Montreal Alouettes to honour former standout defensive lineman John Bowman on weekend – Montreal

John Bowman will get the prospect to formally say goodbye.

The Montreal Alouettes will honour their profession sacks chief Saturday night time throughout their residence recreation in opposition to the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Bowman, 39, retired in 2021 after spending his whole 14-year professional profession with the CFL franchise.

“It means lots,” Bowman advised reporters throughout a video convention Thursday. “I didn’t actually get to say bye to the folks the way in which anyone wished to.

“To remain in a single group for so long as I did was a blessing and that provides me peace. I’m pleased with what I completed, not simply individually however as a workforce.”

The six-foot-three, 255-pound Bowman joined the Alouettes in 2006 and rapidly established himself as one of many CFL’s high go rushers. Seven occasions he registered double-digit sacks (together with a career-high 19 in 2015) and even in his last season had a career-best 46 tackles together with eight sacks.

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Bowman, a local of Brooklyn, N.Y., appeared in 230 profession regular-season video games with Montreal, profitable Gray Cups with the franchise in 2009-10. He was an East Division all-star 9 occasions and twice earned league honours and his 134 sacks rank him first in membership historical past and sixth all-time.

The 5 gamers forward of Bowman — Grover Covington (157 sacks), Elfrid Payton (154), Bobby Jurasin (142), James (Fast) Parker (139.5) and Joe Montford (135) — have all been inducted into the Canadian Soccer Corridor of Fame.

Bowman helped Montreal (10-8) end second within the East Division and attain the playoffs for the primary time in 4 years in 2019. However after the CFL cancelled the 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alouettes opted in opposition to re-signing Bowman for the present marketing campaign, a choice he mentioned he’s at peace with.

“I’ve been ready mentally to retire for 5 years,” Bowman mentioned. “Each low season it was a thought in my thoughts.

“I’m at peace with every little thing proper now. I’m injury-free, I’m capable of bend my knees, I had zero concussions so that provides me peace of thoughts. Whether or not I wished to play once more or not, that’s irrelevant.”

And getting the prospect to bid farewell to Montreal followers is essential to Bowman.

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“Town embraced me,” he mentioned. “They actually introduced me in and I can actually recognize that.”

Whereas Bowman achieved many profession milestones in Montreal, he’s nonetheless bothered by his greatest setback. That was the Alouettes’ 22-14 loss to the Calgary Stampeders within the 2008 Gray Cup recreation performed earlier than over 66,000 followers at Olympic Stadium.

“That 2008 Gray Cup haunts me ,” Bowman mentioned. “The vitality (on the Massive O) was outrageous and simply profitable that Gray Cup and bringing it Montreal would’ve meant essentially the most to me.”

Bowman and the Alouettes would declare consecutive Gray Cup wins the subsequent two seasons. However in Bowman’s thoughts, his greatest profession accomplishment was establishing himself as a tough employee.

“Whether or not folks thought I used to be the perfect D-end or the worst D-end, no one ever mentioned, ‘He doesn’t play exhausting.”’ Bowman mentioned. “On the finish of the day, whether or not you’re good otherwise you’re not, the one factor you management is your effort, perspective and vitality.

“For the higher a part of 14 years my teammates each week may rely on me to convey it . . . and I did that.”

Bowman mentioned he’s spent the final 5 months on an “prolonged trip with the snowbirds in Florida.” As for what lies forward, Bowman mentioned turning into a soccer coach — first as a defensive-line coach — has particular enchantment.

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“I wasn’t blessed with all of the bodily property of the good D-ends, I used to be a employee,” he mentioned. “I would like to have the ability to clarify issues in these type of phrases, I need to discover ways to relate info and data.

“I’m not going to say I’m going to grow to be an excellent coach, I don’t know. However I believe it’s straightforward for me to narrate to a man who has to work to grow to be who he’s going to be as a result of that how I made myself.”

Bowman would love nothing greater than to start a training profession in the identical metropolis he spent 14 years in as a participant. Nevertheless, he was fast to level out he’s not had any discussions with the Alouettes concerning that.

“I’d like to be in Montreal, for certain,” he mentioned. “However within the teaching enterprise you type of take what’s given to you originally earlier than you may stake your declare.

“If that’s the route I’ve to go, I’ll do it.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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