Als-Bombers II

Well, that was a fine "character" W last game, but it was just the first game of the season and everyone is getting used to a new system.

It was nice to see RBs involved and using swing passes, end-around, smash-mouth up-the-gut, and using the RBs in the passing game. O-line - waaaaay too many sacks! An old nemesis, i.e. 2nd-and-long, is still biting us so we have to come up with better solutions. Still some disconnects in some passing routes, but in the fullness of time I think that will work itself out as AC and the boys get used to "Hawkball". O-line - better protection for AC.

On D, we simply didn't get enough push from the front four. That said, Winnipeg went for a BIG O-line; most of them are 6'6" and one of them is 6'11"! We did manage to disrupt things at times, but Pierce was able to scramble and complete passes. We still need good rushing D-linemen; Bowman can't do that by himself. Anwar - do ya still have some gas left in the tank? Hmmm? The secondary looks better than it has for years.

STs - well, we do have a couple of speedsters with Devine and Carrier. Note to Devine - look at Carrier's return for a TD! You run Up the field! Still some work to do on downfield coverage, however.

Kicking game? Well, last game Whyte did a great job. Can he repeat that? Hope so!

We definitely can't take the BB for granted - they were in the game right to the end. Truth to tell, we got away with an I non call on Jerald Brown, so we were also a bit lucky. On the strength of the offensive fireworks we saw between the Argos and Ticats, we can't take anything for granted from those teams, either. Both QBs are quite capable and they have offensive weapons that can kill you.

So, let's hope the Hawk is preparing the Als well for Thursday's game.

Go Als go!

Whitaker returning will help us out. Not sure Lavoie is ready to go but he might be as well considering we just let DD go. I hope we see something from Kuale. Maybe the entire scouting staff should be out hunting for a defensive end.

Lavoie is practicing ....

http://cfl.uploads.mrx.ca/mtl/images/photo_gallery/2013/06/crop_19584072211.jpg

I just hope Whitaker is not returning too soon, Hfx! We both agree that a torn ACL is just about the worst injury a RB can sustain. Devine and Jennings are doing just fine in this new O scheme. Devine has better lateral speed than Jennings, but Jennings can do the smash-mouth thing. IMO, Whitaker will be hard pressed if these two keep doing what they do. Note to coaching staff - keep the Devine-Jennings duo for a while longer!

Agreed about a rush DE - we need one! Any QB in the CFL will kill you if allowed enough time to go through all of his reads and back again. Add the ability to scramble, and your D will be on the field for a long time! We have to get a better push from the front four. If you're blitzing every other play, that opens things for medium and longer routes, and your secondary gets burned. So either the down linemen we have need to use better techniques or it's time to bring others in.

I think Jennings has a high ankle sprain, that's why they will press Brendon back into service.

Yikes! Not a good idea IMO. I hope he is used sparingly. I hope Lumbala or someone else is warming up... What's Messam's status? Is he ready to go? I don't like this one bit.

Partially thorn hamstring still out for two to four weeks.

Live from Stade Hebert,Tisdale is practicing with the hurt crew but looks okay. Sprinting and stuff dunno whats wrong with him.

I'm hoping we have at least 21,500 tix sold Thursday. 60% chance of rain and thunderstorms.

If Tisdale can't go, who replaces him? Gainey or Carter? There will be a serious height mismatch with Denmark either way so hopefully we can put some pressure on Pierce and get to him before those deep routes develop...

Both Brown and Tisdale are out. Gainey and Wells in. Also Clowney in for Carrier.

So Wells is stepping in ahead of Carter? Huh. Hope that doesn't bite us. On the bright side, we'll get a chance to see what Gainey can do inside. And here I was thinking after the Thursday game that we were lucky to escape with no injuries... :frowning:

I'm not sure these are serious injuries. This is the continued evaluation of players like we did in 2008...

Interesting. I'm not sure why we're in player evaluation mode one game into a season in which we're 1-0, though. I can see swapping in Gainey, because Brown wasn't particularly impressive last week. But Tisdale did fairly well despite getting burned on that big play to Denmark (which only happened because the refs somehow missed an egregious Winnipeg offsides). Have to trust Thorpe, I guess. IMO the real evaluation should be taking place along the defensive line. Based on the anemic pass rush of game one, I'd hope that no one's job is safe unless his name is John Bowman...

