ALS will be back-

Today's loss was not a big deal. Montreal is defending back to back Grey Cup champions. They are ravaged by injuries. Every time has struggles when they are injured. The rest of the league has a bullseye on the ALS and prepares for them and has extra motivation for them.

The ALS are still one of the best teams in the league. They just need to find an import pass rusher from NFL cuts and an import safety or a good db.

The CFL is a league with very little depth- teams cannot overcome injuries usually. Montreal has not built the depth that for example Calgary has. There is significant drop off from the starters to the backups. However the starters are all good so that is how the ALS WIN.

I think this is good for the ALS- suffer losses early on, make the changes now, bring in new personnel-- The ALS are 2 to 3 new players from being dominant again and i expect they will do that.

Guru, I agree with you on defense, but the offense is perfectly healthy -- why are they not able to post a single major against a Cats' secondary that is itself beset by injury?

The league is all about adjustments and game film. The CFL defenses have seen a good 2 to 3 years of Trestmans offense. The ALS are not really changing much on offense and defenses are changing how they play the ALS.

The ALS seem to almost disrespect defenses and think they can take those 20 yard out patterns or skinny posts. They are simply predictable at this point. Calvillo is left hanging onto the ball when a deep route is disrupted.
When the ALS play a ZONE defense like BC or SASK employed Calvillo has more time in the pocket and receivers are running into open areas.
When montreal plays Hamilton, Hamilton DB's are jamming receivers, playing really physical and they are bringing heat on CALVILLO- They understand what Montreal is doing, and feel that by playing tight aggressive man, the long Calvillo 15-20 yard throws are off target or contested or incomplete.

When a team is playing as much man as Hamilton is, you have to run pick plays, or deep ins, the ALS run too many guys deep, they should run a few guys short, and one receiver on a deeper IN ROUTE-
Montreal is running everyone on deeper patterns and they keep Whittaker in for the dump off last option.

As I stated before the Dbs of Hamilton have Calvillos timing down- He throws from the same spot in the pocket, he throws the ball on deeper patterns around the same time, there is no variation in depth of pass patterns.
Also Calvillo's deep ball is not there, and defenses know where the ball is going, and does not have to cover the deep ball.

Defenses have adjusted to Montreals offense, now Montreal must adjust on offense by revamping their offense- A 17 yard IN our OUT is good to RICHARDSON but you have to call a mix of patterns and plays-

It has become too much of Richardson and not enough of other receivers--- Watkins and London are non factors, look at the good teams, they all throw it equaly to all receivers. Calvllo has fallen in love with Richardson of late and that is not a good sign as a QB--

This is no surprise at all, because if you look at it in PRO sports today it is very hard to REPEAT as champions. Teams suffer a major letdown after winning a championship. The ALS have won 2 in a row, a letdown is almost assured in the quest for a TRIFECTA-

Every team circles the ALS on their calendar and game plans for them. All eyes are on the ALS because they are the Champs-

So it was logical that they would suffer a letdown this season as its hard to keep mentally focussed and hungry for 3 years in a row- Today HAMILTON was more hungry- Hamilton hasnt won anything, MOntreal has won lots of titles--

So it will be a huge challenge for Trestman to RE MOTIVATE the ALS and make them play like they havent won any GREY CUPS--

Generally the team that wins the CHAMPOINSHIP is the most HUNGRY-- ALs were hungry last 2 years and they need to get the appetitte back.

Great analysis, Guru. What I don't understand, though, is why our short game has disappeared. Time was when we were the masters of passing underneath and pick plays to get receivers open. Now, it seems to be bombs away to Richardson and Green on those intermediate and deep patterns all the time. There's no variation. Why have the coaches suddenly forgotten how to call a good game?

I think the fact that the ALS receievers are all tall hurts the short game. Guys like Richardson Green London like getting downfield. The loss of Cahoon has hurt as he was smaller and was able to make the quick cuts and find the open areas. No one can duplicate the level of expertise that Cahoon had in reading zone defenses and working the underneath pass routes.
Cahoon was one of the best and Calvillo was in synch with Cahoon.

The ALS need a guy like Whittaker to play inside slot in the 5 receiver package to run the short 5 yard option routes.

Cahoon was the short passing game, he was not fast, but quick and smart with amazing hands, thats what you need for an underneath possession receiver--

Trestman has fallen in love with the deeper passing game, but I wonder if its due to the fact that none of the current receivers are short possession type of receivers. Everyone they have is a deep play receiver, that is why when they score tds also Calvillo is throwing long passes from the 20 into the back of the end zone- You simply have to have a short passing game especially when it gets colder.

