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Alouettes stay in-house for new offensive coordinator, promoting OL coach Pat Meyer

Alouettes' offensive line coach Pat Meyer is adding the OC role to his duties.

Last offseason, the Montreal Alouettes lost offensive coordinator Scott Milanovich to the Toronto Argonauts and filled the void internally by promoting Marcus Brady. This offseason, they lost Brady to the Argonauts and have again filled the void internally, promoting offensive line coach Pat Meyer to the offensive coordinator's role (he'll remain OL coach as well). From this corner, the decision seems like a logical move; Meyer has had success with the Als' offensive line and is a long-time associate of head coach Marc Trestman, dating back to Trestman's time with the North Carolina State Wolfpack in 2005-06, so he's familiar with what Montreal wants to do on offence. He's also run offences before, serving as the Colorado State Rams' offensive coordinator from 2010-11 (as well as working as their offensive line coach from 2008-11). Meyer's promotion is a move in favour of continuity, and that seems like a good decision.

Some would argue for a bigger shakeup given that the Alouettes' 11-7 season wasn't as strong as some of their previous campaigns and that their season ended in the East Final, but that seems unnecessary. Keep in mind that most of Montreal's issues this past season weren't on offence. They scored 478 points, fourth-best in the league (and one point behind third-place B.C.), and they were also fourth with 370.5 yards of offence per game. They also gained more yards per pass play (9.0) than any team in the league, and while their average gain per rushing play (5.0 yards) was the league's lowest, much of that was thanks to a mid-season injury to star running back Brandon Whitaker. The bigger issue for Montreal in 2012 was the defence, which allowed 27.2 points per game, fifth-best in the league. They've already made a significant change there, replacing defensive coordinator Jeff Reinebold with veteran CIS and CFL coach Noel Thorpe. With notable change on one side of the ball, it makes even more sense to maintain offensive continuity.

Of course, that's going against a CFL trend. As we saw with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats' decision to fire head coach George Cortez Tuesday after only one season and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' midseason coaching change, more and more teams are opting to quickly change course at the first hint of trouble. That's never really been the Alouettes' strategy, though; they've had the same franchise architect (general manager Jim Popp) since their days in Baltimore and the same head coach (Trestman) since 2008, and their focus has generally been the long term rather than the immediate present. It's worked out extremely well for them in most cases, as they've been a dominant CFL team for most of the last decade; there's no reason to change what isn't broken. The way the Alouettes lost the East Final also would favour tweaks over dramatic change; if not for an Argo bounce (Brian Bratton's late end-zone drop), it might have been Montreal moving on to the Grey Cup and perhaps hoisting it. This team still has a lot of promise, especially on the offensive side of the ball, and promoting Meyer shows they still believe in what they've been doing. It goes against the dramatic changes we've seen elsewhere, but the Alouettes' patience may yet pay off.

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