MONTREAL -- Troy Smith is ready to hear Anthony Calvillos name mentioned every time he lines up at quarterback for the Montreal Alouettes. Custom Arizona Cardinals Jersey
. The Heisman Trophy-winning pivot, who joined the Alouettes midway through last season, will be the clubs first opening-game starter other than Calvillo in 15 years when Montreal plays its first game of the 2014 CFL regular season at Calgary on Saturday. They are massive shoes to fill, with Calvillo having retired in the off-season as the leagues all-time passing leader. "Ill never stop hearing those references," Smith said this week. "I think its great to be mentioned with a great name like that. "I havent done nearly the things he has, and just holding onto his coattails a bit has been fun so far. But as a man, I definitely want to make my own path. Thats why Im here." Smith takes over the key position on a team that was a powerhouse for most of Calvillos time behind centre, but which has been sliding in recent seasons. And even though they remain well-stocked with top talent at many positions, the Alouettes are perceived as a team in decline. Last season was a disaster, with the inexperienced Dan Hawkins fired as head coach only five games into the season, followed shortly by a season-ending, and career-ending, injury to Calvillo. They finished 8-10, tying their worst record since they returned to Montreal after a 10-year gap in 1996, and lost to Hamilton in the East Division semifinal. This season hasnt started well either, with team architect Jim Popps bid to keep the head coaching as well as general managing job turned down. Tom Higgins, who was out of coaching since 2007, was named the new head coach, but the offensive co-ordinator he hired, Rick Worman, was fired midway through training camp. Then the club lost both its pre-season games, including a 26-10 setback at home against expansion Ottawa in which they failed to score a touchdown with new OC Ryan Dinwiddie calling the plays. Smith was not sharp while playing just over half of that game, but neither were backups Tanner Marsh and Alex Brink. All three got starts last season, with Smith emerging as the most promising to take over the top job. Now he has to play well enough to keep it. "I dont look at it as a transition year," said Popp. "That was last year. "Theres going to be a transition, but we were faced with this starting in Game 6, and we played two thirds of the year without Anthony Calvillo, knowing he probably wasnt coming back. "We had four different quarterbacks that won games and the team realized they could win without Anthony. That was a big hurdle. Its a little nerve-wracking, but like with all great players you lose, you just have to march on. Its not so much to replace that guy, but to find someone you can win with. How great theyll be, well find out." There were two main positives to come out of the off-season. One was the return of Larry Taylor, who gives them a kick return threat they havent had in recent seasons. Another was the signing of former NFL star receiver Chad (Ochocinco) Johnson, who so far looks to have a positive influence on and off the field. The 36-year-old Johnson has been out of football for two years, but Popp said he showed up in shape and has been a "great fit." "I think he can do great things for us," Popp said. "Every time we play somebody, their attention is on him, and not on S.J. Green and Duran Carter. So if hes an attention grabber and everyones talking about him, great. Chads used to that. And Chad, with each game and experience he has in this league, is only going to get better as the season goes along." Smith will have an impressive set of receivers with Green, Carter, Johnson, Taylor, Brandon London, Eric Deslauriers and the repatriated Dave Stala. Gone are Jamel Richardson, who had a knee injury and was cut, and veteran Arland Bruce. "Weve got the best receiving corps in the league," said Popp, who is particularly high on Carter, the son of former NFL great Cris Carter, who gained 909 yards in only 12 games after making his CFL debut in August. "All I say is CFL, enjoy what youre watching because youll be watching him in the NFL next season, Hell have the majority of NFL teams after him, and were not talking about as a third or fourth receiver. He can go in and have an impact like Cam Wake. Hes at that level." There is a first-rate running back in Brandon Whitaker and a solid offensive line anchored by left tackle Josh Bourke, despite the retirements of Scott Flory and Andrew Woodruff and the departure of Michael Ola to the NFL. The defence lost starting middle linebacker Shea Emry to Toronto, but should remain among the leagues best under defensive co-ordinator Noel Thorpe with veterans like rush end John Bowman and linebacker Chip Cox leading the unit. The Alouettes kick teams have been weak for the last three seasons, including when Marc Trestman was head coach and didnt name a full-time special teams co-ordinator. But they looked good both on returns and kick coverage in the pre-season and they may be a key area of improvement. Taylors ability to avoid the first wave to pick up extra yardage should be a bonus. It will likely take some time for the offence to jell. And if it turns out that Smith doesnt have what it takes to be a regular CFL starter, it could be a long season indeed. Starting the campaign against Calgary, followed by a home game against B.C., should give Higgins and idea of what it will take to re-establish Montreals reputation as a Grey Cup contender. "Every indication is that Troy Smiths going to be our guy, but sometimes there are growing pains," said Higgins. "If you look at Anthonys career, at the start it wasnt as stellar as it was at the end. "All that being said, (Smith) comes with good intangibles. Hes from a good program. Hes got the system down. Practices are going good. So lets see him get measured up against the best." Cheap Calais Campbell Jersey
