Boris Bede isn’t Working for Alouettes, Popp Admits After loss to Lions
The Alouettes, it would appear, have almost reached the end of the line with beleaguered kicker Boris Bede. The second-year pro will either be replaced next week or he’ll share duties with one of three placekickers who recently worked out with the team.
Bede wasn’t the only reason the Als were humbled, 38-18, by the British Columbia Lions Thursday night at Molson Stadium. No, there was plenty of blame to go around in this one, But Bede also was one of the significant culprits.
“More than likely we’ll bring another kicker in and give Boris Bede a rest. Or we’ll split the kicking duties,” general manager and head coach Jim Popp admitted. “We’ve given him every opportunity to work out the kinks. Things could change, but obviously we have some issues.
“It’s unfortunate. He has tried working through it. But at this point we’ve probably got to try something else.”
Bede, who has struggled most of the season, missed a 38-yard field goal attempt wide left on the Als’ opening series before connecting on a 17-yard chip-shot early in the second quarter, following an interception by middle-linebacker Bear Woods, who returned the ball 19 yards to the Lions’ 26. But the Als, who scored 41 points and five touchdowns last week, against Saskatchewan, couldn’t find the end zone with any regularity against a superior opponent.
The Lions improved to 4-2 while the Als are 2-4. Montreal still has failed to defeat a team with a winning record and their attendance has decreased with each game. On Thursday, 19,125 spectators were there.
Bede also struggled with his directional punting. He punted four times, but averaged only 33.5 yards. He also took his third penalty this season for an illegal punt, shanking a 12 yarder out of bounds. That led to a Richie Leone field goal, one of five he made – although he also missed a pair.
“It was a long game. It was a tough one at the office,” Bede admitted. “I don’t know. I have a feeling somebody’s really trying to test me and figure out how I’m going to overcome this and how well I’m going to overcome this to just get back to the normal.”
Bede, obviously unaware of Popp’s comments, which came later, said he has no idea what his status is going into next Thursday’s game at Edmonton.
“Things can happen and moves can be made, for sure. Jim has been really, really patient with me … the whole organization. The organization, my teammates and the crowd have been pretty patient. I owe them a big one.”
Actually, not all of Bede’s teammates remain in his corner. On two occasions, receiver Duron Carter was seen berating Bede. One became so animated, Carter had to be restrained by special teams co-ordinator Kavis Reed. A team that can’t remain together, united, is almost certain to sink into a quagmire — which is where this team appears headed.
“He needs to do his job. That’s it. That’s what we get paid to do,” Carter said. “I get paid to catch the football. If I’m not out there catching it, they’ll find somebody else to do it.
“He can kick field goals. It’s not like he’s not talented enough. We have to make a decision what he wants to do. This is not it. He’s got to take it more serious,” added Carter, denying he had to be restrained by Reed. “It’s about every person doing his job. If I wasn’t doing my job, Nik Lewis would do the same thing to me. We’re not unraveling at the seams. It’s about one man expecting another man to do his job to help him.”
Carter, as usual, was the major contributor to an Als’ offence that, as usual, performed in fits and starts. He caught seven passes for 115 yards. But it takes more than one player for a team to succeed.
“I didn’t do enough,” Carter claimed. “We’re so close. It’s not like people are stopping us. We hurt ourselves. Everybody sees it.”
Indeed they did on this night.
Kevin Glenn passed for 231 yards and one touchdown, a 15-yard pass to B.J. Cunningham. Glenn also scored on a five-yard run. But he continues to take a beating and was sacked six times. An offensive-lineman, who didn’t want to be quoted, said the issues go beyond the players blocking for Glenn.
Despite all their offensive inconsistencies, the Als were still in this game heading into the fourth quarter, trailing 23-18. But then rookie receiver Corbin Louks fumbled after being hit by cornerback Ronnie Yell. The ball was recovered by linebacker Loucheiz Purifoy, who returned it 47 yards for a touchdown, effectively ending the home team’s comeback aspirations.
Louks refused comment after the game, but Popp, believing the pass to be incomplete, unsuccessfully challenged the play.
Another recurring theme dogging the team is penalties. The Als took 12 infractions for 99 yards. These included two objectionable conduct penalties by linebacker Kyries Hebert, along with a roughing the passer call on linebacker Winston Venable. Even long-snapper Martin Bédard was penalized for unnecessary roughness.
It certainly appears the Als lack discipline. One could argue that starts with the head coach, but Popp said he has spoken to the team about it ad nauseam.
With a 2-4 record at the one-third mark of their season, the Als are on pace for a 6-12 record — the same mark they produced in 2015, when they failed to make the playoffs. There’s plenty of football remaining, but things appear bleak.