Alouettes kickoff new era at mini-camp | CFL.ca | Official Site of the Canadian Football League
 
Alouettes Mini-Camp: Coach Hawkins 1-on-1
MontrealAlouettes.com
 

CFL.ca Staff

ORLANDO, FL -- The way Montreal Alouettes head coach Dan Hawkins sees it, both his players and his coaching staff have a lot to prove.

On one hand, you have a large and fresh coaching staff looking to pick up right where Marc Trestman and his team left off. On the other, you have the players who – regardless of what they did in years past – will be judged heavily on first impressions.

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Needless to say, Hawkins is well aware of the situation at hand.

“All of us are on the same page. We (the coaching staff) have a lot to prove to a club that has won and won a lot and have been a great team,” said Hawkins after day one of Alouettes mini-camp in Orlando.

“But they’ve got a lot to prove to us too, because although we’ve watched film and we know about them, all we know is what we see right here,” he added.

It seems like only yesterday that the Als introduced Hawkins and the rest of his rather large staff at a press conference in Montreal.

It was there that he not only presented himself as a person for the first time to the Montreal fan base and media, but also brought his coaching philosophy into the limelight.

"I've always been sort of an out-of-the-box guy,'' said Hawkins in February.

“You can just be as creative as you really want to be and that's fun from a coach's standpoint.''

Regardless of what Hawkins has been planning since he first dug his teeth into his new position, he hasn’t had very much time to chew on his surroundings. The situation is one that he’s acknowledged from day one, which makes this week’s three day mini-camp almost fitting.

“It will be a short time, but we’ll cram in as much as we can and get as much done as we can and then training camp will be here before we know it.”

Regardless, this will be Hawkins’ first opportunity to really see the cards he’s been dealt. No longer will he be forced to look at his players on a screen; he’ll finally get a chance to scout his talent in person.

And despite the fact that the Als won’t be wearing pads at any point throughout the week, he hopes they reach a certain gear that best exemplifies what they’re truly capable of as a group.

“You can’t hit, but when you get to higher levels of athleticism, guys can practice pretty good,” he said.

“One of our goals is to be safe, but we want them to run around fast and execute. Guys can go full speed at the higher level of athleticism and still be under control, so it’s not so much hitting; it’s really the other execution parts.”

Underneath it all, however, the 2013 season is truly new territory for an Alouettes organization that for the last half-decade has grown accustomed to a certain method under Trestman.

Hawkins, only two months into this new gig, believes that mini-camp will b a chance to move forward and see what this group as a whole can do.

“I know there’s great culture here; Marc talked about that before, but (mini-camp) will be a chance to get everybody down here,” he said.

“Mini-camp is probably a little bit different when you have a new staff. We need to kind of get going…so we’re going to go."

Fan Comments
als rule
okay boys settle down!! hawkins and the als did the right thing!!
April 28, 2013 - 12:12am
 
wild horse
I'm with YOU, Ron. Quebecois and many Canadians are in Florida in January. The Als fans are in Montreal now, it's almost May.
April 24, 2013 - 5:24pm
 
Ron Murphy
Seems to me the mini-camp could have been held in Mtl. in the Big O.
April 24, 2013 - 11:58am
 
Ron Murphy
Seems to me that the Als should hold this camp in Montreal. Why Florida? Yeah, the weather can be nice but we play football in the North. Open the Stade Olympic and let fans watch the mini-camp etc....
April 24, 2013 - 11:39am
tabbiefanmcb
Good thought. Hamilton was one of I think only two (BC being the other) to hold mini-camp at home - LAST WEEK! Sure the weather has been unpredictable and cold this spring but its like that in the fall too!
April 24, 2013 - 8:31pm
greenheart10
That would have been nice, but we in Sk couldn't find the field for all the snow that is still on it! We'll be lucky to have the stadium clear for June at the rate we are going.
April 26, 2013 - 11:47am
tabbiefanmcb
I hear you greenheart. I know that winter in the west has been brutal this year - our daughter lives in Calgary!
April 27, 2013 - 3:34pm