It is interesting that the Als offensive line produced two all stars-Scott Flory and Brian Chiu.This from an O line that was perceived as problematic.Add Paul Lambert to this list.He was effective at tackle and was a standout when he replaced Brian Chiu at center.
There is some disconnect here-all stars who were the team's weak link.How did this team manage to finish in first place in the East.Indeed,the Toronto game was a metaphor for the entire season.They were brilliant,they were horrible.They were cordinated,they took too many penalties.Calvillo was having a poor season,Calvillo was an all star.
What gives with the upcoming game to estasblish the Eastern team for Grey cup.The Als cannot exist with just the pass.They need more than Cahoon,Watkins and Calvillo.Perhaps the team should look into the recent past when they revolved around the rushing of Mike Pringle.Pringle had a supporting cast.First Mike Soles was also active in the backfield-he could block,run and was excellent in screan pass situations.Then Bruno Heppell replaced Soles and also contributed with blocking and receiving.
Today again the Als have a brusing back in Robert Edwards with Vilmek as the blocking fullback backed up with Jeff Piercy.These backs have not been used in the passing game.Unlike the era when Soles and Heppell handled an effective screen pass game the present Als do not use the screen pass.Pringle was ,like Edwards a slashing runner although not effective as a receiver-Soles and Heppell effectively filled that role.What to do?
Edwards must be utilized often.The best quarter of these season was the 4th quarter in Toronto when the blocking was crisp and Edwards carried the Argos on his back while making first down after first down.It was a great loss for this team to lose Hec Lapointe as he was good with blocking,running and receiving.Can Diedrick,Vilimek,or Piercy be used in the screen pass role?One option to assist Edwards in the running game would to have plays where Calvillo is called upon to run.Do you remember the 2002 Grey Cup game when Calvillo opened up the Esks defence with the run.In addition the team might utilize the speed of Watkins in the end around play.
In the long run,the Als need to scout the CIS for another blocking back like Soles and Heppell. These backs when effective can take the sting out of the defense rush and give the QB time to set up and pass.