When I first read your thread title I was a little uptight and ready to defend Durant. I agree with you we have no running game to take the heat off Durant and our offensive line is porous. I also think Doug Berry is not calling an offense condusive to the talent we have on our team. This was a true team loss - Luca missed a 30 some yard field goal - so there is on way this can be pinned on one player.
Ok, let's swallow our unquestioned love for Darian "Can Do No Wrong" Durant for just a second. I love Durant too, but this is too much.
No single factor is ever at fault for a loss, however, if Taman "is to blame for this pathetic mess that we saw on Sunday" then surely Durant must also be subjected to the blame game.
Blocking and Doug Berry aside (and ONE missed FG... really, that was to blame?), how many touchdowns did Durant throw or run for vs Winnipeg? 0. Did he turn over the ball? Yup. How many times did he under throw or overthrow receivers? A few times on big plays. How many times did he take a sack when he may have thrown it away (like he did when he was on top of his game)? Too many. How well did Durant run the ball? Not well. 8 for 18 yards. Does he lack arm strength against the wind? Yup. Does he have a quick release that would help prevent so many sacks? No.
But, most importantly, you can't simply conclude that one or two of Durant's bad games were due to bad blocking (even though it was, in fact, awful in both WPG games). Durant has played mediocre at best since starting the season 3-0. What is his TD-INT ratio since going 3-0? You can look it up because I know it is terrible. Even Nealon Greene didn't turn the ball over this much and he clearly had worse teams than Durant. (Note: I'd would rather have Durant than Nealon Greene even in his prime... duh).
The lack of production from receivers can be attributed to BOTH Berry and Durant and others. Could Cates run better? Absolutely. But we are a pass-first team. The receivers can't get open? I doubt that. Watch again. Are they running too many short routes? Yes, and that is just another factor at fault.
This is NOT Durant's fault? Maybe you're right. This is Steven Jyles fault - had he not left for WPG we would have a competent backup quarterback to replace Durant in the second or third or fourth quarter (like we did against CGY last season).
I'm not saying Durant should be replaced (especially not for Dinwiddie) but, with all of this in mind, he is just as much at fault as any one other Roughrider.
P.S. I do still have confidence that Durant, along with Berry, the O-Line, Cates, and the receievers can lead to victory over Calgary.
The receivers aren't getting open. Thus, I reiterate, no QB can throw to covered receivers and expect to do well.
The plays aren't giving us a chance.
We need some creativity in our offense. We have Jason Clermont sitting on the bench collecting a paycheque. From the looks of things, the whole reason we signed Clermont was so he could have more time with his realty business.
Creativity is needed. We have Charles sitting on the practice roster doing nothing. Take Dorsey off the field, put Hugh Charles in to return and alternate Cates and Charles to spice up our run game. We should've released Dorsey 2 weeks ago, then he wouldn't have had to be paid for the rest of the year (this is my understanding), now he has to be paid out if we release him.
Make plays that make Dressler look like a threat of epic proportions. Involve him in the run game, not just with revereses but with a few fakes and shovels too, this will open up serious possibilities with play action and quick release passes.
Who cares if Rodriguez dropped a few balls? Make him a deep threat. If he fails, release him.
With Charles and Cates in a one-two punch run-game, Dressler and Clermont available for quick release passes and Fantuz, Getzlaf, Rodriguez out deep, at least then we'll have some type of direction to focus in trying to improve things.
Receivers are getting open. Durant's progressions just aren't taking him to them. He's locking too frequently into one receiver or a panic no-hope checkdown option instead of surveying the whole field. It happens to every QB at one point or another, no shame in it. Durant is a competitor and will work his way out of this funk.
I'm pretty sure people were tearing into LaPo's Sask offense at exactly this same time last season too. Be patient. We have just under half a season of football left to play. A lot can change in eight games. Every offense in the league has slumped at one point or another. Yes, that includes Calgary, who were not exactly firing on all cylinders a few games into the season. Expecting Durant to post up 300-yard efforts and multiple passing TDs game in and game out is not only unrealistic, it's unintentionally disrespectful to the rest of the league. The other team gets paid too, you know.
The biggest thing I've been seeing these past few games is a complete lack of protection for Durant and very few quick-hitter plays. First, far too often it seems like Durant is just setting up when he's sacked. Now whether that's the O-lines fault or the Co-ordinator just not calling good defensive plays I'm not certain but, regardless, it seems like every play Durant needs three or four seconds to develop a play and he isn't getting that. Second, is the quick-hitters. During our game against Hamilton and the games against Winnipeg I've seen their respective QBs (occassionally) get the ball and immediately release it (not even a half-count delay). Now it's not like I believe every play should be called like this but if we did this once in a while it would force quicker responses from the opposing linebackers and possibly get them to make mistakes and give our receivers chances to make moves of their own.
Yes, I'm armchair QBing, but I really agree that even if Durant is partially at fault, the majority of the blame can be placed elsewhere.