Rick Moffat is the Voice of the Montreal Alouettes on CJAD 800. He works alongside former CFLers Ed Philion and Dave Mudge. Moffat's first attended Grey Cup was as a fan in '77 - the infamous Tony Proudfoot "Staple Game". Rick is proud to say he had his first beer at an Als' game during the Marv Levy Era. Follow Rick on Twitter @RickMoffat.
In the early hours of CFL free agency the Montreal Alouettes figured “if you can’t block him, sign him.” Former Edmonton Eskimo linebacker Rod Davis concluded “if you can’t sack him, join him.”
While East Division rivals have re-tooled offensively for 2012, Alouettes GM Jim Popp had a secret agenda.
And little did he know his prize acquisition Davis did as well.
Popp already knew he was ready to go all-in on Davis, a player who charismatic defensive coordinator Jeff Reinebold could build an entire scheme around.
The deal could have been done earlier, but Davis had one demand before signing that would drag things until well after midnight. He had to talk to Coach Marc Trestman.
Trestman was hours from landing back home in North Carolina, but Davis could wait. His next career was at stake, after all.
“I had to hear that I was welcome and wanted...that’s my southern roots,“ said the native of Gulfport, MS from his off-season home in Brandon, MS. “I waited to talk to Marc Trestman but he was on a flight across the country. I had to hear from him. He really sealed the deal.”
Davis’ ulterior motive: size up the coaching guru who can also mentor him for the next phase of his football life.
“I want to go back to the kids’ level where all the business is taken out of it,” says the former Minnesota Viking.
“I want to come back home to Mississippi, I guest coach with different high schools around the area. Playing for Marc Trestman I’ll learn so much. I can’t wait to be a head coach, but I think I could play more years, don’t get me wrong.”
“I didn’t know Montreal was a ‘player’ until I was free. I didn’t know they had any interest in me. The organization’s tradition, how they run things, Popp and Trestman, we’ll get back to this Cup.”
Davis will get a déjà vu experience of the battle of Alberta in his Als debut Canada Day in Calgary. He’ll also get a shot at his former teammate Ricky Ray at the end of July before returning to Edmonton in August.
“I had one team that wanted me as part of their family, and another organization that didn’t want me there anymore. My momma always says you should ‘feel the love’.
“I don’t want to be nobody’s doormat!”
Reinebold’s new 3-4 defence will feature Davis as a hybrid stand-up pass-rusher morphing into an interior linebacker who can cover.
“In Edmonton we flip-flopped throughout the year but we based things on a 3-4...I love it. We’re going to attack. I like to go forward, not backward.”
That was the feeling Davis felt trying to attack future Hall of Famer Anthony Calvillo.
“I never sacked AC...I think I got one hit in three years. All week you watch film and you just never get him. He’s so frustrating. He gets that ball out so quick. It gets in your head ‘I ain’t gonna get him’.”
“Now I have an enthusiastic coach in Reinebold. He loves the game, preaches the sky’s the limit. He reminds me of my college defensive coordinator.”
“Davis is a guy Coach Trestman always said we had to scheme against,” says Popp. “Now I’m excited to see what Coach Reinebold can do with him.
“We’ve had a tremendous off-season of signing guys who will be new to the CFL,” Popp raved less than a week after securing former Green Bay Packer Michael Montgomery, a deal Popp says was several years in the making.
“We’d tried to get him to come before...like Davis he’s disruptive on the field and gets a great push.”
After giving up 52 points in their overtime Semi-Final playoff exit in 2011, Popp is willing to shake up his team. But as always it will be done with him still holding the salary hammer, if not cupid’s arrows.
Scott Flory was shown the love re-signing on Valentine’s Day, but the Als dumped “The Human Humidor” Wilson.
The stalwart nose tackle/cigar aficionado bought the Grey Cup victory cigars for the Als in ’09-10 but in 2011 the Als saw more smoke than fire when rushing only their front-4.
Davis may be wise to pick up some Cubans for his arrival in Montreal.
|2||Blue Bombers||DE||Mulumba, Andy|
|3||Alouettes via EDM||LB||Edem, Mike|