Als in decline

In the game against Winnipeg the Als looked great in the first quarter. With Robert Edwards on board he constituted a real threat and Calvillo was able to effectly use play action- Edwards could take the ball or be a decoy. The result was a thirteen to zero Als lead. Instead of utilizing play action the Als reverted to their more famuiliar patterns and, the offensive team fell apart.
Calvillo was sacked several times and the offensive line was not up to the task. I noted that Mudge was unable to stop his defender but the entire offensive line was suspect. Calvillo was often forced out of the pocket and, not being swift afoot, was often sacked. Calvillo had difficulty setting up for his passes in the pocket. The announcer remarked that " a new system" was formulated for Calvillo to run in a planned way out of the pocket. If this is so, better to ditch this system as Calvillo does not have the required speed.
The Als suffered a great loss when Colbourne was injured and Ihmo was not an adequate replacement.
THe Als did show promise on defense as Truluck and Romero played their positions competently. Strickland, as usual, was effective especially with the shoestring tackle he made in the Winnipeg backfield .
The best receiver of this game was Terrance Edwards whose departure to Winnipeg can be attributed to Popp's paperwork mistake. Watkins and Cahoon caught passes but the passing game was grounded by Winnipeg. The Als fans can only hope that when Stala returns from the injury list he will be able to step up his game to help the offensive team.
This team is on a downward spiral. With Popp coaching, who will scout the upcoming NFL cuts? The veterans on the team are, by and large, a dispirited crew.

The Als are still new to their NEW Offensive playbook. It's not an excuse, but it is NOT the same Offense as it was.

The Offensive Line is getting older, slower, and weaker. Time for a change. The Offensive line didn't help Edwards, Imoh or Calvillo.

To me, Calvillo didn't play bad at all. There's 11 other men on the field with Calvillo, who should be doing their jobs. Calvillo always comes to play. You rarely see the guy not care.

Penalties, penalties and penalties. The Als never seem to be a disciplined team. They always take penalties in crucial times, or when they start in bad field position, they get a penalty to get even worse field position.

Defense. They played good. Davis Sanchez again, taking stupid and unessesary penalties. No Pressure for the Defensive line, and when they do, they miss their tackles. I think John Grace will make this Defense better when gets back.

Receivers. They actually have been playing great. Their getting open and making difficult catches. I'm waiting for Thurmon and Stala to come back, and make even more of an impact.

Last night, you have to give kudos to the Bombers. Last night was all momentum riding. The Als had all the momentum in the first quarter. Everything was working, Offensively and Defensively. Duval went 2 for 2. Then, Imoh made that critical rookie mistake, and the Bombers just sailed from there. Offense wasn't moving, Defense giving up long drives, and Duval went 0 for 2.

The Als have what it takes to win games. They should it in the 1st quarter. They just have to PLAY the game, and not let 1 mistake get to you. That's when you need a Professional Coach around, to get that mentality, and to keep you in check.

Jim Popp is a clever general manager, and an unbelievable talent scout. But I don't think he is "Coaching Material."

I wonder if the French media is second guessing Don Matthews now...

Still too early to judge Montreal but Matthews is one of the greatest coach in CFL history. When a great coach leaves, any team normally declines.

...haven't heard much from ThirdandTen lately ....does he still post here or did he disappear like HanktheTank.....Third always had great insight on the Als....along with MadJack... :roll: :roll:

It's still too early to say regarding the Als, but they clearly were not the same team last year already. People get fooled when an aging, veteran team sucks it up one last time and get to the play-offs, and the Grey Cup.
Sometimes, it is one last gasp (see the 2005/2006 'Smoes)

It seems to me that Montreal has already made significant player changes this year, and so rather than a state of decline, it may be a state of transition.
Something that may be worth noting is, predicated on expectations, Sask and Winnipeg may be 2 of the top 3 defences in the league this year, so if Calvillo looked average/mediocre against them, maybe it had something to do with the competition.
Of course we need more games under our belt to assess some of these things.

thats what i was thinking.. calvio will probably bounce back when he doesnt have to play a winnipeg or sask defence

ya he looked good but he had no time and his receivers were dropping lots of balls because at the end i was nervous that the als were going to come back (p.s- Mudge looked like an old fat guy because half the game he was just holding tom canada)

A combination of poor offensive line and Marcel Cantspellhislastname as offensive coordinator are two areas that should be of concern.

I'm entertaining some friends later this month - taking 15 of them to see an Argo's game against the Al's (my little attempt at CFL conversion). That being said - hope the Al's will at least make it interesting - go Argo's :rockin:

I think its a little early to say the Als are in decline, there is plenty of time for them to turn things around.

It would really be nice if the Schedual to start the year was better.

First 4 weeks should see each team in a different match-up.

I'd really like it if the first 3 weeks of the season were all INTER divisional.

with week 4 the first Intra Division game.

I want to see Inter divisional play(east vs. West) done by Mid September(the last ones should be Sask/WPG Labour Day games). Meaning all the games in that final stretch are 4 point games.

Now what does this have to do with how the Als look?

well the Bombers only play 3 teams in the first 6 weeks.
MTL plays 4 teams in the first 6 weeks
TO plays 4 Teams in first 6
Ham plays 5 teams in first 6

There are 8 teams, Why must there be any repetition in the first 4 weeks?

If teams only do this double header stuff or 2 in 3 weeks it is impossible to actually tell who is a top team.

How can Winnipeg be Judged vs. Calgary?

There is no direct connection between those two teams until atleast week 6.

It should be changed, so that the first 6 weeks all teams play each other.

How is it known how bad MTL is? they don't play another western team until WEEK 7!!! and then week 9.

Western teams make up 45%? of MTL's shedual and they only play 3 Western teams in the first 9 weeks.(mind you MTL plays an eastern team for 10 and 11 due to their Labour day situation) Still that is horrible.

one would expect less of this double header or 2 in 3 weeks, if MTL starts 1-3 or even 0-4 what does that mean?
Winnipeg kicked their butt.
lol, AC will get killed, next week is a "break"(which they better not take lightly with Hamilton) and then Doug Brown and Company gets the pleasure of facing MTL's OL again.

atleast the Als will get in the win next week against hamilton.

in the first four weeks winnipeg only plays 2 teams edmonton, montreal, edmonton, montreal

so...thats tie, win, win,

montreal is done, they got cocky and thought they could replace The Don. how stupid can you get? They have their Vp, GM, Head Scout, Head Coach doing 5 jobs at once, its obvious they were going to suffer, Popp has no idea what he's doing on the sidelines, he wears a headset on the sideline, but I guarantee he doesnt know what the hell is being said.

Dont cound the Als out just yet,
They have some new players and new ideas that they are working with.
I think the Als are going to have a good season and are going to be a strong team going into the playoffs.
Win or Lose the Als are still my favourite team.