2011 Season Post-Mortem

So with the 2011 season done for the als what are the changes people here expect and/or want to see for the following year? The team isn't in need of a huge overhaul but changes are definitely needed to this team. So Im hoping for the following:

-Bischoff out as ST coordinator. He is a very good RB coach but cannot come up with working blocking schemes on special teams and seemingly every game this year we had at least one break down on special teams that lead to a big play against us and in a league this competitive we simply cannot afford to have poor special teams play

-The secondary's depth was tested this year and the only new names that stood out to me as people worth keeping are Laybourne and Williams. Next year Id like to see us go into the season with Brown, Parker, Boulay, Estelle, Laybourne and Williams as our top 6 in the secondary with Laybourne being the backup DB.

-We need a deep threat receiver with a lot of speed someone like Williams or Dressler that will make DBs back off a bit and open up some space for our big slots. Deslauriers has shown some flashes of it here and there but either we need a fast receiver or he needs to become more consistent

  • Any player on the defensive side of the ball that regularly takes penalties for late hits needs to go or at the very least be put on a very short leash

-I would really like to see a canadian receiver worked into a starting role with the team just because there are so many good ones out there already there is no reason to keep ignoring canadians for that position

  • Probably the most contentious issue I would like to see either a platoon system at QB or have MacPherson as the starter. There is nothing left for Calvillo to accomplish in this league and at 39 years old he does not have the ability to play at a consistently high level for a 20 game season. Calgary and Hamilton have both had some success with bringing in their young QBs and to a certain extent you can say BC has as well but they did that last year and are reaping the benefits now

Rebuild the defense, every group unfortunately.

D-line: Keep Bowman, make everyone else compete for a job, and bring in some quality talent in the interior to push guys like Wilson.

Linebackers: Cut Ferri, make Guzman compete with Brouillette at Will.

Secondary: Where to start? We don't know if Estelle will even play again in this league. But I'd like to see Williams and Parker on the corners, with Brown and an offseason signing at inside halfback. We also need help at safety.

On offense, we need to draft a quality Canadian receiver, cut Watkins, and bring in a CAPABLE BACKUP for Josh Bourke (Perrett was a turnstile at LT). We also need to rebuild our offensive playbook. It frequently looked tired, stale, and predictable in 2011. McPherson needs to get serious playing time now. No excuses. Anthony can still play at a high level, but I agree with Hfx: he's too old to play a full season plus playoffs. Adrian is our future. Let our future start next season.

Perrett had a few problems but thought he did alright in the 2nd half. But yes someone who can fill in for Bourke if he goes down.
And yes, transition of Calvillo to McPherson next season.

Most of all, get a qualified ST coach and relieve Bischoff of that responsibility.

3rd and 2 and Trestman goes with the pass, that seems to sum up our season :roll: I would like to see a better use of our running next year.

The only thing I am sure of is to get to work with the idea of improving every position on defense. If Estelle, Boulay, Emry and Anderson are back fine but I would not count on it. Wilson and Stewart are probably done. I’d trade Watkins to Toronto if you can’t bring him to camp and let him fight for a spot. Als will have to free up some money to rebuild if Anthony comes back (he probably will).

Really deep draft this year. Als should be able to get some help on special teams.

Trade Dublanko if they aren’t going to play him, he’s made to measure for a 3-4 defense like Edmonton’s.

Since Calvillo is likely here for at least another season. Focus should be on rebuilding defense and fixing special teams.

As far as the coaching staff. Milanovich may be in demand in Toronto, Saskatchewan. Tibesar should stay, the first three games this season when the team was healthy was dominant. Bishoff has nothing to work with all year with most of his guys being pressed in to starter’s roles.

I couldn't agree more. That one play perfectly encapsulated what was wrong with the offense this year. We need a quick decision from Calvillo if he is coming back next year or not because that isn't a position that you could get away with waiting until the last minute to decide like Chui did. If he is back McPherson needs to see significant playing time similar to how Calvillo got significant playing time as Ham's career was ending

That play was fine. Calvillo threw it short. If he puts 10 pounds more on that ball its a first down possibly a touchdown. No one on the Ticats was thinking this ball was going to a limping Whitaker. Great play call but throw was bad.


If there's any silver lining to this early playoff exit, it's that Popp and Trestman have no choice but to make changes next year. A few lucky breaks and a trip to the EDF or even the Grey Cup might have delayed our rebuild. Now, though, it's very clear that we need to make changes, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.

Well, this will be my final post for the 2011 season. I'm sure there will be plenty to talk about in the off-season.

