Als' Kicker, Whyte, Blames Refs for Loss

http://www.tsn.ca/cfl/story/?id=435438

Montreal Alouettes kicker Sean Whyte was fined by the CFL on Wednesday for criticizing an official following a loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Hamilton defeated Montreal 27-24 last weekend thanks to Brandon Banks' 107-yard return of an errant Whyte field goal attempt. After the game, Whyte criticized referee Andre Proulx.

"I wanted to say something," Whyte said. "I'm probably going to get fined for this.

"I'm sick of this. This guy (Proulx) is going to end my career one day."

Montreal led 23-20 with roughly four minutes remaining to play when Whyte lined up a 42-yard field goal. Whyte's try was short and Banks' return provided the Ticats with their winning margin.

Hamilton's Rico Murray came in contact with Whyte's knee on the try but, no flag was thrown.

"After the kick, he hit me. My leg was still on the way up," Whyte said. "He (Proulx) didn't want to call it. He never calls it. Paul McCallum got hit a couple of weeks ago, they didn't call it. They call everything on a quarterback. Why aren't you calling these things on kickers?

"The guy hit me on the knee. That could end my career."

With the win, Hamilton (9-8) clinched second in the East Division to host Montreal (7-10) in the conference semifinal Nov. 10 in Guelph, Ont.

In keeping with its policy, the CFL didn't divulge the amount of the fine.

I thought the 'roughing the kicker' penalty for touching a kicker while his leg is still in the air only applies to punts, not field goal tries. Even if wrong, we see kickers (McCallum) always leaving their leg in the air longer than natural kicking motion in effort to draw the flag. I'm sick of it and am glad refs are not falling for it. It's the equivalent of diving in hockey or soccer.

Perhaps, if Whyte could make a FG, this wouldn't be a discussion at all.

Proulx has long been my least favourite ref and he does seem to have a thing about kickers. The imaginary call he made in Sean Fleming's final game was a prime example.

The thread title is misleading for starters. Whyte says Proulx's is going to end his career, but never blamed him for the loss. I understand his frustration with Proulx, he has the worst crew in the league.

However, the Als lost because Whyte was short and Montreal didn't cover the return. Up only 3 points with less than 5 minutes to go and a long FG try a team should have a plan to shut down a long return. Maybe that's why the Al's lost.

He wanted a penalty which would have wiped away his miss, taken away Banks' return for a ticats' TD, and given him another chance for a FG from closer range.
Thus, blaming a ref for the loss.

Whyte sucks and should be unemployed next season.

To me that's what happened and he probably learned it from McCallum too. He knew the second he kicked that ball it was not going to go through. But its still a penalty.

Had he made the field goal there's no return for a TD and no need for a penalty. That being said and even assuming a penalty should have been call, tell us Mr. Whyte, who was it that lost the game? :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue:

So.. if Whyte "sucks" and should be unemployed next season.. are you suggesting that you also think all but 2 of the current kickers in the league should be unemployed next season as well?

Again, this is why Shawn should not be asked to punt. He has the potential to be a great place kicker but he will never be a great punter so why set him up to fail ?

Most teams will not use up two roster spots to have two kickers in the line up. So you'd have to pick between a kicker that can punt better than place kick.. or kick better than punt. Sometimes you have to suffer with a little lower punting avg. in order to feel comfortable with the guy who is kicking your FG's. It's a tough call. Yes, football is a game of field position.. but what will help your team more in a season? An extra 2 or 3 yards per punt?.. or an extra 3 points (avg) scored per game? Personally.. i'd take the points.

edited to fix an editing error before i posted

Don't know about most. Saskatchewan, Calgary,Winnipeg,Hamilton use two. Huf has been allocating two roster spots for six years and he has the highest win percentage in the league over six years. Shawn also has a hang time problem in addition to the five yards he gives up in distance.

This season has been a terrible display of kicking. Other than parades and milo, the leagues' kickers have been embarrassing the league's professionalism, IMO.
I hope jason medlock returns to the league next year.

Who is the consensus worst kicker in the CFL?

Whyte? O'neill? Waters? Prefontaine? Conji? The guy who replaced conji!

Ok.. fair enough... it's a 50/50 split this year.

In the case of Hamilton and Winnipeg, having both a punter and place kicker doesn't seem to have helped them much. IMO, Winnipeg should be using that extra spot for help on O.. and Hamilton should be using it for help on D.

With Calgary, i'd say that having a damn fine offence and defence has been what has given them the highest winning % over those 6 years, not two kickers. Calgary was using 2 kickers even before Huff. got there. Compare them to BC.. only one kicker in for the Lions (an Paul isn't known for his punting distance).. and over the last 7 years only has 5 less wins than Calgary. Both have won the division title 3 times, and both have a Grey Cup win. Tack on an 8th year when Calgary was using 2 kickers, and the gap for number of wins drops to two, BC adds a 4th division title, and also a second Grey Cup.

