CFL Files: Welcome to the Chopping Block

It only took four weeks for our first firing of the CFL season, and almost shockingly it didn’t come from two of the league’s winless teams. Granted, it was the one win Montreal Alouettes who dropped the first axe, having it fall on head coach Kahari Jones. While the firing could not have come as a complete shock given the sputtering incoherence the Alouettes displayed through four games, Jones’ impact on the team over the course of his tenure may have led some to think he had earned himself a longer rope. But alas, someone has to be the first to lose their job every season…and someone has to be the second and third and fourth so with that here are three CFL figures who could find themselves on the chopping block this season. 

Vernon Adams Jr, QB, Montreal Alouettes

Sticking in Montreal for this one, it’s hard to imagine that Vernon Adams Jr is feeling comfortable with the current situation in the QB room. It’s clear that he had fallen out of favour after Week 1, throwing all of four passes in Week 2 and only getting a look in Week 4 when the game was long out of reach. The Alouettes have a bye through Week 5 and after Trevor Harris looked questionable in the team’s pummeling at the hands of the Roughriders, it’s a toss up as to who we’ll see under centre for Montreal in Week 6. What is clear is that should Adams get the starting role back, his rope will be even shorter than that of his former head coach. 

Paul LaPolice, HC, Ottawa Redblacks

I should probably have prefaced the whole article this way but I’ll say it here, I mean all of this with no disrespect and I do believe everyone involved are talented individuals. With that being said, the Redblacks have yet to win a game and the schedule does not get any easier moving forward, with the Roughriders on deck for Week 5 and the equally desperate Tiger Cats in Week 6. With the team staring down an almost certain 0-4 and a potential 0-5 start, it’s not a stretch to think that firing the head coach could be seen as a way to jolt some life into the team. I do think there’s some extra grace here for LaPolice as it’s not only his first year with the team but his starting QB Jeremiah Masoli is also in his first season in the nation’s capital. Only time will tell if and what the turning point will be for these Redblacks. 

Dane Evans, QB, Hamilton Tiger Cats

This can’t be a surprise to anyone, can it? Including Evans on this list hurts a little but given how emotional he was following his turnover that led to the team’s most recent loss to the Elks. But facts don’t care about feelings and the facts are that Evans has not looked good for Hamilton since officially being given the reins to the team this offseason. Through four games he’s thrown just 99 completions, five touchdowns, and a whopping eight interceptions, leading those loyal to the Hammer to question what management saw in Evans that made them keep him over Masoli. Ironically both Evans and Masoli are under centre for the league’s two winless teams but unlike Evans, Masoli has yet to out and out cost his team a game. Like the aforementioned Adams Jr, Evans and company are on a bye through Week 5 but the Week 6 matchup with former teammate Masoli could likely be a make or break for the TiCats QB (and a rough one to watch for Hamilton fans). 

Week 5 is a shorter one with only three games, featuring a reignition of the Battle of Alberta, the rolling Roughriders look to keep it going against the lowly Redblacks, and closing with a clash of high fliers in Winnipeg and BC.

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