B.C./ Hamilton Game Thoughts

A big win last night.....the fact the Leos dominated the game showed there was no let up against a weaker opponent. Some reflections:

  1. Some of the excitement of the win was tempered by Dickenson's slight shoulder separation. He was playing so well when he got injured. Hopefully the slight shoulder separation will not keep him down for long.

  2. If felt inevitable that Dickenson would get injured, based upon the number of hits and sacks he'd been taking. The shame of it was that Chapedelaine had a great game plan going into this game. It was obvious early that he had anticipated a lot of blitzing. The first play of the game was a hitch to Simon and the first play of the second series was a hitch to Simon in motion. The fact the Leos didn't give up any sacks was based upon strategy. If Printers could have executed better the Leos offence could have scored a lot more points with some of the plays Chapdelaine sent in during the second half.

  3. I've always thought Dickenson would get hurt on the fake to Warren/ naked bootleg play. Dickenson took an early shot in the first quarter when the Leos ran this play and Hamilton was assessed a fifteen yard penalty.
    Dickenson was hurt in the 'six pack" reciever package when Hamilton blitzed. Dickenson will hold on to the ball until the last split second and he did. In the 'six pack' reciever set the quarterback is exposed to the blind side on a blitz, unless one of the receivers back side blocks...which didn't happen on this play. Teams will either rush three and drop off a lot of defensive backs or blitz against the six pack.

  4. Printers hardly threw a ball all week at practice. It's not usually Wally's style to play a player if he can't practice 100%. Printers play is the result of not getting enough reps at practice all seson. You can't expect him to play well in this situation....at least with the score out of hand it gave Printers some playing time. His desire is there....his attempted leap into the end zone showed how badly he wants to play and be successful.

  5. The offensive line was terrific. Mantyka, the Leos best offensive lineman for years had his best game of the season. Playing with a brace after his awful injury last year he's had a rough start at times but he looked like his old self last night. Powell continues to impress. When Printers was hit and fumbled it wasn't the O line's fault....Warren missed a block. Chapde

  6. The defence was awesome. Young is all CFL at corner, teams avoid throwing against Marsh, and Phillips continues to be impressive. Miles had an excellent game, Tiller played very well, and Washington was much better...the last TD against him was a 6 yard pass. Simpson really stepped up this game and Johnson was dominant again. Kidd was the first guy down on special teams and deserves the 'chair' this week.

  7. It would usually be hard to judge a quarterback on only three passing plays but Buck Pearce really impressed. On his second play on the fake to Warren/naked bootleg his subtle fake shovel play froze the defensive end in his face and allowed him to make the completion. On his first play he looked left and threw right across the grain. His thid pass on a 'wheel' route was impressive and showed great touch. I had wished they had put him in earlier with Dickenson hurt and Printers not moving the ball since he could be our back up next week. I understand why they stayed with Printers but it was great to see Pierce get into the game.

Wow!

I haven't had the chance to review the video tape yet Blitz, but it was exciting to see Buck in action as this was my first oppertunity to see him take a snap...

I was impressed to see how comfortable he seemed to be, thrown into the fire of the game play melee.

It would certainly be interesting to see more of him in next weeks match with the green riders.

As always Blitz... you don't seem to miss a thing in your evaluation of our continual improvement!

Morning Pigskin53...looking forward to more of your analysis of the game after viewing the game tape.

I'm sure, after Printers performance, we'll be reading that it should be Printers that should be let go at the end of the season just as last year the same comments were made about Dickenson.

The fact is that it's too early in the season and there are too many games to be played to be making any long term decisons about the Lions quarterback situation.

Printers struggled in the second hafl as he should have, based upon his lack of off-season workouts, limited training camp reps, limited practice reps, and hardly any throwing reps during the past week of practice. Chapdelaine also called a smart, if not entertaining game in the second half with quick throws and limiting Casey's runs to protect against further injury to the Leos quarterbacks.

Dickenson has had shoulder and keee injury problems in the past. He's been enjoying a terrific season with the benefit of his most intense off-season. He's a great quarterback. Printers, with all the injury problems and lack of practice and game time, is not looking like we knew him last year and that should be expected. Dickenson struggled at times, in his first three games, with the benefit of a full training camp and exhibition season.