While your kicker(s) is/are important member(s) of the team, the one that will win or lose games for you, will way more often than not, will be the place kicker. So having that second kicker won't usually have much of an impact on how the team does in any given season. Also, your kicker will only give you about 120-140 points a season (excluding the extra points.. because let's face it.. half the members on any given team could probably make those 90% of the time). Given the top teams usually score somewhere around 500-525 points a season, the kicker will only account for 20-25%. So if a team finishes first, odds are they got there by having the best offence and/or defence. Even if Paredes was only good on 75% of his attempts this season, Calgary would still be in the lead in points for.

With punters, equally as important is a good cover team. If team A uses one kicker and has an avg. of 42 yards per punt and the cover team allows an avg. of 5 yards a return.. the net is 37 yards. If team B has two kickers and their punter has an avg of 45 yards per punt, but their cover team gives up 10 yards per return.. the net is 35.

In Mtl... sure it would be nice if Whyte kicked for 3 more yards per punt (the 5 you mention he gives up would give him the highest avg. in the league), but it would be just as good if their cover team didn't give up a league high of 9 yards per return. Now, you mention he has hang time issues (all us men do from time to time don't we? :lol:) I'll take your word for it since i haven't payed attention to his hang time.. so that would factor in to the yards they give up on returns, but their cover team still isn't that great and should shoulder some of the blame for their low net yards.

Agreed that this hasn't been the best year for kickers. But if you go back and look at stats from the previous 6 seasons, it's really not as bad as it would seem in comparison.

This year, only 4 kickers are over 80% on FG's. Last year there were 5 and in 2011 there were 6. But in '08,'09 and '10.. there were only 4 as well. And at least it's not as bad as '07 where there were only 2 above 80%, and only 4 above 70% (excluding 3 players that only had a total of 7 attempts between them).

I'm looking at the image from my PVR of the contact, and it is not on Whyte's knee, it's on his ankle. The initial contact is also after Whyte's leg has started to come down, not on its way up.

Murray was attempting to block the kick, but after the ball was away, he veered off in attempt to avoid Whyte, but caught him with his arm as he ran past. I can see why Whyte was knocked off balance, although his fall looked slightly embellished.

[b]RULE 7 – FOULS & PENALTIES Article 2 – Contacting The Kicker[/b] It shall be illegal to touch the kicker when in the act of kicking from scrimmage, subject to the following conditions: ... (d) If, in the Referee’s opinion, a defensive player attempting to block the kick makes slight and incidental contact which does not affect the play, there shall be no penalty. ... (f) The act of kicking shall begin when the kicker’s kicking foot leaves the ground and shall terminate when the foot returns to the ground after kicking, or attempting to kick, the ball.
These two rules are, to me, the relevant ones. Whyte's foot was still in the air, so the Contacting the Kicker rule would be in effect. The questions then become, was the contact "slight and incidental", and what would Proulx have been able to see, given where he was standing? Five yards back and about fifteen yards to the left, he should have had a clear view of the contact. Which means he would have seen Murray try to avoid Whyte, and would have seen his arm clip Whyte's ankle. Slight contact, yes. Incidental, yes, as Murray did try to avoid him. But I'm thinking that this is the type of hit that the Contacting the Kicker rule was meant to prevent. So while technically Proulx had the right to wave it off, I think it should have been called.

And Whyte has a point that there's a huge difference between the way they call this penalty and the way they call Roughing the Passer.

Thanks. Really appreciate it when someone takes the time and effort to post in your manner. I can't disagree with anything you said and the fact he's still in Montreal kind of implies Popp agrees with you. I would add that there are a couple subtleties that also play against Shawn. His terrible tackling (non existent due probably to lack of size and self preservation) and his propensity for missing SHORT. 35 points against on missed kicks being returned to the house that you have to take away from the 125 points so just on those five there is a total swing of 50 points which is more than 10 percent of what the team will put up this year. That's huge...

You make some interesting points. Two tings you don't bring up; Import vs NI and when are those points scored.
In all but one instance those 2 kickers are both NI's which has more of an impact than just his kicking. Second is when are those points scored. How often do games come down to a last play field goal? How often do teams do the same as time runs out in the first half? Your stats on kickers points are a little off. Paredes leads kickers with 38% of his teams points, Congi is 5th with 26% of Hamiltons points and the best non kicker is SJ Green with 17.8%. Unlike you I do count the PATs because as Spencer Watt clearly showed early in the season, those PATs are not as easy as they look. Yes he was 1 for 1 but it was anything but pretty. So much so that Millanovich went for it on 3rd and 4 rather than let Watt attempt a chip shot by kicking standards.

Factor in the percentage of points kickers score compared to ball carriers and when they are called on to score some of those points with the importance of winning the field position battle and having both a good punter and place kicker is far more important than freeing up a roster spot by giving a little on the punting side.

I would not count PAT. Success rate is over 99 percent and there is no difference across the board.

Have you forgotten the hilarious PAT by Spencer Watt? 99% for kickers, but not the rest of the team. Someone suggested in a thread earlier this year making the player who scores the TD kick the extra point to make it more meaningful. But I'll play along with you, take away Congi's PATs and he still had 18% of Hamilton's points which is just ahead of Green. And Congi was 5th among kickers. My point is just as valid with or without the PAT.

And Watts PAT was funny as was Millanovich going for it on 3rd and long rather than have Watt try a chip shot.

I don't disagree. But they are automatic as they stand. I'd love to see players have to kick their own.