After a couple of seasons of being among the worst teams in the CFL, the Als have finally experienced some success.
The team grew in leaps and bounds in 2019 when compared to past Als teams, and that is largely in part to the Kavis Reed and Vernon Adams Jr. duo that allowed them to lock up the number two spot in the East.
The Als find themselves staring massive opportunity right in the mouth. If they can take it, they can turn their franchise around. If they can’t take it, they are right back to square one.
In order for things to get better, they are going to have to have a lot of things go right for them. Some of those things include Vernon Adams Jr. taking another step forward, whoever their running back is going to be will need to step up and fill the shoes left vacated by William Stanback and James Wilder Jr. and their defence is going to need to be able to hold their own in a game that the Als offence isn’t right.
Last season, Kavis Reed had the Als feeding off of them being underdogs going into the season. With how poor Ottawa and Toronto were in 2019, that won’t be the case anymore. You could call them underdogs for winning the East, but they are certainly playoff favourites. It would be shocking if they are unable to make it this season, something that hasn’t been said about them for a very long time.
Expectations have been low for this team for a long time, but that is changing. This is a team that should be competing for a Grey Cup in the next few seasons, so Kavis Reed is going to have to find another way to motivate this team. As good as Reed has looked as a coach in his short time in the CFL, that shouldn’t be too big of an issue. If he doesn’t lose the locker room, he should have no issues.
Like mentioned before, the Als biggest challenge this season is going to be the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. When it is all said and done, they will only have to beat them one time, in the playoffs. They have the talent to get it done, but they will have to play a next to perfect game. The Grey Cup is a legitimate goal for the Als if there is a 2020 season.
Beyond that, they can absolutely sustain this turnaround. They have the coaching and they have the quarterback, and in the CFL, everything after that can be filled in and changed as needed.
For Als fans, welcome back. It is going to be good to see the Als as a competitive and proud team once again.