The fact is we have two great quarterbacks and we should thank our lucky stars that we have them both. At the moment both have injuries. Any long term decisons regarding them cannot be made until the off-season if we can't keep both. In the meantime any judgements regarding them have to made in the context of their career experience, their practice time this year, and their game experience. Of course, with their different styles of play fans are going to have preferences regarding each style but sometimes the quarterback 'controversy' makes some fans lose perspective and ready to 'dump' either one of them if their play is not impressive.

I don't believe Wally Buono would have played his second string quarterback in the Hamilton game without practice reps in the week and limited practice all year, if that quarterback had not been Casey Printers...last year's MVP.... Pierce also had not taken any game time snaps in the regular season.

Buck Pierce, while having only seen him in exhibition play and last night's brief action, demonstrates two things.....unbelievable poise for his age/experience and lots of potential. He strikes me as a potential future Dickenson with time. Jackson, more a Printers style of quarterback, also has a ton of talent. The talent, depth, and potential the Leos have at quarterback right now is incredible.

For all we know, we could need all four before the year is over....but hopefully not!! It's always exciting and interesting to see what your backups can do but my preferance is for our first string quarterbacks to play and our back-up QB's to get 'mop up' playing time. Wally is excellent at developing quarterbacks at the patient approach is always the best.

Great stuff, Blitz as always. You have an outstanding grasp of the totality of a game despite NOT seeing it but live with stadium replays.

Overall the Lions had a good game with great work on D, special teams and offence in the first half and late with Buck Pierce.

Wally normally is reluctant- so I have read - to play a guy with limited reps in practice and last night that view showed why with Casey looking rusty except for that first great drive for a TD and moments only in the second half.

What was great about Casey Printers on that first drive was that he took only what the defence gave him and he made good decisions. In the second half he looked lacking in that first half focus and was trying to make plays that weren' t there at times like forced passes down field rather than what was open. To get to where he was last year will require better focus for him on what he needs to do to be good and that is not forcing plays. He needs to play more like Dave Dickenson did in that great first half where he takes what is there. No, don't take the big hits but take the openings when they are there. They don't all need to TDs in 5 or 6 big plays.

Buck Pierce did look great. 3 for 3, 1 TD and 40 yards in the air - all on the one series the coach gave him. I think Wally should have put him in sooner especially with Casey rusty and apparently lacking in reps at practice. I suspect we will continue to see good performances from Pierce when called upon. He had the poise and decision making of a veteran in that series for a TD. I like how he is shaping up as a Dickenson follower versus the tough guy that he apparently was during his college career. That is not a knock by the way. We don't need him doing the tough stuff here. His ball control orientation is what will make him an outstanding pro in my view. That, plus the right coaching and playing opportunities. I agree it is best to bring a new guy along slowly but this Pierce guy has shown that he can be brought along a lot faster than one series in a game that the result was already a foregone conclusion.

Dave Ritchie mixed it up again a bit last night on defence and those guys played outstanding ball. What Dave Ritchie has added in new tools he has added an equal dose of team confidence. The special teams were good but for that bad kick return before the half that allowed the guy to go long. What a great night for Aaron Lockett aided by some great blocking. Mike Benevides looks to be a good coach and is getting good results. I like the way this guy interacts with players and stays focused during games. All the Lion coaches look to be top guys when you see them at work in practice.

The play calling - not sure Blitz if it is the calling of plays or the execution. Dave Dickenson was terrific. Casey rusty but was he forcing it or was that some of the play selection. Why didn't they get Casey focused on what was there and make that adjustment during the game? He needed it as I saw it if he is to get back to where he was last year which I know takes time, reps and games and no injuries - all of which have been issues for him.

Having knocked Duncan O'Mahony, I must say he looked more focused last night and he sure did have another great night punting. It might be good for him that Bret Anderson continue kickoffs as he gets enough work with the rest of the stuff he must do. This might help his FGs stay consistent.

Overall, a great team performance, good crowd and nice atmosphere at BC Place.

Pierce-I learned a lot about perseverance. Things aren’t always going to go your way. I’ve become so much more aware of the realities of the game and life…Things can be taken away from you. You can either sit back…or overcome it and fight through it....

