Als-Lions June 30 2011 - Postgame Thoughts

The good:

• Whitaker showed he's fully capable of replacing Avon in all phases of the game.
• Richardson and Green torched one of the better defensive secondaries in the league.
• McElveen showed good things at defensive end.
• Defensive playcalling was very aggressive. Lots of blitzing.
• Dwight Anderson really showed his worth.
• After a missed FG, Whyte locked in and had himself a solid game.

The bad:
• Lulay diced up our defense for over 350 yards passing.
• Tibesar needs to learn when and how to blitz. Bringing pressure over and over again when Lulay was standing in the pocket and hitting his receivers for 20-yard gains wasn't working.
• Brown's suspected fractured ankle. Not good to have your all-star defensive halfback go down with a possible season-ending injury in the first quarter of the first game of the year.
• Conservative offensive playcalling. I find that whenever we're at or inside our 20, Trestman and Milanovich get very predictable and conservative with the playcalling. It's usually a handoff to the running back on first down, stuffed for a 2-yard gain maximum, setting up a second and long.
• Ineffective halftime adjustments. Benevides adjusted and shut us down; we failed to counter.

The ugly:
• Yet another punt-return TD against special teams. I have a lot of faith in Marc Trestman, as most here know. But even I am on the verge of questioning the decision to keep Andy Bischoff as ST coordinator. That return TD gave the Lions life and let them back into the game. We can't have special teams giving up TD gifts like that every game, or even every other game.

For The good I would like to add: Discipline.

Agreed. The team stayed focus and avoided bad PI calls or pointless unnecessary roughness penalties (the horsecollar call on Cox was total BS).

  • Was a cold evening for end of June.
  • Eva Avila still has a singing career?
  • Seats not sold out? Is it the first time in how many years? Why?

I came to this game with two questions How will our running/blocking and kicking game develop. Most positive- Whitaker had a splendid game. He suprised me with his speed and, despite his relatively small stature he was able to go up the middle with some power. I was alarmed when Sean Whyte missed a close one but, then he hit a couple from 45-48 yards out and his punting was impressive. He punted long and accurate and, was a positive player in this game.

Montreal quickly opened up with a TD and field goal. However, the Lions did their best to rescue our offensive game with penalty after penalty which were responsible for our sustained drives in the 1st quarter. We were supposed to have huge talent at the receiver position but, in this game Calvilo and Richardson played pitch and catch for most on the night with Greene, Baker and London mostly absent from the scene. Calvillo still has the great arm and, he passed both long and short with his usual accuracy. He and Richardson were our offensive stars of the night. Last season we had concerns about our returning game. I thought Jeff Hecht made the block of the game to enable Maypray's 55 yard return and I was comfortable with this aspect of our game. Hecht, the undrafted St. Mary's grad was tested when at corner but, he has earned his spot on this team. It was good to see Ferri taking a couple of returns giving us the power to match Maypray's speed.

This game way enjoyable because it was close. Whitacre, Whyte, Calvillo ,Bowman, Ferri, Wilson, Anderson, Richardson and the entire offensive line were, from my perspective, the movers in this opening game.

Whitaker had a surprisingly good game (at least I was surprised)
Hopefully he can keep it going all season

The play of the defence was a little worrying
While Lulay passed for all those yards
I was very concerned by the amount of time he had
A lot of passing plays he went completely unhurried
Our secondary had an impossible job covering for so long
And with Brown out....we're going to have trouble there

Even when we blitzed we rarely got through to the QB
And rushing four (except for early 1st quarter)
Was less than effective

The kick return for a touchdown is on Sean Whyte
While I was impressed with his field goals
His hang time on punts especially left much to be desired
Out kicking the coverage team and putting them in a big hole
When the kick returner gets the ball with 15 yards between him and the first cover guy
Bad things happen
They're going to have to work on that or tonight's special team breakdown will be a regular event.

I can't count the number of games Calvillo and the Alouettes score big in the first half
and then fizzle in the second
TSN attributed it to half-time adjustments
I think the Als get over-conscious about protecting the football and not taking chances
But for God's sake....take a shot down the field once in a while
Just to keep em honest

At least the defence stiffened up when they needed to
Nice to see them pull it off
But "protecting the lead" almost cost the Alouettes the game
Buono made a bad call on 3rd down
Settling for a field goal
Or things might have been very different

No sell out?
What's up with that?

Cox grabbed him by the shoulder pads - it's was obvious. The officials called a very good game tonight.

Not suspected anymore:

Veteran defensive-back Jerald Brown suffered a fractured right ankle in the first quarter of Thursday’s regular-season opener, against British Columbia, and will undergo surgery at the Montreal General Hospital on Friday.

He’ll miss the entire season, according to head coach Marc Trestman.

[url]The-Snap | Montreal Gazette

Another injury mentioned in the same article:

In other news, defensive-tackle Jeff Robertshaw was on crutches following the game. He had ice on his foot and his injury wasn’t immediately known.
A win but could be a costly win.

I agree with much of what has been posted here so far.

Despite some saying how experienced BC's secondary is, AC, Richardson, and Green sure carved it up early. Impressive how our receivers could get so open.