Its a long season. I disagree Brown played really well last week.

I didn't think he was poor, but he wasn't stellar either. A big 'meh' which might have worse if he'd been flagged for PI on that final Winnipeg drive and we'd wound up losing the game.

As for the D-line, the more I look at our recent history, the more I'm becoming concerned. Think about our defensive line over the past 10 years. How many stars have we developed? Anwar Stewart was a Calgary cut. We let Keron Williams go, to our detriment. Basically in the past decade, it's been John Bowman and that's it. Half the time, our ability to pressure the QB has been suspect (2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 20111, 2012). In the early Matthews years (2002-2004), we created pressure through relentless blitzing, which masked the relative lack of athleticism of our linemen. As the league evolved and teams picked up our tendencies, we started to have trouble. Who did Popp bring in? Stellar, memorable names like Mark Word.

Popp's track record for finding good defensive linemen, ends in particular, has been brutal. This isn't an isolated incident to me, and I won't feel comfortable until I see result.

I share that concern and last game was a case in point for a lack of push from the front four. In almost every case, Pierce was allowed to make his moves due to good blocking from his O-line. As I stated in an earlier post, and as Forde commented on before the game, the BB O-line is humongous, one being 6'11", so I'm taking nothing away from them. Pierce was able to make his reads and find open receivers. When we got contain, Pierce was able to scramble and make some completions. We did blitz and were able to disrupt his timing on only a couple of occasions. This needs to be addressed pronto!

Conversely, I wasn't particularly impressed by the play of our O-line, usually stellar. AC was sacked a number of times. Ironically, the pressure often came from the front four, not from a HB blitz!

So, these are two areas I will be following all season long. Hope the coaching staff comes up with something for the next game now that they've seen our playbook a little.

Wash your mouth out with soap for mentioning that name! That's as bad as mentioning that rather large "QB" we once had, or the guy with the bad haircut.

Its not all on Jim. We have the biggest, most experienced scouting staff in the league. Part of the problem is we don't give guys enough time to adjust to our game. Keron fell for a girl in Vancouver, that happens. Phillion , Kissing bandit. We've had good defensive linesmen. As for Brown, it was his first game back from a serious injury. If he get's his game back it will be a huge boon for us. He had to claw to keep his job. I like what I'm seeing. He didn't deserve a PI on that play anyway, he had his hand on the back and went for the ball. Textbook CFL coverage.

If Jerald Brown and Geof Tisdale are out, I expect Kendric Burney-unless he is injured- and Ben Wells to be added to the active roster/to dress for the game.

Richard

That's still on Jim, because he's the one hiring the coaches not giving these guys enough time. The buck stops with Jim Popp.

Keron fell for a girl in Vancouver, that happens.
If we'd outbid BC, we could have had a chance at re-signing him nonetheless.
Phillion , Kissing bandit. We've had good defensive linesmen.
Belli wasn't ours originally and you're talking about Philion, Keron Williams, and John Bowman over a period of 10 years. Our D-line has been awful since Keron Williams left and we've done what exactly to address the issue? And it seems like every year, we sign some tweener type to play rush end and he does squat at the position, whether it's Kitwana Jones, Rod Davis, or Ejiro Kuale.

Winnipeg's front four has been fierce for many years now despite turnover in personnel and the same revolving door of DCs (Creehan, Burke, Kavis Reed, Mark Nelson). Why is that? You can't minimize it: Jim Popp is not great at finding quality defensive linemen.

As for Brown, it was his first game back from a serious injury. If he get's his game back it will be a huge boon for us. He had to claw to keep his job. I like what I'm seeing. He didn't deserve a PI on that play anyway, he had his hand on the back and went for the ball. Textbook CFL coverage.
I like that he's fighting to keep his job, agreed. And just as a fan, he seems like a great team personality, with his energy and his husky voice. I just hope that the best player wins that spot, not the player with the most seniority.