Among the many issues that cropped up in the Alouettes' Week 2 loss to the Blue Bombers was the protection for their 40-year-old quarterback. Keeping Anthony Calvillo upright was not a problem last season, but one that coach Dan Hawkins is being forced to deal with only two games into this year's campaign.
"It's everywhere," left tackle Josh Bourke said following the loss to Winnipeg. "It's the 'O-Line,' the receivers, the quarterbacks, the running backs, the coaches, we're all a part of this problem."
In 18 games in 2012 the Alouettes allowed only 30 sacks. This season Calvillo has gone down 11 times already.
"I need to prepare them better," Hawkins said following the loss.
The Als managed just 11 points on offence via a field goal, a single and a late S.J. Green touchdown reception to the frustration of players and coaches.
"Seventy yards of offense in the first half? Us? Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me?" Veteran lineman Scott Flory exclaimed.
Entering his 20th CFL season, Bourke is aware of the team's need to protect their soon-to-be 41-year-old quarterback.
"You never want to see your quarterback get hit, he's 40 years old he can't take big shots," Bourke said.
Bourke, Flory and centre Luc Brodeur-Jourdain were all CFL All-Stars in 2012, while one of Bourke and Flory has claimed the league's top lineman honour three of the last five seasons. Number one running back Brandon Whitaker is thought to be one of the better pas protections backs in the CFL, so considering these factors, the talent is there for the Als to improve.
Hawkins said he had confidence his group would turn things around following the tough outing.
"How you handle the frustration -- Can you turn that into improvement? And these guys are seasoned veterans, they will," Hawkins said.
Up next for the Alouettes is a home date with the Stampeders on Friday Night Football.
Out of the seven sacks in Week 2 versus the Bombers, six were in the second half…The Alouettes were 3/20 on second down conversions in the game… It's the first time since November 5th 2011 that Montreal didn't have a receiver with at least 35 yards… Montreal had 12 two-and-outs in the game.