Losing Brown hurts big time. They shifted Parker back to HB so we didn't really get to see how he'd play at corner; Hecht, while great on special teams, was getting beat consistently on the corner; he seems to lack some footspeed. . . had Lulay not had a dreadful case of overthrowing all night long, we would likely have lost and Hecht would be wearing the goat horns. Oh well, he's a rookie and he was sort of thrown in the deep end. . .

Going in I was most interested in seeing how Tibesar would run the defence. We sure saw much more 3/4 than we've seen before. Usually, on second and long for BC, he'd take out a lineman and we'd have Guzman & Emry in the middle with Cox and Ferri outside. Other times, but not frequently, he'd stay in a 4/3 and Kitwana Jones would be one of the ends.

Otherwise. . . everyone read your Gazette on Saturday. . . Herb Z will have an article on me and the missus.

Brown going down early in the game one may think this had some effect on how the D played the rest of the way

Brown going down early in the game one may think this had some effect on how the D played the rest of the way

Really tough injury to Gerald Brown, this will be a very tough injury for him to recover from for a 30 year plus player. Till he got hurt BC wasn't able to sustain drives much after he got injured Als secondary was in a very difficult situation. Boulay also gott caught a couple times. Maybe give Lenny Walls a call...

Only negative point for me was Sean Whyte's punting. It is really weak.

Thought Whyte could have shown a little more attempt to at least slow down Brown on the punt return.

I wonder what the point is of having a NI kicker when you don’t even have a spare import DB dressed. Maybe we should dress one less receiver and an extra DB.

I remember it being incidental random contact, not a deliberate attempt to pull a player down by his shoulder pads. But I'll have to watch it again.

I don't get that either. And I agree that reaching out to Lenny Walls might not be a bad idea now that Brown is gone for the season.

Here's the good news. BC's offensive line is worlds better this season than last season. Sometimes, you just have to give the other team credit for great pass protection.

Also, Whitaker rambled for 1179 yards on 17 carries. I'm very happy to see that not only did Brandon excel in a meaningful game, but that the coaches stayed committed to the run throughout the entire game.

Finally, Whyte averaged 45 yards on his 6 punts last night and did a good job of directional kicking for the most part (don't think you can pin the return TD on hm).

I missed the live game, but recorded it and watch it earlier this morning.

I, too, was very pleased with what I saw with both Whitaker's production and the fact that the running game figured into the O schemes. This makes plays like the option, a fake handoff... available and causes the LB corps that momentary hesitation. Result? An experienced QB like AC will burn you.

I won't repeat what other posters have said, but the Als need more variety in the 2nd half. Conservative play should be reserved to late in the game with a 21-point lead or more. BC and likely many other teams have improved and will be competitive. Lulay is going to be a great QB and they obviously have great receivers. What's the old adage about not counting your chickens before they're hatched? That was almost the case last night; however, the D stiffened at just the right moment and a W is a W!

Se rappeler de la première chose qui compte : on a gagné.

Se rappeler également que pour nombre de partants, c'était à toutes fins pratiques leur premier match de la saison. En tout cas, il semble que les Lions ne sont vraiment pas à prendre à la légère.

La perte de Brown est un gros morceau, mais c'est là qu'on va voir si on a la profondeur qu'on croyait. Personnellement, j'espère que ceux qui ont été gardés au sein de l'équipe vont faire le boulot.

Je vais regarder la partie ce soir. J'ai compris que les Lions ont eu notre numéro en 2ième demie mais que la défensive s'est levée à temps pour limiter les dégâts.

Ça commence bien quand même.

As Le Staff wrote "on a gagné"/we won. Most important.

I was surprised that we scored 30 points against BC; I expected a win,but more like 20-16;22-18.

I agree with most comments and add a few/some that may have been written.

5 import receivers. We don't have too much choice,since we only have 1 healthy non-import receiver. Most of last season,7 WR/SB were dressed for games. -4 I and 3 N-. Last night,we had only 6,incl.5 imports. I hope that we will find a non-import WR/SB and that only 4 import receivers will dress. We hardly go with 5 import receivers at the same time.

Defensive line,particularly DT. We definitely need to improve; no pressure on QB,unless we blitzed; Lulay threw 45 tines and was sacked only once,early in the game. Replace Jones and sign a DT. Jones hardly contributed on special teams.

Ortiz.Why in hell did we add this player? Dressed,eventhough he was signed only Tuesday. I know that he is also a long snapper, but Bédard is OK. Ortiz dressed and Woldu was a healthy scratch. Give Woldu a chance or let him go. He won't do worse than Dix.

Crowd. Montreal is not a sport city; no real fans,except hockey. Hardly any news on RDS,about the Als. During training camp, RDS had 4 articles,at most,on the Als.-excluding games- Most of the times, we would read,on RDS, selon The Gazette,selon Radio-Canada. They copy what is written by Herb or Radio-Canada. It's hockey, hockey, hockey. Population in excess of 1 million and we can't sell 25,000 tickets,to come and see a winning team. Shame!

We should/will win next game,in Regina.