Montreal was undisciplined this season, receiving 129 penalties totaling 1,263 yards, a problem Jones insists he will fix.

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Justifiable or not, there was speculation about the future of Alouettes head coach Khari Jones in many media circles following Sunday’s playoff loss to Hamilton.

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Jones remains the Als’ coach and was present Thursday afternoon, along with general manager Danny Maciocia and president Mario Cecchini, for an in-person media availability at the end of the season at the Olympic Stadium.

And in a perfect world, Jones will remain in that capacity and be on the field next May when training camp is scheduled to begin and will be reminded, heading into the final year of his contract, that he is a coach of bad death. There’s no reason to alter that state after Jones is 17-17 in two seasons, including two successive playoff losses.

“I don’t worry about any of that, and I’ve never worried about it,” Jones said. “I am the coach of this team. As long as I can be the coach, I’ll do my best, whether I’m here for 10 years or (just until) next week. “

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Hopefully Jones’ last words don’t come true. This is the CFL, where stranger things have happened. And Maciocia did not go so far as to guarantee Jones’ return, without committing himself and declaring that only the wish was there for such a scenario.

The last thing Maciocia, who inherited Jones when he was hired as general manager in January 2020, wants is to fire his head coach. He also imagines owner Gary Stern wouldn’t be overly interested, either. Stern could lose $ 6 million this season and while that’s considerably less than the $ 9 million that former owner Robert Wetenhall apparently distributed annually, Stern probably wouldn’t be in love with paying the $ 325,000 Jones must pay in 2022 plus salary. of your replacement. .

“I wasn’t looking for a job and I knew what I was signing up for,” said Maciocia, who left a comfortably secure position as head coach at the Université de Montréal to join the Als. “If I didn’t believe in the people around me, I wouldn’t have taken the job. I still feel like we have people internally to do it, but there is work to be done. “

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That work, or heavy lifting as Maciocia called it, needs to be done in the next few days. While Jones promised he will get more demanding next season, holding players accountable, talking is cheap. Before returning to his winter home in Surrey, BC, Jones should have a plan in place, presumably in writing, outlining how this will happen and how he will take this team to the next level.

If not, all bets are off the table.

“We know there are some things that need to be addressed,” Maciocia said. “I’m going to make sure it is addressed. We have to find solutions in the future to have a clear plan of what awaits us.

“We have to be more disciplined as a group. You don’t just wake up and (flip) a switch. Take action on the training ground. How you handle boot camp, daily operations, and meetings. Making sure everyone arrives on time. When they receive treatment, they all show up. If there is an elevator, everyone is in the weight room. It comes with structure. Make a plan and execute it to the letter. “

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In the coaching fraternity, there are good cops and bad cops. Not make mistakes. Jones, a former CFL quarterback who enjoyed his greatest success with Winnipeg, is a players coach. He is a strong, effervescent and always smiling communicator, even media-friendly. But some things must change.

The Als were undisciplined on the field and, he imagines, off it as well. They took 129 penalties, surpassed only by Saskatchewan’s 148, for 1,263 yards, the most in the league. To put that in perspective, CFL rushing leader William Stanback gained 1,176 yards. And Montreal received an additional 12 penalties for 115 yards against the Tiger-Cats in the East Division semifinal.

Jones justifiably fell on his sword, taking responsibility for repeated transgressions.

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“It’s my turn,” he admitted. “I will make sure (it doesn’t happen again) from the beginning of the season. We will fine, we will bank, we will release, we will do everything necessary to stop those sanctions. We have to do our part. If it’s more drill work, technique work, schematics change. We have to do whatever it takes.

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“We didn’t have a penalty problem in 2019. Maybe that was something I assumed, and I assumed wrongly. It didn’t happen and I didn’t nip it in the bud when I needed it. That falls squarely on me and I guarantee you it won’t happen again. “

Maciocia said he doesn’t want Jones to go rogue, change his personality, and noted that players would immediately see through the facade. Instead, he wants Jones to be fair as he becomes more assertive.

“Trust me, I have (something) p – k in me,” Jones said. “I do. It seems I don’t. I know how to be p – k. I know how to get mad. Players see it from time to time, but they probably didn’t see it enough. It was a problem. I assure you it won’t be a problem in the future.

“Of course there were things we could have done differently. And we will do it differently in the future. Players will be responsible. The ball stops here. I know that.”

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Reference-montrealgazette.com

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