It was clear in the 1st half that the Als didn't have the intensity they needed to make a necessary statement early on. I have to give credit to a patchwork O-line that did an outstanding job for AC in the 2nd half. Nonetheless, the Als were always playing catch-up and the patchwork D, in the final analysis, were unable to get us some necessary stops. This was almost fore-ordained, all things considered.

On a positive note, this was a barn-burner of a game and gave the fans plenty to cheer about. I'm glad that the Als more than redeemed themselves and showed some moxy. We have to give kudos to Glenn and the Ticats who outlasted us today.

It's too bad we didn't win this game (I really didn't think we would!), yet the Als nearly pulled it out. However, even if we had won, the road would have gotten even rougher going forward and I just don't think we had the horses to do it this year. For Jim Popp, there will definitely have to be some changes on both sides of the ball in the off-season, but I'll leave those discussions to another day and time.

Hopefully this is going to be the way they think as oppose to thinking they will be fine next season with everyone back healthy.

The injured players would have helped us, certainly, but we had no pass rush for much of the year, including tonight's game, and we had a supposedly healthy D-line. Special teams were a gong show all season long. The linebacking corps needs to be rebuilt outside of Cox. We have no Canadian starting receivers, and our NI depth in general is now questionable. Then there's the McPherson can of worms. We have a lot to address this offseason.

Not so sure. Whitaker was hurt the play prior and stayed in. When he dropped the pass, he was holding his mid section yet again. Left me wondering knowing he was hurt if they should have called Diedrick to pound the ball for those two yards to get the first.
Hindsight always 20-20.

Agreed 100% on the ST and the McPherson. Not sure they will be convinced that the rest of the D needs attending!

Running back depth is another issue. It’s pretty clear that Whitaker was playing hurt for the last part of the season, but we had no viable replacement for him. Diedrick is just an ST body. He’s not good enough to come in and carry the mail if Brandon has to leave for a series or even a game.

Diedrick managed to pound he ball earlier in the season. He has the size, surely 2 yards is within his grasp.

Like I said, just a thought after watching Whitaker holding his family mid section after dropping the pass.

It's a shame the Alouettes lost this game
I doubt too many feel the sting of this loss more than me

Reading Jack Todd's offhanded swipe at Alouettes reporting

[url=http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/football/montreal-alouettes/Jack+Todd+Death+Alouettes+dynasty+wasn+pretty/5704371/story.html]http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/f ... story.html[/url]

Before he went on to more important affairs
Leaves one wondering if the Alouettes wouldn't have been better off
Getting blown out of this game
Anthony Calvillo left a tired and befuddled old fart
And everyone calling for his head

Don't get me wrong
I'm sure AC has plenty of great games left in that arm of his
In an ideal world there would be a place for an aging quarterback legend
And an up and coming QB star in this league

For those who thought Calvillo was toast after that debacle in B.C., check the numbers.
And what numbers...right? 30/42 513 and 3 touchdowns Wow

Lost in those stats are a few harsh realities however.
Calvillo started the game looking every bit the quarterback we've seen the last few weeks:
Crumbling and fumbling under pressure
A pick six and we're behind
Milanovich has a revelation
Puts Whitaker to work
We start moving the ball

That's all well and good
Hamilton backs off the pressure and focuses on the run
Giving AC significantly more time in the pocket
And he capitalizes...of course

It's obvious that Bellefeuille's decision to sit Baggs came a hair's breath from backfiring on him
Mullinder looked lost on the end
Obviously Johnson had to play...and he got that pick...
But honestly...Calvillo was not really challenged for much of the rest of the game
If he had been, the buzz around town would have had a diametrically different tone

So I'm sure some are pleased that AC's saved his job for another season (perhaps)
And that despite the disastrous field position his early game stalled drives inflicted on an already overburdened defence...putting the Alouettes into a hole they had no reason to be in...the rest of the team can take the fall for his failings. Gawd...hearing Flory almost in tears...apologizing to the fans when interviewed post game really capped this season for me. Our O-line has been aces. Despite the burden of protecting a quarterback that simply can't protect himself.

So this is how I see we lost this game...and so many before it:

We run back the kickoff....to the 30-35....no more because of our pathetic return game.
Calvillo's drive stalls 2 and out...or maybe after 1 first down.
Maybe pushed back 10 yards after a sack...or two
Whyte punts and the opposition has a big return because of our pathetic coverage unit.
They start somewhere past mid-field
And then everyone blames the defence for letting them score.

