Blocking Back

Whatever happened to having a running back in the backfield to provide extra protection for our QB? When we had Szarka that was his primary role was to provide the extra protection. Now we empty out the backfield leaving DD all on his lonesome in the backfield. What would be wrong with using Neil Hughes in a similar role as we used to do with Szarka. That extra protection can pickup the unblocked on a blitz and give the QB an extra few seconds to find an outlet receiver or escape for a run. One of the prime requisites for a Montreal back is that he is a good blocker to protect Calvillo. Just saying given the performance of our O-line lately it might be a good idea to reconsider the empty the backfield scenario.

This is the only reason I miss Wes Cates.. we that and he was a stand up guy.

Wes Cates was an all around good back! He could block, he could run(in his first few seasons here) and he was a great receiver! But IMO his biggest asset was his blocking! When he was back there Durant hat far more time to make plays! Sheets seems to want to block but just isn't good at it! I agree with you that Neil Hughes or Graham Bell should get a look for some blocking roles! That's what a fullback is there for!

Another thing on the topic of fullbacks is why aren't we using them in short down yardage! I remember with Szarka we would give him the ball in short yardage and the Canuck Truck would bulldoze his way through and get us our first downs!

I agree. Sheets is going to get injured jumping over the d-line on short yardage plays. Although I do have to hand it to Drew Willy as he does seem to have a knack for finding a hole or beating it around the end for a first down.

I've asked this as well. Hughes is not used. They'll throw him the ball in playoff games, that's about it. A Messam playing in his spot would be great I think. We should try and sign him. He's proven in this league. Having two RBs back there one as a FB, wow.

Getting Messam is a great idea, however Taman vs Tilman…THAT is not a contest so don’t hold your breath.

even if that is true…the Esks just signed Boyd…they may not be interested.

They have Boyd and Hugh Charles and Kelvin McCarty ! They have no need of another back.. We really do! Especially a Canadian would be nice!

Nobody uses the fullback anymore in short yardage, mainly because what we call a fullback today is actually a tight end in disguise, i.e. not a massive guy who can rumble for those 3 yards or whatever.

As for Dyce's predilection for empty sets, I'm as puzzled about it as you are.

sooooo....what you are trying to say is that routinely telling the D "hey, look, we're passing" by continually flanking out your RB in pre-snap motion, all the while attempting to keep your QB in the pocket is a bad thing? hmm


It worked early in the season because the Ds were not anticipating it. Now it is expected.

Ds basically double press Dressler, put containment on Getz, and can cover the rest in loose man. Smith has some potential to change that, but I think CANADIAN Aaron Hargreaves might have bigger potential for turning heads. People keep saying he is too slow, but lets do a side by side of the last great big framed receiver the Riders had...Andy Fantuz

Hargreaves Fantuz
4.68 40-yard dash, 2008 combine 4.79 40-yard dash, 2011 Bears camp
Height 6.04 Height 6.04
Weight 233 Weight 221

I am not sure why he has not stuck...have not really followed him, but if he is utilized properly he is clearly not too slow, and has the size.

Empty sets are great as a change of pace, not as the norm. If you really want that RB as a pass threat, make him check-release as most other teams do: he waits to pick up a block, but if the blocking assignment isn't there, he releases into a short curl or flare as a safety valve for the quarterback. Don't know why Dyce is so insistent on these empty sets.

Messam isn't nearly good enough to warrant taking on a such a bad attitude.

True he did have a bad rep in that area. Now that the NFL has dumped him that attitude may have changed. Edmonchuk will have a lot of salary tied up in RB, I think at least one will be released.

Messam is a complete headcase. He was kicked off the Lions after breaking Paris Jackson's jaw during a poker game. He got a second chance with the Esks last year and threw a punch at a Lion's head after scoring a TD. I'm not holding my breath for him to change. If you have to resort to bringing in guys like him and Diamond Ferri (and to a lesser extent even Odell), it means that you are desperate because you haven't been doing your job right in the first place.

Diamond Ferri has never had any off-field issues or altercations with teammates. Not sure why he's being lumped into the same category as Messam.

I don't know why you are lumping Odell in with him either. Odell Willis has been one of the guys breaking up fights this year. He isn't a hot head! He is a mouth piece there is a difference. Dario Romero was a hot head / D-Bag. He would rage out of control and throw punches. Cris Patrick is similar.

Odell Willis is just a talker, he tries to get under peoples skin. But whenever there has been a fight he gets right in the middle of it and is pulling people apart.

Absolutely agree with the initial concept of this post,, Graeme Bell or Neil Hughes back there at least 50% of the time for addtl blocking and perhaps on short yardage runs as an option.. worked well for us before

Sheets threw one hell of a block today. It was just after he rolled his ankle (?), limping and still flipped one of bombers. He's pretty good blocker.

We were actually using Graeme Bell and Neil Hughes in a blocking capacity on Sunday. In fact both were in when Durant threw the first TD pass to Dressler - the extra blocking gave Dress time to get open and Durant to throw the pass. Worked well hope we see it more in the next half of the season.