You have made some good points. Not only has Trestman fallen in love with the deep passes, but he has fallen in love with the passing game all together. 0 yards rushing in the first quarter alone. Last time the Als played the TiCats (and also lost) they ran the balla whopping 7 times the entire game. Where is the balanced attack to give you o line a chance to move downfield as oppose to standing back play after play? Not to mention setting up for the pass play bei it short or long?

And another interesting stat (or not so interesting depending on which side of the fence you lay) Als once again took needless penalties totalling well over 100 yards. I believe the Ti Cats had 0 or darn close to that mark. Not going to win too many games with that stat.

Anderson.... allot of money tied up in this player who took another crucial PI which then led to a TD.

And my last comment, when your O gets down to the 1 yard line, 1st and goal and you can not get in the end zone on three tries, there is something wrong.
Allot will have to change for this team to "be back". Still have the Bombers to play and 2 more against the Cats.

This was a game the offensive team needed to win and, they failed completely. The team did not score one offensive TD. Calvillo completed around the 50% pass on completions and, this showed as he was often off the mark. This was the first time I have seen AC benched and, it was deserved. McPherson came in cold but, by games end the team was in a position to score an offensive TD. Not mentioned so far, were the penalties called on the team- one penalty stood out. Ferri, who had a great return game, which has been completely lacking to date, pulled off a long return in the 4thQ and, After he was downed, Hecht made a stupid block on a TiCat from behind nullifying Ferri's great run. I don't think Hamilton had a penalty call at all, but the Als had many. Colbourne had what must have been a satisfying game was a standout. My frustration began at the end of the 1st Q when I noted to myself that Whitaker was not utilized at all- and, it has to be noted, that coming into the game he was the leagues leading rusher. Watkins made another drop and, I believe London made a few yards on his 2/3 receptions. The bright spot for our team has to be Jamel Richardson who appeared to be carrying the whole receiving load for the team.

Hamilton deserved the win. Glen had a winning afternoon re his passing game and, it has to be noted, the TiCats brought in a few great recievers. I liked the rookie Chris Williams who won the afternoon duel with Anderson. On his early TD I thought Anderson had covered him well as his hand hit the ball but, Williams made a difficult but great catch for the TD. I will not repeat any above opinions about our defense. I did notice that Hopkins was double teamed often and, and was responsible for getting the fumble re Als early TD. Did any of you get a read on our rookie corner? Glen had all the time needed for his passes.

Not sure I agree here. Cahoon's numbers were down last season, and he wasn't even our primary read on second-down conversions. That was Richardson's job and he did it very well. I think the problem is in the playcalling, and in the fact that Watkins has been awful since returning from injury. He's not a threat at all, he's not getting open, and he's not making catches when he is getting open. Green has also been slumping recently.

I won't argue that Cahoon's retirement has had some impact on our offense, but I don't think it's the only or main reason we're not succeeding. I think the problems lie in our choice of plays and our predictability. We have the personnel -- we're just not using them effectively, and teams have figured out what we're doing.

do you go round fluffing all the teams??

First the Bombers.. now the Als....

We have a CFL fluff girl/guy

He's not 'fluffing' anybody. He's simply providing his opinion. Why do you feel the need to put him down for that?

Watkins is getting older, the New Orleans native has a barber shop there and is coming off an injury. Watkins may be a player on the decline as we could have seen the best years of Watkins. When a receiver who used his speed as his primary weapon loses his speed he will be performing like Watkins is. Perhaps Watkins will heal and is a little rusty or he is likely on the decline of his career.

Sj Green is a physical beast- He is like a NFL receiver where he excells at the jump balls and catching the deep ball. Green has stolen and won many deep balls from defenders who were all over his back.

The Als have played a lot of road games also of late, they have yet to face Winnipeg, Cgy, at home.

Trestman will make changes, I think after Calgary it was a short week, there was little time to make changes, changes will happen now when the Als are at home.


A more sensitive guy would complain about the pilfering of ideas
Since about 80% of what guru says I've been hammering at for ages

Still...when I comment negatively on our offence it comes off as an attack against Calvillo
Or a complaint about the stubbornness and lack of imagination of the play-calling
Instead of what it is:
A simple and concise statement of fact

I prefer to look at it this way
The truth is out there
Plain for all to see
Nice to have another voice
Making sense for a change


Short week? Als played Calgary a week ago Saturday. They have had shorter weeks earlier in the season. Plenty of time to have made changes to me.
They are now home for the next two games, Ti Cats and then the Bombers. So yes, Trestman, Milanovich and Tisebar better come up with some changes...

