With seven of the nine CFL teams cancelling the first day of their training camp, the Montreal Alouettes players decided to hit the field for an optional players-only walkthrough. Eugene Lewis, who was on the field on Sunday, shared his frustrations with the current situation and his desire to be back on the field for training camp.
“Obviously, we haven’t reached an agreement for the CBA, so as a team, we said we’re going to come out and do a walkthrough for ourselves,” Lewis said. “No coaches, no staff, basically just making sure that we’re all locked in and not so far behind when everything gets done. We didn’t do anything taxing.”
“Honestly, if you don’t play football or any other sport, you probably wouldn’t understand what it takes to stay in sync with a whole team.”
“We already told all the guys that they don’t have to come out here, this is not mandatory,” Lewis said. “If you feel like you want to stay in the locker room, stay in the dorm room, that’s fine. Nobody is looking at anyone crazy, because we understand. Everyone has their personal opinion, everyone knows how they feel, and we have to respect that.”
Questions still remain if these players-only walkthroughs will continue for the Alouettes, but the answer isn’t black and white. The situation is fluid, and there’s no telling when directives to players could change.
“That’s a good question,” said Alouettes general manager Danny Maciocia. “I’m expecting some more news in the next few hours, as far as directions are concerned. I wouldn’t even think this is 24 hours at a time, I would think it’s more like 12 hours at a time. I don’t know where this is all headed.”
For Lewis, the frustration is there, not only for him, but for the players around him. They want to be on the field playing football, and while the strike initiated by the CFLPA is aimed at getting the players a better deal, he wishes it wasn’t interfering with the season.
“I can understand, especially for the young guys in their first year or two, they are ready to get rolling,” Lewis said. “At the end of the day, it’s out of their control, too. The mood is still love, though, because you have so many guys back seeing each other, we’re just appreciative to do that with each other.”
“We’re not able to do exactly what we want to do right now, but I have faith with the representatives and everyone with the CFLPA that they will get something done.”
As for what Lewis knows, it’s not much different from what fans have been seeing on social media in the past hours.
“I’ve been told what’s been seen on social media also,” Lewis said. “Most of it has been going back and forth, I’ve heard some good stuff, then I’ve heard some bad stuff. Right now, we’re just going with the flow, waiting for the next meeting they have today.”
Maciocia also doesn’t know what’s going to come next, but he’s still optimistic that there will be a resolution, sooner rather than later.
“I think there’s a desire on both sides to play,” Maciocia said. “The optimism is definitely there. Is this going to come to fruition in the next few hours? In the next days? That’s the only thing that I find a little bit frustrating.”
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