Tuesday, 24 January 2012
Stewart's Time With The Alouettes Likely Over
As reported by Montreal Gazette beat writer, Herb Zurkowsky Anwar Stewart’s days are done as a member of the Montreal Alouettes. Moving forward, where does this leave the team, and Stewart?
From the team’s perspective they lose a well respected voice inside the locker room, and a player who was adored in the Montreal community. However, as written in my previous article about Stewart’s future, they have high hopes for Daunte Akra, who they figure will be more involved with the 2012 edition of the team.
Factor in Jermaine McElveen’s contract situation on whether or not he would be back, the Alouettes would rather now address their questions on defensive line.
Therefore, had Stewart comeback to the team, he could have been a potential training camp casualty. If he did crack the roster, who knows how many snaps he would have received in each game.
Furthermore, with the cloudy situation of who would be named the team’s next defensive coordinator, who knows if that coach would incorporate Stewart in the future plans.
From the Alouettes perspective, the writing has been on the wall that at age 36, they probably forecasted that Stewart’s production was going to drop dramatically. Even though he had a solid 2011 season with seven sacks and one interception, Jim Popp must have figured he wanted to move on without him now and turn the page.
As for Stewart’s future, in speaking to source who echoed the same sentiments by Zurkowsky, the likely destination would be the Toronto Argonauts. Automatically, the Alouettes connection is there with new head coach Scott Milanovich, and defensive coordinator Chris Jones.
Arguably, Stewart had his best run under Jones' tutelage, where he amassed 40 of his 66 career sacks during his five years with him. The biggest trait in Jones coaching ability is to identify the strength of each player and use it to the maximum in his frenetic style of formations.
If Stewart does end up with the Argonauts, that would be another blow to the leadership council to lose a player of his ilk to a division rival. Last year, it was Avon Cobourne to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and now it could be Stewart.
No matter where Stewart ends up, his time in Montreal has been fabulous. He was a part of three Grey Cup championship teams, he was well liked by the media because he always expressed his true feelings, and he will surely be missed by the Montreal fans for his hard work on and off the field.
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Photo credit: montrealgazette.com