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Montreal Alouette Pierre-Luc Caron also serves as an emergency call dispatcher

The Alouettes’ long snapper will play his sixth season in the CFL — and his second with Montreal —  in 2022

On Jan. 21, co-news editor Gabriel Guindi and I caught up with Montreal Alouette Pierre-Luc Caron on The Starting Rotation, our sports talk radio show that airs on CJLO 1690 AM on Fridays at 2 p.m. If you missed the conversation live, here’s the abridged version of the offseason interview.

The Starting Rotation (SR): What were some of the unique hurdles that you had to overcome last season, both individually and as a team?

Pierre-Luc Caron (PLC): I had my first big injury since I started playing football when I was eight years old. I tore my pec against Ottawa, I had to get surgery and I’m still doing rehab almost every day. So that was definitely the biggest challenge for me. It’s been a busy offseason trying to get back as quickly as possible. 

As a team, I think we were a really good team, definitely better than our record showed. I feel like we didn’t fulfill our potential, but overall we’re building something great in Montreal, and there’s a ton of great players in that locker room. It’s not a big margin between a Grey Cup winning team and a team that finishes 7-7. If a few key moments go our way, maybe add a few players that could bring a change of attitude and we’re right there in the discussion. 

SR: What’s the timetable for your return from this injury? Do you expect to be ready for the upcoming season?

PLC: The doctor said I should be back to 100 per cent around mid-March. But honestly, if we had a game this week, I feel like I could play, so that’s good news. I just don’t bench as much as I used to, but that’s not a big deal for now. 

SR: The CFL terminated the 2020 season due to the pandemic. What was it like to just not play football for a year? 

PLC: Obviously, it was really tough because at the end of the day, playing football is my income. At the beginning, there was a lot of confusion, none of the players knew whether or not there was going to be another CFL season. I took the opportunity to move back to Montreal with my girlfriend, since she had a job offer. Overall, I’m happy to be back home for now. Family-wise, it’s been great. I can have dinner with my dad on a Wednesday night, which is something I wasn’t able to do when I was playing in Calgary. 

I had a lot of free time so I started working as a 911 operator, and I really liked it. I have a kinesiology degree and I felt like I could be useful in helping others outside of football. I feel like the pressure I experience on the football field helped me handle the stressful calls. Obviously, with the CFL back now, I’m really focused on my training now but I still take calls when I can. 

SR: Before you entered the CFL, you were a part of Laval’s football program for four years and played the Stingers many times over the years. Did you get a chance to watch some of Concordia’s games from this year? 

PLC: I did, and I really like what the Stingers are doing right now. I have a lot of friends that are on the coaching staff and I know things are trending upwards [for Concordia]. They even beat the [Montreal] Carabins this year so that’s a huge step, and you got a young quarterback in Olivier Roy, so the future is definitely looking bright.

SR: What are some of the other sports that you like to play, or like to watch asides from football? 

PLC: When I have the time, I really enjoy golf. When the pandemic started, I started playing more because a lot of the courses were still open in Calgary, so I took advantage of that whenever I could. I’m not great at it, but I like it because it’s relaxing and you get to spend a lot of time with your friends.

SR: What are some of your individual goals for next season?

PLC: I try not to look too far ahead. With my injury, I’m taking things day-by-day, doing rehab, training, and making sure I eat well. Honestly, I don’t have any goals right now. I just want to play every game and I know the goals are going to come once I’m healthy enough to play.

 

Photograph by Dominick Gravel

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