I really thought Chapdelaine and Wally had a great offensive game plan against Hamilton. It was obvious early that the Leos had an excellent anti-blitz package going into the game and Dickenson was prepared to take advantage of whatever defence Hamilton played.

In the second half the Leos went very conservative. Printers didn’t run and the Leos ran a lot of conservative pass plays. I really believe the Leos wanted to avoid getting Printers hurt by not having him run and also by running passing plays that involved a lot of quick throws.

I thought that was smart ball rather than entertaining ball. However Printers was obviously rusty and not in rhthym. That kind of offence also does not play into his strengths.

Blitz: you don't think Casey was forcing balls downfield that he shouldn't have?

Don't worry, with the bye week coming up, Dickenson will probably miss only 1 game. It does look like the Lions have a keeper in the form of Buck Pierce.

Football 16.....I don't have the benefit of the game replay so I'm only going by memory....but I thought the Leos ran a lot of quick passing plays on first down in the second half. I also thought Casey forced some footballs downfield, particularly on second down...but don't believe that was what was wanted by the Leos staff!!

PigSkin said:

"My real hope is that the countermeasures set out in your anti-blitz package would catch the eye of the Lion’s coaching staff…

They would do well to adopt some of your wrinkles, and perhaps extend the life of our QB’s to include a full season."

                                 .             .            .           .

You’ll remember my praise from your Lion’s Tendencies thread…

Well it seems Blitz like great minds think alike, in that the coaching staff appears to have employed much of the hitches, screens, and I noticed at least two, or three hot reads develope and were taken atvantage of, before the first half was over. As you had suggested they got Warren out wide on a big gain sweep following the blocks of Powell, and Gavadza, as well as running the draw straight up the middle twice for seven, or eight yards each time.

It is unfortunate that the ajustments made to an anti-blitz package were insufucient to keep dd from getting hurt… but he’s tough as nails, and should to back after the buy week. Wallly has said he’ll likely sit him as a precaution.

So lets all look forward to CP kicking off some of that rust get some needed reps, and with any luck, maybe an other guest appearance from BP.

Chow for now Buddy…

So lets all look forward to CP kicking off some of that rust get some needed reps, and with any luck, maybe an other guest appearance from BP.
Pigskin 53...looks like we both noticed the Leos had an excellent game plan going into the Hamilton game with many plays designed to exploit the blitz and also to protect the quarterback. Unfornate that Dickenson got injured on the only formation that didn't do that. The six reciever package means the quarterback, against a blitz, has to either a) release the football very quickly b) take off up the middle quickly or c) hope one of the slotbacks picks up the blitz and blocks backside. Dickenson held the ball to wait that extra split second for Jackson to make his break and that was it...slight shoulder separation.

I like the draw to Warren in the five reciever set and also like the qb draw in the six reciever set. Its great to see Warren utilized a little more off tackle and outside....his cutback ability and patience in reading blocks on these plays usually result in good gains.

Like you I'm hoping that Casey will be able to knock off some of the rust against Saskatchewan. Geroy Simon said he threw a hard spiral in the Hamilton game but that his timing was off....which is logical based upon his reps this season and the week before the game.

Printers arm is day to day! Some days there's pain...others there's not. He's doing a lot of rehab to strengthen the muscle around the rotator cuff.
We're only one sore arm or an injury on the hard field of Saskatchewan to see Buck Pierce need to keep our undefeated streak alive.

Like you I'm hoping that Printers can win the game and Pierce can get some additional reps. I'd also like to see Jackson in game action before this season is over. However I only would prefer to see this happen behind two healthy starting qb's in Dickenson and Printers. It' exciting and interesting to see back up qb's play but I wouldn't want to have our season depend on them at this stage.

I think the Saskatchewan game is going to be a tough one...never easy to play in Saskatchewan and Barrett and Shivers are on the hot seat...making them more dangerous! Looking forward to kicking back on Saturday with a cold one and enjoying the game....hope you are too Pigskin!!

I’ll be up at camp this Saturday , but I’ll have the game video recording back home, free of CBC indifferance…

I’ll know what will be happening instinctively, and I’ll know that you’ll be there to cover the bases because I cannot.

I’m have no doubts that Casey will be in everyway equal to the task!

Here’s to our team and their commiitment to excelence, and to the undying love of their fans…

I’ll check back with you a week next Wednesday.

Roar Baby!