Alfieri’s Day 8 training camp notebook: Yoga session, update on Jumal Rolle

The Alouettes battled through an intra-squad game at Stade Diablos last night, which means they had a lighter day today.

The players won’t be practicing, but they will still have meetings with their coaches, and they’ll have a recovery session in the afternoon. Today’s off-field workout is a yoga session, which the players will participate in multiple times throughout training camp.

This year, the team has decided to add more recovery days to the schedule in order to help the players feel better when they step onto the field.

“We’re really mindful of making sure players are recovering properly,” Alouettes strength and conditioning coach Pierre-Olivier Breault said. “Traditionally, during training camp, everybody goes for so many days, like 12 to 16 days. Obviously, there are days after games, but what we changed this year is that we added recovery days. We’re going to practice for three days and then on the third or fourth day, depending on the week, we’re going to include a recovery day. The guys are off the field.”

Pierre-Olivier Breault (left)

Breault, who was a cornerback, positional coach, video coordinator and strength and conditioning coach with the University of Montreal Carabins, has been with the Alouettes since 2020.

The 33-year-old is an outside-the-box thinker that is always looking to improve and adapt to the way players prepare for practices and games.

“There is treatment, there are meetings, but we’re adding a recovery session either in the form of a pool workout or yoga,” he added. “Training camp is used to evaluate players, but we want to put them into shape. By doing a recovery session, we’re still going to have them work, but in a way, that’s not going to add more fatigue. No impact, no running-based activities. It’s stuff that is going to benefit them by stretching, working on some chore exercises, and making sure they’re fully in control of their body.”

Update on Jumal Rolle suspension:

Cornerback Jumal Rolle was one of the big free-agent acquisitions the Alouettes made in February. The 32-year-old was likely going to come into training camp as one of the favourites to land a starting job in the secondary, but the team put him on the suspended list at the start of training camp.

A week before the start of camp, Rolle informed the Alouettes that he was going to retire from football to spend more time with his family.

“Jumal reached out to me a week prior to training camp,” general manager Danny Maciocia said after Saturday’s scrimmage. “It was time, in his mind, to give back to his family and to stay close to his family. He had expressed that desire to stay behind. He was contemplating retirement and he made the decision a few days before going to training camp. He wanted to focus all of his energy on raising his family.”

Rolle spent four seasons with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from 2018 to 2022. He accumulated 11 interceptions during his time with the Ticats. He was named to the CFL All-Star team in 2021 and the East Division All-Star team in 2021 and 2022.

“You have to respect the fact that that’s the decision that he took,” Maciocia said of Rolle’s decision to retire. “That’s what he wants to do. We left the door open. If ever anything changes, he’s more than welcome to join us here in Montreal.”

Coming up next:

The Alouettes will be back on the practice field at Stade Diablos at 8:30 am on Monday morning.