The basic problems, as I see it, are:
[ol]- No meaningful pre-snap motion
- No access routes for receiver via formations that allow for rubs and picks
- No variety of pass plays that test defenses in all nine zones (vertical and horizontal)[/ol]
No meaningful pre-snap motion: I can't stress enough how important it is in the CFL to maximize the benefits of unlimited backfield motion. The three-down game means you do not have downs to waste inching the ball forward as you do in the NFL. When I watch our receivers and backs pre-snap, I see very little pre-snap motion designed to spring our players in certain areas. We basically run up to the line and go, making it dead easy for DBs to play man under with LBs in zone because our running game is pathetic.
An example of good pre-snap motion is having the boundary wideout hit the line after the boundary slot crosses the whole backfield horizontally; when the ball is snapped, the two receivers can cross each other, making it harder for DBs to get to their assigned receiver in man. The whole effing idea of pre-snap motion is to do two things:
- Create confusion about where the receiver is going
- Make it hard for DBs to get to their coverage assignments post-snap.
We are doing neither, because we run straight up to the line with no disguise or any kind of lateral movement.
No formations: One of the benefits of running a trips bunch (3-WR stacked to wide-side) is the ability to spring different receivers out of a tightly clustered bunch. Because the receivers are so close together, they can use each other as screens and pick for their fellow receivers, besides keeping the defense guessing about which receiver is going where out of that bunch (will the field WR go post, or shallow cross? will the middle WR curl into the flat, or run an intermediate cross, putting the enemy safety in a bind about who to cover).
Once again, our use of formation is pathetic. Seriously, a high school team could do better. I have no idea why our offensive philosophy seems to be vanilla surprise, but it reflects poorly on the coaches. Any time I hear talk about keeping things simple because players are having a hard time grasping the offense, red flags go up for me (that was the line with Bellefeuille's offense in 2007, incidentally). A good coach should be able to install a complex, pro system and have his players able to grasp it all out the gate. We had no trouble executing Trestman's system right from the start, which wasn't simple at all. If you can't get your players to execute, it means you are not a good coach.
Finally, no variety of pass plays. Oy. Miller has apparently never heard of a crossing pattern, or a sluggo, or any type of route besides the vanilla post, go, hook, etc. Crosses are especially good at springing receivers, because it will be hard for the DB or LB to stay with the receiver through all the traffic in the middle of the field. That's what I mean by testing defenses in all the zones.
Vertical zones: short, intermediate, deep
Horizontal zones: left hash, right hash, center
3x3 = 9
If you aren't willing to attack the whole field, you will be eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, because the second defenses figure out that you aren't utilizing the whole CFL field, they will cluster into the areas you are willing to attack, and take away your bread-and-butter plays.
There's a lot more to write in terms of specific plays, but these are the main problems as I see them.