‘I feel great about Matt Shiltz,’ says Alouettes head coach Jones

The career backup remains the Als’ starting quarterback despite the trade for veteran Elks quarterback Trevor Harris.

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The whole discussion should have revolved around the Alouettes’ three-game win streak and Matthew Shiltz’s first career win on Saturday at Ottawa.

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Instead, management spent much of Monday trying to justify the acquisition on Sunday of veteran quarterback Trevor Harris, 35, who was just benched by Edmonton, has barely thrown more touchdowns than interceptions this season and has been accused of being a moody, surly and selfish teammate. .

“I think he has a lot of good football left,” general manager Danny Maciocia said. “He is in great shape physically and mentally, and he can still compete. He is a proven winner, highly respected in the locker room. I still think he can do it at a high level. “

Harris was acquired from the Elks by defensive end Antonio Simmons, a more than useful player who had 52 tackles, five sacks and forced a fumble in 23 games. Simmons, in his second season, is also 10 years younger than Harris.

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“I didn’t want to mortgage the future and I don’t think I have,” Maciocia said. “I think it’s a win-win situation. Trevor is excited. Understand the opportunity here. He wants to be a part of it and will help in any capacity. I really think he’s all-in. “

Harris is not expected to practice before next week. The Als are gearing up for Friday’s home game against Toronto. Replacing the injured Vernon Adams Jr., the four-year veteran threw for 281 yards and a touchdown in the Als’ 27-16 victory over the Redblacks.

And there’s no reason to believe that the 28-year-old Shiltz won’t be Montreal’s starter as long as he’s healthy and reasonably competent. It looks like Harris will provide depth and security. The Als, painfully thin at position, activated rookie Shea Patterson as Shiltz’s backup against Ottawa.

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Shiltz was hit late in the game and was slow to move up, the reality of the Montreal situation never clearer to Maciocia.

“I can tell you that there was no one more nervous than me in that stadium, knowing that we were one step away from playing a quarterback who has three weeks, not three months of CFL experience,” he said. “That’s why we have Trevor Harris.

“My obligation is to put the best product on the market and to have enough depth in case the situation requires it. That’s where the move comes from. I think Matt will end up playing here in the next few minutes. “

Head coach Khari Jones also went out of his way to reiterate that the Als are in Shiltz’s hands.

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“We feel like we can win with Matt,” Jones said. “I feel very good with Matt Shiltz. I think it will continue to improve. Now we also have Trevor in the mix. This helps our team to improve. I made sure Matt knew that I have the utmost confidence in him. He has played well. I feel like you are ready for this opportunity. I told him not to worry about anything around him. Just get ready for the next game. “

Shiltz, who has only started three games in his career, said he can gain insight from Harris’s experience and is taking the opportunity to be mentored by the nine-year veteran.

“I’m excited to have new perspectives here,” said Shiltz. “I am excited to learn from him and be a sponge. I have no hard feelings and I am excited to meet Trevor.

“My job is not necessarily to speculate about what will happen (in the future). I’m going to continue preparing as if I were the starter, the leader of this team until they tell me no. Obviously, any player wants to be on the field. I have to go out and win a game this week, a great game ”.

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Reference-montrealgazette.com

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