The leaders at the posts of receiver and ball carrier left the team for many reasons: they moved to the pros, retired from football, are injured or have completed their studies. A new guard is about to take over the torch.
Receivers Regis Cibasu, Felix Laplante-Thompson, Louis-Mathieu Normandin and Guillaume Paquet are all gone. Asnnel Robo will also miss the call in the backfield.
"We've lost some really big pieces, and there's never anyone who will be able to replace exactly those players because everyone is unique and brings something different," quarterback Dimitri Morand said.
Nothing, however, to prevent Danny Maciocia from sleeping at night. The head coach recalls that the attack on the Blues had to deal with notable absences during the 2018 calendar.
Do not forget that (…) Paquet played only one game (in season) and at the Dunsmore Cup, while Normandin played five and two in the playoffs, but was injured in two of the three games against Laval University. It was far from ideal for him and for us.
"But we have young people, Raphael Major-Dagenais and Kevin Kaya's comeback," continues Maciocia. We are very impressed by Mathieu Renault, Antoine Chabot and Carl Chabot. It will be done by committee, we will try to distribute the ball and establish our game on the ground. "
The game plan by land is to distribute the litters almost equitably, as it was the case during the last three campaigns. Jean-Clifford Dazouloute, Ryth-Jean Giraud and Reda Malki are expected to complete the bulk of the work.
"That's what we want to do because we really like our line on offense, there is a lot of experience and leadership (…) but we are also aware that we have to throw the ball . I think that with the elements we have in place, we should be balanced, "says Maciocia.
A "hungry" offensive unit
Starting for all matches in 2018, in addition to the first clash against the Rouge et Or, Dimitri Morand is back for a third year at the CEPSUM.
As usual, Maciocia was careful not to name the one who will start the season as a quarterback against the Stingers at Concordia Stadium. Morand however started the camp in the driver's seat, in front of a trio composed of Gabriel Archambault, Frédéric Paquette-Perrault and Benjamin Pelletier.
You see that his first year in quotation marks, as a starter, it has served him well, to learn the speed of the game and all that comes with this post at university football.
An opinion that is shared by the principal concerned.
"Of course things are much slower, the game has really slowed down," explains Morand. I am able to do my reading faster. It's been three years that I'm here, so I had time to build links (…) I feel really more comfortable (with my teammates), we had time to create a chemistry. "
"As a third-year player and starting in 2018, I can help a little more young people coming in (on the team), especially since we have a very young, but very hungry group of receivers", adds the former quarter of the Giants of the Cégep of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.
I'm entering this season with a little more experience, and a little more hungry too. The results of the last years have not been favorable, we had a lot of time to think about it during the off season, which is long when you lose the previous year.
A lack of finishing prevented the Carabins from producing more in the offensive in 2018. This inconstancy proved costly in the three clashes against the Rouge et Or, where only one touchdown was scored by the attack, which is as much as defense.
"My lack of experience may have played in that," says Morand. There are several factors, it is played on one, two or three games. I have to make up for better than last year if I want to change the results. "
Statistics of Dimitri Morand in U Sports:
- 2017: 22 completions in 32 attempts (68.8%), 329 yards and 1 touchdown versus 2 interceptions; 1 race, 8 yards
- 2018: 119 passes completed in 190 attempts (62.6%), 1424 yards and 6 touchdowns against 4 interceptions; 23 races, 109 yards and 3 touchdowns
Dmitri Morand is very appreciative of working with Anthony Calvillo, who was appointed as a Shift Instructor and Assistant to the Head Coach in December 2018.
He considers that this new association will allow him to climb an additional step in his progress as a quarterback at the university level.
It's so special to work with him, he brings an exceptional baggage of knowledge that we did not have. Each trainer put his little ingredient in the recipe, and Calvillo is a cook. Our quarterback room has really improved with his help and that of Frédéric Paquette-Perrault, who has just arrived with us. It increases the level of competition.