‘I’m not scared of competition,’ Alouettes quarterback Adams Jr. says


Return of Harris “is going to push me,” starting QB vows. “I don’t feel like I had that fire or competition last year in camp.”

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Vernon Adams Jr. said he wasn’t initially in love with the re-signing of Trevor Harris two weeks ago.

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But with time, the Alouettes’ starting quarterback said he has come to terms with it. Not only will Adams relish the competition, he believes the team has the deepest quarterback room in the CFL.

“I’m not scared of competition, that’s first and foremost,” Adams told the Montreal Gazette by telephone from his winter home in Tacoma, Wash. “I don’t give a damn. I love competition and I’m going to come out on top, regardless.

“That (Harris’ return) is going to push me and bring that fire back out. I don’t feel like I had that fire or competition last year in camp. I’m glad they brought him back. You’re going to see the best of me.”

Harris, a 35-year-old veteran, was acquired in a trade last October from Edmonton, shortly after Adams sustained a season-ending injury to his non-throwing shoulder. The Als subsequently released Harris in December, well before he was due a $300,000 signing bonus in February.

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That was expected to be the end of his association with the organization, but when Harris failed to sign with another team, he re-signed with Montreal on Feb. 9, one day following the start of free agency.

Adams said nobody from the organization advised him in advance of Harris’ return. While Adams said that it was management’s prerogative, it appears he was upset about it.

Almost immediately, Adams temporarily deactivated his twitter-account, advising his 18,000 followers he was getting back to work and didn’t want to be disturbed. The gesture was perceived by some to be Adams reacting negatively to the Harris news—something he didn’t deny.

“Everyone saw how I felt,” Adams said. “I reacted off the emotion (of the news). After reassessing, I think we’re going to have the best QB room in the league. We have options. I’m going to compete and be that guy. I’m not mad about signing at all.

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“Trevor’s coming in to push me and, if I don’t handle my business, that’s his job. I love and am excited for the competition and I’m up for the challenge.”

Even after the signing of Harris, general manager Danny Maciocia said Adams remains the Als’ starter. Adams was signed to an extension in December, taking him through the 2023 season. I have received a reported $190,000 signing bonus at that time and is scheduled to earn a reported $445,000 this season.

The Als also signed quarterback Dominique Davis after he was released by Ottawa. Shea Patterson, who dressed as Harris’ backup in the East Division semifinal, was granted his release recently. He was selected first overall this week by Michigan of the fledgling USFL.

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Adams has been throwing since the second week of January, continues the rehabilitation process and believes the shoulder has regained 85 per cent of its strength. He has modified his diet and wants to add weight, hoping to be at 205 pounds for the start of training camp, May 15. Last season, he reported at 185 — the lightest of his pro career.

In eight games last season, Adams passed for 1,949 yards and 14 touchdowns, completing slightly more than 59 per cent of his throws. But he also was intercepted nine times and was occasionally guilty of trying to force passes into coverage.

He us 17-10 as a starter and, with the addition of QB coach Anthony Calvillo, hopes to regain his 2019 form. That season, he threw for 3,942 yards and 24 TDs while being intercepted 13 times in 16 games.

Adams, 29, has done mental training this winter and wants to display more maturity after occasionally feuding with the media last season.

“I’m sure everyone wants me to be less emotional, keep my mouth shut and just play football,” he said. “I don’t know what was going on with me. I’m working on it.”

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