Well the good news is we probably won`t be hearing too many Trestman to the NFL stories this off-season!

I`m not a tactician - Gridiron Guru gave some great analysis - but it is now easy to see that Trestman & Co. can no longer be just a one-trick pony with the west coast dink and dunk - pass 7 yds. and expect Richardson and Green to break it for 20.

It is time to expand the playbook, the rest of the league has now caught on. You are also allowed to run the ball in the CFL.

The personnel is mostly there - Whitaker has shown he can do the job and Green and Richardson are 2 of the best CFL receivers. Weve all had our say on Watkins, he has not gotten out of his funk, but we will have to live with him for now. London can be easily replaced by Deslauriers and the import position put to better use, or lets see if Bowling can add a different dimension to the offense.

And as someone who often lives in the past, I would like to see a Haskins/Hawkins type back to add a change of pace and speed to the offense, like Hamilton does with Thigpen and Calgary with Taylor.

Bottom line, they have to get more creative. We know what the definition is of doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

But as dire as things were yesterday, 3 plays made all the difference. 1) The bogus P.I. call on Anderson; 2) The contested catch by Williams on Anderson; 3) The failure to score from the 1yard line.

I want to know what's happened to the short curl routes and quick ins we used to make a living on. Both Bratton and Watkins would be good candidates to run those routes. Green has had success on hitch passes before. Why have these elements suddenly vanished from our game?

Également, à ce chapitre, Kerry Carter a ralenti cette année. Il n'est pas aussi sûr de lui et ne réussit plus à se démarquer pour convertir des passes de 5 verges en premiers essais. Ensuite, pour courrir les tracés courts, il faut un receveur qui pivote plus rapidement avec un centre de gravité plus bas et de bonnes mains. J'aurais vu Desriveaux dans ce rôle cette année, mais il est aussi blessé. Est-ce qu'on aurait pu essayer Maypray dans ce rôle? Je le crois, mais on voulait le préserver pour les retours de bottés. Les receveurs plus grands peuvent moins s'isoler dans un espace plus serré.

S. J. Green n'a pas remplacé Cahoon (est-il remplaçcable?). Il joue à sa position. Est-ce que Bowling pourrait jouer ce rôle? C'est aussi possible. Des choix seront à faire, quitte à asseoit Watkins une partie pour tenter le coup.

We have the receivers for the short passing game. Whitaker, Bratton, and Watkins can all be effective underneath. Richardson was the man underneath last season, particularly on second down, and Green is very good at turning quick hitch passes into eight to 10-yard gains. Bowling is on the PR.

I don't think it's a personnel issue, frankly. I think the coaches need to reevaluate their offensive strategy, and I also think that Calvillo needs to stop pulling the ball on option plays. I know the thinking is that if the front gives you something, you pass, but there is value to running the ball early and keeping the defense honest.

En théorie, oui. Mais Whitaker est affecté à la protection du quart, et Bratton et Watkins ont eu plus que leur lot de passes échappées. Ou bien il leur est poussé des pouces dans les mains, ou bien ils ne réussissent pas à se démarquer dans ces tracés courts. Oui, il faudra courir plus tôt dans le match, et persister à courir pour faire réfléchir la défensive adverse un peu plus, mais il demeure que les joueurs que nous avons pour les tracés courts ne font pas le boulot présentement. On doit pouvoir compter sur d'autres cibles que Richardson et Green.

Watching Watkins I keep wondering what’s going on.
When the camera shows him in “iso” he’s having a devil of a time breaking free of defenders
It’s hard to imagine a throat problem that could have affected his speed and route-running
So maybe…just maybe Watkins has had it.

As for Bratton…he’s OK…good even…but not great
In the off-season I suggested that Bratton’s success was largely due to the 5th receiver “surprise factor”
He’s got the speed and good hands to punish db’s who underestimate him
But is he really an effective 3rd or 4th?
I can’t help wondering what someone like Hawkins would be doing about now
If we had a quarterback who wasn’t obsessed or “under-blessed” to value anyone under 6 feet tall.

The McPherson/Hawkins combo was deadly in the few opportunities they had to work together

Sometimes it’s a good policy to look at what the opposition has done…and try to emulate it
Of course it’s not something the Alouettes are used to
But if we consider a player like Chris Williams…or Weston Dressler…we can see the place an uber-talented mighty-mite can have on a team…and the impact they can make.
In blowing coverages, challenging “press”, getting open on every down and providing a deep threat
We continue to reject players of this ilk…Bo Bowling being the latest victim

It seems obvious this is an approach that needs to change…pronto!