. Both times hes left empty. It was War Emblem in 2002. On Saturday, it was California Chromes turn to lose the Belmont after capturing the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. Pat Tillman Jersey
.C. -- Andrea Petkovic remembered why she started playing tennis and along the way gave everyone else a reminder about how talented she is when shes at her best. http://www.authenticcardinalsfootball.com/Youth-David-Johnson-Elite-Jersey/
.Y. -- Dont rule out Niagara Falls as a potential future home of the Buffalo Bills.WASHINGTON -- Wizards guard Bradley Beal had to be helped off the court Friday during a loss in Minnesota. A night later, he was back to help lead a rout of the Detroit Pistons. John Wall had 20 points and 11 assists, and Beal scored 10 of his 15 points during the second quarter as Washington pulled away for a 106-82 victory on Saturday. Marcin Gortat scored 16 points, and Trevor Ariza added 15 points for Washington, which snapped a three-game home losing streak and has won four of its last five overall. Beal left in the fourth quarter Friday after colliding with Timberwolves forward Luc Mbah a Moute. An MRI Saturday was negative and Beal started against Detroit and played 20 minutes. "I woke up this morning feeling good, so I was hopeful that would be a good sign throughout the day," Beal said. "The (doctor) told me it was nothing but a little bone bruise. Its going to take a little bit more than that to keep me from playing. And it didnt hurt tonight, so thats a good thing." One night after their worst defeat of the season, a 22-point loss to the Wolves, the Wizards never trailed, pulling away late in the first half and posting their biggest margin of victory this season. "We got back a little bit of our identity that I thought we lost last night coming out of Christmas break," coach Randy Wittman said. "We can only play one way, and thats a physical presence on the floor. Tonight was more the team that we have to be. I thought that right from the jump ball we took the fight in a physical manner that we didnt at all last night." Greg Monroe scored 14 points and Brandon Jennings had 13 for Detroit, which has dropped four of five. Detroit coach Maurice Cheeks kept starting forward Josh Smith, who had five points in Fridays loss at Orlando and shot 2 of 7 in the first half against the Wizards, on the bench for the second half. "I just felt like I wanted to make a change and stay with the guys I went with," Cheeks said. "It wasnt just him. (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope) didnt start either." Caldwell-Pope eventually played nearly 10 minutes of the second half. "I mean its unfair because like I told you before, I play thee game hard each and every day," Smith said when asked if he was being singled out. David Johnson Jersey
. "When I was younger I played this game free year around. So why wouldnt I want to come out here and put my best foot forward every time I step out?" The Wizards took an 11-point lead in the first quarter as Gortat scored 10 points. Detroit pulled within 42-37 midway through the second quarter on a basket by Will Bynum, but Washington went on a 20-4 run to end the half, capped by two 3-pointers from Beal and a reverse dunk by Wall. "Those were two great finds by John," Beal said. "He saw I hit the first one and he came right back to me. That just shows his IQ and the connection we both have, and he got me going." Wall had 10 points in the quarter as well, and Washington scored a season-high 62 points in the first half. The Pistons went scoreless for the final 4:53 of the quarter and shot 37 per cent for the half. Washington meanwhile, hit 25 of 44 field goals (57 per cent) in the first 24 minutes. "Our transition defence has been bad. Our interior defence has been bad," Cheeks said. "When you have a team that is shooting well from the three and getting inside the paint, a lot of things are going to give and we need to recover." Detroit got no closer than 19 points in the second half and the Wizards led by as many as 28. "Being aggressive, attacking the basket, being more physical," Wall said of the win. "We got back to our defensive concepts and we protected the rim and got a lot or rebounds." The Wizards collected 34 assists. They outrebounded Detroit 46-38 and limited the Pistons to 11 offensive rebounds. Wall has scored 20 or more points in a career-high six consecutive games and it was his 10th double-double of the season. NOTES: Beal, who came in averaging 19.2 points, missed nine games this season with a stress fracture in his right leg. . Washington had lost seven straight to the Pistons since beating them Feb. 12, 2012. . The teams play Monday in Detroit. . Swati and Zaziwe Mandela, granddaughters of the late Nelson Mandela, took part in ceremony with District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis before the game. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China
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