It was thrilling to see the Leos make the necessary changes to their offence to really hurt a blitzing defence. Some thoughts:
- The Leos offence made some necessary adjustments in the break which were important. Some examples were moving the pocket with slide protection and some designed rollouts for Dickenson with good blocking schemes, using the screen and dump pass to Warren effectively, having safety valves and hot reads in the six reciever set or having slotbacks block in specific situations. The Leos utilized play action more effectively with some new wrinkles including a fake reverse. Heck, they even used the quarterback draw in the six reciever set. The blocking schemes were much better and Warren was utilized off tackle more effectively rather than being used exclusively inside. Finally, when they threw the ball long the quarterbacks didn’t wait until the last second (and take a huge hit) for the deep receiver to come open but threw earlier and allowed the reciever to run under the ball. Some of these changes weren’t huge but their impact was. I’ve been on Chapdelaine’s butt a number of times this season for poor strategy against blitzing teams and play calling. He deserves a lot of credit this game (and Wally does too for using the break to have another look at the offence) The changes were all that was necessary to turn an inconsistent offence to one that was explosive at times and really caused Ottawa a world of hurt when they blitzed.
Punt Returns. All season I’ve hoped the Leos would turn their punt return team loose by allowing Lockett to go wide more often rather than just taking it upfield. The Leos set up the picket fence a lot more this game. It allowed the Leos blockers better angles rather than straight ahead blocking, trying to push the blocker to a side. Lockett, by starting laterally, had either the option to reach the wall or to cut up inside if he saw a gap. Once Lockett can get past the first wave his speed in the open field is awesome. His speed and that one quick burst are his greatest assets. The Leos better utilized his talent and the Leos blockers got the opportunity to make some great blocks.
Defence. The Leos defence was impressive again. Phillips is just an amazing cover guy who blankets receivers, Young is really smart. Miles had a great game. Great to see Washingoton block a punt and make a big contribution early. The Leos speed and pursuit on defence, combined with Ritchie’s schemes make them a tough defence to play against. They gave up some points late trying to defend against the long pass but throughtout most of the game they defended the hell out of Ottawa.
I anticipated Dickenson would start and he played very well…and importantly didn’t aggravate his shoulder. Pierce is an excellent number two quarterback who really sees the field well…impressive for a rookie quarterback…his future sure looks bright. Jackson looked rusty as he should have, coming back from a thumb injury…his passing was off but he made an excellent run and got some game time experience which can only help our depth.
An impresssive win…we looked like a championship team in all three areas tonite…a great way to start the second half of the season.