Wednesday, November 29, 2017
3DOWNNATION: RIDERS' MURPHY COULD BE MONTREAL-BOUND
Montreal could have a different look than anticipated when the new Als regime gets put together.
Sources say if DeVone Claybrooks, who has been granted permission to interview with Montreal in La Belle Province and that will take place on the weekend, is hired as Alouettes head coach, Kavis Reed could step to vice president and Riders assistant general manager, John Murphy might be in play to be Montreal’s general manager, 2017 was the last year of his contract with Saskatchewan.
What’s clear: Claybrooks is the front-runner for the position if he wants it. His connection to Murphy comes after the two spent six seasons together in Calgary while he was the assistant general manager and Claybrooks was a player for two and coach for four of those years with the Stampeders. Murphy has 13 years of CFL scouting experience and he’s known for a large contact base in the United States.
A former defensive lineman, Claybrooks played for Montreal in 2007 and 2008. The 40-year-old coach currently calls the shots for the stingiest defence in the league that ranks No. 1 in many of the major statistical categories while Montreal allowed the most points in the CFL (580). The Virginia native inked a three-year extension with the Stamps last winter that takes him through the 2019 season, which means he’s secure in Calgary.
Montreal lost 11 straight games to finish the 2017 season finished at 3-15, the worst record in the league. The Alouettes scored a league-low 314 points and were the only team to average less than 20 points per game (17.4).
Since Marc Trestman left for the NFL in 2013, Montreal there have been five different head coaches in La Belle Province: Dan Hawkins, Jim Popp (twice), Tom Higgins, Jacques Chapdelaine and Kavis Reed. Over that span, the Alouettes have a 33-55 record and have missed the playoffs for a third consecutive season, tying a franchise-worst streak. Just Popp and Reed have held the general manager position over that time in Montreal.