Alouettes sign QB Josh Freeman

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Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:42 pm

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... ay-in-cfl/

Freeman was a starting NFL QB, but hasn't played last season and this one.

I wonder whether this may temper any motivation on the part of the Als to roll the dice on Johnny Football.

maxlion
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Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:21 pm

Most likely training camp fodder, I would guess. If he has his head screwed on right and avoids injury, he may have a chance at a back up role.

Not many options at qb for the Als. Despite a poor season last year, Durant may be their best option.

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Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:13 pm

maxlion wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:21 pm
Most likely training camp fodder, I would guess. If he has his head screwed on right and avoids injury, he may have a chance at a back up role.

Not many options at qb for the Als. Despite a poor season last year, Durant may be their best option.
You don't bring in a veteran QB with some NFL playing experience for fodder. Typically teams bring 5 or at most 6 QBs to camp to compete for 3 or 4 positions (if the team chooses to keep one on the PR). All you're doing is wasting a TC spot if you're signing somebody who hasn't shown you something that leads you to believe he can earn a spot on the team. As for Freeman much will depend on what else happens in the offseason to complete the Montreal QB depth chart. They still have Durant, Harris, Willy, Schiltz and Pipkin. Harris and Willy are pending FAs I expect will fade away into free agency without an offer from the Larks. I think Freemen effectively takes Willy's spot. They have a big decision Monday with Durant having a big bonus. I don't know if they see Freeman as a Plan B if they can't get Durant to take a haircut but I think they at least hope he can prove worthy of competing for and earning the #2 spot coming out of camp.

The idea of TC fodder maybe had some merit 30 or 40 years ago when training camps lasted a month with full contact two-a-days just about every day. These days TC lasts 12 days with an average of 3 practices every 2 days and only 1 contact practice per day. With 75 players + draft picks eligible to come to TC and compete for 56 roster and PR spots there's no room for fodder. The more "fodder" that is brought in the less competition there is for those roster spots.
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Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:43 am

Hambone wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:13 pm
The idea of TC fodder maybe had some merit 30 or 40 years ago when training camps lasted a month with full contact two-a-days just about every day. These days TC lasts 12 days with an average of 3 practices every 2 days and only 1 contact practice per day. With 75 players + draft picks eligible to come to TC and compete for 56 roster and PR spots there's no room for fodder. The more "fodder" that is brought in the less competition there is for those roster spots.
Yes. This can’t be stated often enough. Training camp these days is for teaching. It’s dominated by meetings, walkthroughs and other non-contact sessions. There’s not a lot of opportunity for meaningful player evaluation until the regular season. GMs and coaches build their rosters in the offseason. Real evaluations take place about four or five games into the regular season.
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maxlion
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Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:58 am

Perhaps "fodder" was the wrong word. Would it be better to say that he has an outside shot at winning a backup role if everything goes right?

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Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:43 am

maxlion wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:58 am
Perhaps "fodder" was the wrong word. Would it be better to say that he has an outside shot at winning a backup role if everything goes right?

Freeman - if I read this right - tried out last year so maybe they liked what they saw and want to see if he has that old form again.

Montreal can't possibly be finished looking for a QB as Durant (if he comes back at reduced money) and Drew Willy aren't going to be helpful based on what we saw last year and Kavis Reed might be wanting Freeman to be 'the rabbit out of the hat trick' and not Manziel.

I'd have thought he'd have gone - and still could - try to get Manziel as he's stuck at QB and without a QB you're going nowhere.

If Freeman is the new HC choice, then YIKES! Another former US coach new to the CFL who is likely doomed from the outset.

Montreal's owners need to get real and get stability at HC and these constant changes and going to NFLers hoping for another Marc Trestman is idiotic.

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Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:33 am

According to Wiki Freeman attended Calgary's mini-camp last year. In mid-May he attended a tryout camp with Montreal. Montreal brought him in again for a workout halfway through training camp (1 week before the season opened). Reed's comments about what he showed were positive. They didn't neg list him until earlier this month. He's obviously been on their radar since well before Sherman's hiring. As for why now and not last year I suppose with the hopes and promise of Durant supported by Willy and Adams at the time it didn't make sense to add him to the mix. 8 months later the QB situation in Montreal is much different for both the Larks and Freeman.
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Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:58 pm

Would Freeman be regarded as a “CFL-style” quarterback? Namely fleet of foot with good scrambling ability but perhaps under-sized by NFL standards?

Interestingly Tyrell Sutton has publicly spoken about Freeman needing to make the effort to avoid the bright lights of Montreal’s night life.

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Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:25 am

A roster move that may be used to motivate Durant into some conclusive discussions on his pending contract. If Freeman was a legit option wouldn't he have been signed earlier? You don't allow the real deals to float around available to your competition.
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Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:25 am

CardiacKid wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:58 pm
Would Freeman be regarded as a “CFL-style” quarterback? Namely fleet of foot with good scrambling ability but perhaps under-sized by NFL standards?

