Head Coach Jones returns just in time to try to fix Alouettes’ problems

“I’m still working on figuring out our structure as a team; making sure we’re strong enough to fight and keep fighting.”

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We will never know if the presence of Khari Jones could have made a difference for the Alouettes, and specifically quarterback Vernon Adams Jr., last weekend when they failed to score a touchdown in a loss to BC.


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But what seems virtually certain is that the Als’ head coach is the only person capable of making the team – and, by extension, Adams – finish its inconsistent game.

Jones, who tested positive for COVID-19 more than a week ago, returned to his Olympic Stadium office and practice field on Tuesday, his 10-day isolation period ended after producing two negative tests.

That, in hindsight, aside from being confined to his apartment while meeting virtually and having to watch the game on television, might have been the easy part for Jones. Getting the Als to perform better could prove more challenging.

“I feel like we’re very close,” Jones said. “I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t believe it. We are close to being a really good team. We just have to get ahead in some of these close matches. Every game we lost was closed in a moment. There is something that does not help us to overcome that obstacle, but we will achieve it. “


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Despite being limited to six field goals by David Côté in Saturday’s 27-18 loss to the Lions, Montreal was still in the game in the third quarter, losing 17-15 and in BC territory, when Adams was intercepted by second time.

The loss deflated the home team, which only threatened again, well into the fourth quarter when it advanced to the Lions’ 22. There, progress stalled and Côté kicked his last field goal.

And that’s the only thing that differentiates the team Jones inherited in 2019, when he replaced fired Mike Sherman after training camp, and this year’s club: the ability to overcome obstacles.

The Als overcame numerous deficits two seasons ago, finishing 10-8 and reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2014. But this year’s team, which is 2-3 heading into Friday’s game for the night in Toronto has yet to prove it. can play from behind.


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“As a team, we have to work to recover from negative situations,” Jones said. “I’m still working to discover our composition as a team; make sure we are strong enough to fight and keep fighting. That was one of the cornerstones of our team in 2019. I knew we would come back, we would fight and many times we would be victorious. I want this team to feel more comfortable in tight matches. “

Jones’ biggest tenure in the days, and possibly weeks to come, is to massage what appears to be the fragile psyche of Adams, an exciting and talented gamer who continues to battle confidence issues and is clearly getting weary of addressing his shortcomings. with the media.

“I’m just trying to get better,” Adams said Tuesday, repeating himself. “It’s good to have (Jones) back there. He’s my QB coach. It keeps me calm on the side, things like that. Glad to have him back for his energy. “


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Jones continues to believe in Adams, but noted that his decision-making needs to improve, adding that the quarterback can’t always go for the home run shot.

“Your decision making,” Jones said. “The quarterback has to do more on a play than anyone. Every quarterback knows it. The offense is up to you to make the right decisions most of the time. We may try too hard. We have to choose our places. We’ve been pulling it down the field too much. “

The Als added a third quarterback, Shea Patterson, who spent brief stints with BC and the Kansas City Chiefs, while releasing teammate Nick Tiano. But Jones said nothing should be read about the measure.

Although Jones attended the meetings virtually and every practice was filmed, understandably he admitted that it was difficult to be away from the team for an extended period.

“It’s almost like torture not being there and being able to help his team,” Jones said. “Not being on the field and missing a game was painful.”

Returns specialist Mario Alford broke a bone in his ankle against BC and will likely be placed on the six-game disabled list. Rashad Ross will make his Als debut as his replacement.

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