We need a new rush end
Replacing Eric Wilson is idiotic...stalwart on the best run-defence in the league this year
But a new defensive tackle with some rushing ability to replace Keron Williams (finally) might be nice
Any criticism on the secondary...even the devastated secondary we've had most of the year has to take our lack of pass rush into account as a major factor.
Kevin Glenn was clean almost all game
I'll accept the D-Line's apologies if proffered
The return of Boulay, Anderson, Brown, Emry and Estelle
Along with some of the more solid performers this year
Williams and Woldu among them
And the defence should be sorted.

On offence we desperately need a true fullback
To get those gritty 2-3 yards up the middle when needed
It's never that encouraging going into a game hearing your head coach praising the viscousness of the opposing tailback...especially when it's absolutely true.
And an actual speed-burning deep threat would be nice
Assuming our quarterback can actually get the ball to him

As for the rest of the offence...I guess we'll have to wait won't we?
If AC comes back as the undisputed leader and starter...don't expect us to do much more in 2012
Opposing defences...especially on the stronger teams...have a pass rush that Calvillo simply has no answer for.

This was a wasted season
"Disappeared" down the memory hole of the Calvillo legacy
If...as Jack Todd suggests...we stand pat and do it all over again
We'll be lucky to make the playoffs next year
And if we do...don't expect 33,000
But you can expect an
I told you so

Have a nice if lengthy off-season

I disagree, you're not going to dazzle your opponents at every play, sometimes it's just better to do what works. The fact that AC threw it short is the reason why they should not have done that play, throwing the ball is way more risky than running in that particular situation. 2 yards is merely 2 steps and running backs usually make those plays. The idea here was to get the first down, I don't see how the play they did had more chances in resulting in a td as opposed to running the ball. However running the ball had more chances in getting the first down.

I disagree, you're not going to dazzle your opponents at every play, sometimes it's just better to do what works. The fact that AC threw it short is the reason why they should not have done that play, throwing the ball is way more risky than running in that particular situation. 2 yards is merely 2 steps and running backs usually make those plays. The idea here was to get the first down, I don't see how the play they did had more chances in resulting in a td as opposed to running the ball. However running the ball had more chances in getting the first down.
If two yards is so easy, what happened in Calgary on the two yard line ?

Don't get me wrong. I don't like the play calling by committee Trestman has going and I've been probably the most critical of him abandoning the running game but I am not sure a running play would have been more effective and we will never know.

Well, it's a little early to be doing post-mortems; we are all still digesting (in-digesting?) how the season ended.

A natural tendency after a disappointing (but not losing!) season is to have a fire sale of your players. Fans even talk of firing this one, that one... All things considered, the incosistent play of AC and the holes in the secondary were the biggest contributors to the W-L column this season. Had most of our starters been there for the season, we likely would be having a different discussion right now.

The bigest issue, as I see it, is a change of regime. AC still has a year on his contract. At a proper time and place Trestman/Popp/Wettenhall need to discuss the future and I would think that it is now AD time. Should AC decide not to return, he should be brought back, but more in a support role. He would get to start some games, or he could come in at some point, but the number 1 QB would be AD. Now, I would hope that AC would realize that his best days are in the rear view mirror and would accept coming back, even at a lower salary. Would his ego accept that?

On the D-line, we need to be in the market for younger, aggressive, athletic rush ends. I don't know how much gas Anwar has left in his tank, but he is a good and stabilizing influence on younger players; I think the Als need that. Wilson is a keeper as is Bowman. Other D-linemen need to be brought it to put pressure on our guys. We definitely need some depth in the secondary. I know this may sound like anathema sit to some, but I was never that impressed with Boulay; was he that much of a difference maker? We need to bring in via draft/TC invites/trade two ringers back there. We also need ball hawks. In a tight game, an INT or two can indeed make the difference.

Perhaps a new DC. Tibesar was OK, but I thought that the pass-rush D was sorely lacking this season. A QB running for his life simply can't go through his reads and is therefore ineffective. Hard to say at this point who may be available.

I think our receiving corps is strong. London is coming along just fine and Bratton, an often forgotten receiver also did well. The Twin Towers are also A-OK. I think we need to get Bowling more reps next season. Whitaker is also fine.

STs? Well, we have talked about that one for a dog's age. A true ST coach is required and we need to shop around for a receiver/receivers capable of making those quick cuts, and turning on the after-burners. A good scouting job is required.

That's it from my point of view. I think it would be very unwise to make wholescale changes. The Als core players are all still very competitive and could win it all once again. We need consistent play on D, an ability to shut the other team down, and more variety on O. We will be in a rebuilding mode if AD does take over the reins, so we may expect a less impressive W-L record.