Interestingly Tyrell Sutton has publicly spoken about Freeman needing to make the effort to avoid the bright lights of Montreal’s night life.
He's certainly not under-sized. His profile from NFL.com lists him at 6'6" 240. He also doesn't appear to be afraid to use his legs with 205 carries with a 4.6 yd/carry average in 62 career games.
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Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:44 am

Rammer wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:25 am
A roster move that may be used to motivate Durant into some conclusive discussions on his pending contract. If Freeman was a legit option wouldn't he have been signed earlier? You don't allow the real deals to float around available to your competition.
Technically Durant doesn't have a pending contract. He is under contract through not only the upcoming season but 2019 as well. If they're doing it as some sort of ploy to leverage Durant into renegotiation then they're doing it for all the wrong reasons. I think what you're seeing is merely the unfolding of a set of circumstances that are much different than when they first kicked the tires on Freeman. Back then they had just signed Durant to be their QB for the foreseeable future with expectations he would perform at least like a reasonable facsimile of his old self. Reed was the new GM and Chap was the HC. Half a season later Chap was gone and Durant was slowly proving that initial expectations might have been overly optimistic. With Chap gone Reed took over but with the knowledge that he would be hiring a new HC for 2018; a new HC who might have a much different take on the Montreal QB situation. I think Montreal is looking at Durant's contract as a stand alone issue. I think they want to rework that because quite simply Durant didn't earn his keep last year and until he shows signs of rebounding can't be kept under those terms. In the meantime if they do successfully renegotiate with him they still need to have a better Plan B in place than the Willy/Harris/Adams/Schlitz/Pipkin combo of 2017. I think they are looking at Freeman as someone who can at minimum be an upgrade at #2 or possibly push Durant should he get hurt or continue to falter. If he can supplant Durant that would be a bonus.
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Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:50 am

Toppy Vann wrote:
Montreal's owners need to get real and get stability at HC and these constant changes and going to NFLers hoping for another Marc Trestman is idiotic.
This.

And he's fodder by contemporary standards. Hasn't played in two years and the end of his tenure in Tampa was interesting depending on which set of whispers you believe (but that nightlife response gives you some insight).

The NFL retread route some CFL clubs continue to take just leaves me shaking my head. At the non-skill positions you can get guys who come in and play effectively on the lines. Occasionally at receivers, more often in the back eight.

But it typically takes someone who has never played the CFL game almost a full season to learn to deal with the differences. The expectations for most QBs with an NFL pedigree are way too high and when they almost inevitably come up short the PR consequences are pretty severe.

For all we do wrong here, this is one thing we do right. Find guys down south with a particular skill set who will never see an NFL field. Develop them in house and promote them up. We avoid the PR stunts of the Manziels and Freemans of the world. This is a bad move, particularly in a non-durable market like Montreal.
:bang:

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Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:31 am

To make any sense out of Montreal these days is difficult. The QB here Freeman looks like a Hail Mary and the QB roster looks sad.

Did Popp and Trestman simply mask the knee jerk tendencies of the owners to repeal and replace HCs? It sure looks like it.

I thought Tom Higgins back in 2015 looked to be doing a decent job with the Als with the exception of how he was handling John Bowman the durable veteran def player brought back to play after he got turfed. Bowman is still playing and Higgins - well he's gone.

I was not that big a Higgins as HC fan before MTL but thought there he was doing a good job.

http://torontosun.com/2015/08/21/alouet ... 2f0fadc9a7

Was there too much slack being cut for Michael Sam as the Als wanted that to be a big win for them and the player? I don't think it was Higgins who went overboard when the team could see this guy simply was unfit and unable to play at that level with players saying after he left they wondered how that guy got all those prior accolades.

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Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:43 pm

I find there is an interesting and in a way confounding way CFL fans look at QBs who came to the CFL via the NFL. Keep in mind there are very few CFL QBs who came directly to the CFL without first trying their hand at the NFL. Some like Freeman actually played and started many games. Some spent time as a backup. Others spent a few years bouncing around from PR to PR or played in NFLe as Lulay did. Many went through a training camp or two without getting as much as a PR invite. Others like Jennings got some offseason workouts or mini-camp time without getting a contract for training camp. Through all of that it seems like the farther the QB prospect took his NFL opportunities the more likely CFL fans will consider him as having no CFL future.
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Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:29 pm

Hambone wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:43 pm
I find there is an interesting and in a way confounding way CFL fans look at QBs who came to the CFL via the NFL. Keep in mind there are very few CFL QBs who came directly to the CFL without first trying their hand at the NFL. Some like Freeman actually played and started many games. Some spent time as a backup. Others spent a few years bouncing around from PR to PR or played in NFLe as Lulay did. Many went through a training camp or two without getting as much as a PR invite. Others like Jennings got some offseason workouts or mini-camp time without getting a contract for training camp. Through all of that it seems like the farther the QB prospect took his NFL opportunities the more likely CFL fans will consider him as having no CFL future.
I think the QBs that have the best CFL careers are the ones with the talent but not the height and weight that the NFL is looking for. So, the ones with the least NFL experience are more likely not the big guys.

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