For the first time in a very long while, I was less than enthusiastic about making sure I was in front of my HDTV to watch the game on Saturday. I even forgot to set my PVR to record it and am now wondering why I spent the extra money back in the spring to get TSN HD so that I could watch my favourite team play in glorious HD. Even Sports Center this morning had no highlights of anything exciting that the Leos did during the game last night. Ricky Ray on the other hand played an amazing rush game that makes me think he's getting back to his old self again.
Lets look at the history of Casey Printers to start and this is entirely a point of view from a fan who loves football but doesn't have the time to spend analysing every little detail. So all I see is the big picture. Casey brought the Leos all the way to the Grey Cup after an early season injury suffered by Dickenson. On that fateful day, the coach decides to put Dave back on the field. WHY? Of course they lost, because all year they were tuned-in to Casey and then WHAM, all that hard work tuning the team to one quarterback is thrown out the window.
That brings me to my point, since that day so long ago, the coaching staff has had a very hard time tuning anybody to any quarterback simply because the mindset of every player on the team is why should we work with this guy, when were just going to have the rug pulled out from under us again at any time. They've become a team of individuals instead of a team of players. Broken, ANGRY and disheartened.
It is not fair to blame the players AT ALL; this falls squarely on the shoulders of the coaches. Wally should've been fired the day Dickenson went back on the field after a year of being out for injury. Dickenson was VERY good but not good enough to instantly tune into a team that was paired with another. And where is Dickenson now? That's right, O-Line coordinator for the top team in the west. He should've been the Leos O-Line guy!! Was it a case of blaming the player after the loss? Which would've been another Wally Wonderful Was blameless tactic that made Calgary what it is today. HuH? Is Wally the head coach for the Lions or the Stamps? Damn, I must be getting old; my memory is failing me...
But I digress, this year will be first year in a very long time that the Leos may not be in the finals and I'm not surprised that it might take a slap in the face like this to get the owners to wake up and fire the right people this time, the BIG HEAD coach for one. When I see plays like a fake end-zone knee, hand-off to make a 40 yard rush play, coming from other teams, I know we've lost our edge because the Leos haven’t had anything fancy or exciting up their sleeves for quite some time now. Geroy hasn't been given any opportunity to play to his skill and neither has Paris or in fact many of the players seemingly are of the mindset of, great here we go again, another set at the scrimmage line, oh ya, how exciting, here ya go right past me with a token shove and PLEASE sack my Q-back so I can get yelled at again during half-time. I do so love those little chats with the coaches. I’m so bored…
Ah, but my sarcasm gets the better of me. As surprised as I was when they brought back Casey, I knew it was going to be a disaster. The guy had his opportunity ripped away, no wonder he's bouncing from team to team. His ego was torn into little pieces and run through a grinder. And no matter what anyone tells you, Casey needs his ego to win, that was his edge! He'll never be the great one in CFL that he could've been and that is clear based on his actions the other day. The team was going one way and he was going another. Travis Lulay should be star Q-back but all I see is each member of the team playing a different game. There is no passion to score first blood then hold ground to the end. They seem to try putting all their effort into the last 3 minutes of the 4th when everyone is exhausted!
If I didn't know any better I'd say that the Leos are subconsciously sabotaging their own game so the owners will wake up to the reality of the problem, WHICH ISN'T THE PLAYERS! We need fresh mind(s) to coach our GREAT players to victory. The players know this in their hearts and minds. Ask yourself why we are still taking from a playbook made in the 80’s. I even clearly remember the commentators on TSN during one game saying things like, ‘It looks like their setting up for a basic screen pass …’ all before the ball was even snapped. The play failed, of course. If the guy upstairs can see it before it happens, I’ll bet that the D-Line saw it 3 plays ago.