The Montreal Alouettes made headlines this past week when they hired Mike Sherman as their next head coach. Now we all know that Sherman has a wealth of football coaching experience, but a question one must ask is this. Was the reason why he lasted six years as the Green Bay Packers head coach and general manager from 2000 to 2005 because he had a future hall of fame quarterback in Brett Favre to lead the squad?
There have been head coaches who have been in charge of the Alouettes and a NFL team before. Marc Trestman and Marv Levy come to mind. What is different with Sherman is the fact he became the head coach of the Alouettes after coaching in the NFL. Levy coached the Alouettes before coaching the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills. Trestman coached the Alouettes before coaching the Chicago Bears.
Trestman and Levy also share something in common. Both won two Grey Cups as the head coach of the Alouettes. Levy was the head coach when Montreal beat Edmonton in 1974 and 1977 and Trestman was the head coach when Montreal beat Saskatchewan in 2009 and 2010.
The Alouettes still have former Edmonton Eskimos defensive back and head coach Kavis Reed as their general manager. Reed was promoted from special teams co-ordinator to general manager on December 14, 2016 when the team decided to fire Jim Popp. It should be noted the firing of Popp did not necessarily turn out too well for the Alouettes as he became the general manager of the Toronto Argonauts, hired Trestman who he had great success with in Montreal, and the Argonauts won the 2017 Grey Cup.
However one must realize this. You can be a great coach, but in order to be successful you need a great quarterback. Levy had Jimmy Jones and Sonny Wade with the Alouettes and Jim Kelly in Buffalo. Sherman had Favre, and Trestman had Anthony Calvillo in Montreal and Ricky Ray in Toronto. Unless the Alouettes improve their quarterback position, Sherman will only have marginal success in Montreal.