May 10, 2024

One Question for 2024: Can Als repeat as champs?

Kevin Sousa/

As the 2024 season approaches, each team has a question that looms over it that will shape its season. asked players across the league about that question. Our series continues with the Montreal Alouettes and their quest to repeat as Grey Cup champions. 

MONTREAL — What comes next when you reach the top?

That’s the question that every Montreal Alouette has heard one way or another after accomplishing their 2023 goal of winning the 110th Grey Cup.

Now it’s a matter of showing the world that you can do it again, that there was nothing but a lot of hard work behind their previous run.

“One of the biggest questions that I’ve gotten this weekend is for sure what comes next,” Grey Cup hero Tyson Philpot told last month in Hamilton at the league’s content capture.

“For me it’s definitely that title defence, proving to the league and the rest of the people around that it wasn’t just a fluke win, or we didn’t just string a couple of wins together and randomly won. Proving to the league that we’re a team to be reckoned with. And just defending that thing. Making sure that we’re in that game again next year to potentially repeat.”

» A team-by-team look at the 2024 CFL Draft
» Als sign three players, including National RB Tanner Nelmes
 Shop for Als gear at the official Montreal Alouettes store
» Get Your Seat: Buy Alouettes season tickets here
» 111th Grey Cup Premium Experiences packages available now

Philpot caught the championship-winning touchdown against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers last year in only his second season in the CFL. The young pass-catcher has experienced the highest of highs, but remains focused on what comes next.

The Alouettes are going to need Philpot to deliver like he did at Tim Hortons Field going forward after No. 1 receiver Austin Mack departed south to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons in the off-season.

“(Mack) was our WR1 last year, made some huge plays for us down the stretch,” said Philpot about his former teammate. “He was always there when we needed him.”

Philpot caught 86 passes for 991 yards and seven majors over 31 games since being drafted by the Alouettes. The young receiver is now aiming higher as he assumes a bigger role within the group after the departure of Mack.

“Personal goal is definitely just becoming more consistent,” said Philpot. “Becoming a featured guy in the offence and becoming a 1,000-yard receiver is definitely my next goal.”

Montreal’s front office worked hard during the off-season to ensure that the team would not rest on its laurels. Danny Maciocia and Jason Maas brought in names like receiver Tevin Jones from the Saskatchewan Roughriders to improve the receiving group while extending the contract of several of their core players.


Maas knows Jones from the time they worked together with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, adding the talented receiver to a group that features Philpot, Kaion Julien-Grant, Tyler Snead and Cole Spieker. The group should provide plenty of weapons for Grey Cup MVP Cody Fajardo to continue his run of success.

“Coach has done a great job of recruiting Tevin Jones coming from Saskatchewan who was already in his offence,” said Philpot. “He can fit right into the offence and kind of replace (Mack). I’m very excited with the core that’s coming back. We’re very confident with our group.”

A major part of the Alouettes championship run was a defence that found its groove over the back half of the season. Led by Marc Antoine-Dequoy and Darnell Sankey, Noel Thorpe’s unit figures to remain dominant, feeding off a Fajardo-led offence that was able to capitalize on mistakes by opposing teams.

The veteran quarterback (who’s amongst those who had their contract extended by Montreal) joined the Alouettes in 2023 and had a career year, throwing for 3,847 yards and 14 majors during the regular season. Fajardo was at his best during the Grey Cup when he completed 21 of 26 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns while being intercepted once on his way to being named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

The pivot’s importance to the team doesn’t go unnoticed.

“(Fajardo) is just the ultimate competitor,” raved Philpot about his signal-caller. “He’s such a big leader and a focal point in our not just our offence, but our whole team. We only run as (Fajardo) runs. Having him back and coming off of that season is very exciting.

“I’m looking forward to going into next season. But also just seeing how Cody is and how he’s gonna respond to the title defence.”

The next step for Philpot after being named the Most Valuable Canadian in the Grey Cup is competing for a Most Outstanding Canadian award in the regular season.

The young receiver knows that the type of ending he had in 2023 leads to expectations, but is going to let his work speak for itself.

“That is the next checkmark, but in my book, I don’t worry too much about goals,” said Philpot. “As long as I handle business and do what I’m supposed to do, definitely look forward to that.”

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