Calvillo sounds like future Montreal Alouettes head coach at season-ending event

Calvillo sounds like future Montreal Alouettes head coach at season-ending event

MONTREAL — Anthony Calvillo certainly sounded like a future head coach.

The CFL’s all-time passing leader, who had just completed his first season in the coaching ranks, spoke with passion and authority at the Montreal Alouettes’ season wrap-up news conference on Monday, where it was announced that general manager Jim Popp will return as head coach.

Calvillo began the season as receivers coach, but was promoted to co-offensive co-ordinator with Ryan Dinwiddie when Turk Schonert was fired in mid-season. Shortly after, Popp stepped in for fired head coach Tom Higgins.

It has long been felt that Calvillo, who passed for 79,816 yards over 20 CFL seasons before retiring in 2013, will become a head coach one day. It seems he is close to ready. He certainly stole the show at the news conference with a vow to lay down the law next season.

“It’s about competition, not about being entitled,” he said. “I’m sick and tired of guys coming in here believing they belong here.

“It’s a privilege to play here.”

He also had thoughts on what he learned as a coach. The main thing was “not to keep my mouth shut.

“I failed Turk Schonert,” he said. “As a new coach, you’re trying to find your way, trying to figure out when to challenge him. I’d just say ‘If he’s not going to listen, I’m not going to give him any more information.’ The only way to get better as a coach is to speak your mind.

“That goes for the players as well. There will be a platform to speak up. We’re going to have a vision and if they’re not on that vision, they’re not going to play, period. And they’re not going to be coming in here thinking they’re entitled. That is over.”

He expects a better offence next season.

“We’re trying to build something special here,” said Calvillo. “We talked about our record. Yes it was 6-12, but you were not in that locker-room.

“With all the distractions this team had to deal with, guys played for one another. And they played without a vision because we had a different head coach.

“Now we have a group in place that’s going to have a vision and I’m excited about it because they’re going to come out and play for a reason. We’re going to develop that vision and move forward and we’re going to have success.”

Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press

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