5,000+ passing yards, 31:14 touchdown to interception ratio; and 60% completion percentage were in line with some of the better seasons throughout his career). In other words, despite the odd whisper or suggestion that the 19-year-veteran has lost a step, he is still very much a premier QB in the CFL.
Calvillo's sustained high play is a good thing, because while Hawkins is inheriting a team with lots of talent, it is also one that has been subject to more change in recent years than some Alouettes fans are used to.
The off-season was once again somewhat uncharacteristically busy in Montreal; GM Jim Popp taking flyers on some potential boom or bust veterans in free agency to fill roster holes.
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