Bum's Rush

Ok now that Mike Labinjo's sat back down....
And the Alouettes are busy signing their remaining free agents
And Anwar Stewart has a new contract...

The Alouettes saw fit to bring Labinjo in in the first place
Acknowledging their defence depends on strength at rush-end
Getting pressure on the quarterback
While playing man-2-man

So
The question remains:
Do the Alouettes need help at rush-end?
Or can the 2011 team make it with the talent they have?

Well I'm sure Popp will be bringing in some new talent at DE for training camp, and if someone stands out and makes the team, terrific. I'm sure they are looking at having to replace Anwar eventually, so may as well start looking now. I'm quite content with John Bowman at the other end.

Just wondering. . . we're not sure if they were planning on using Labinjo, had he passed his medical, at DE or DT. . .but if was DE, how's this for a conspiracy theory:

They planned on having Labinjo and Bowman as the two ends, were thinking of moving Mike Sinclair up to D/C, and were then going to gently suggest to Anwar that he hang his cleats up and become the defensive line coach. But then, when the Labinjo trade was cancelled, they then gave the D/C job to Tibesar, kept Sinclair as defensive line coach, and re-signed Anwar as DE.

Probably not the case, but the timing fits. . .

At defensive end, we have Stewart, Bowman, Iwekwoaba, Brown, and Harriott. As well, McElveen has played both end and tackle. I think we're in good shape.

Good point, I'd forgotten about those three. . .

That he has; but based on his play last season, I think I prefer him at tackle.

DT - McElveen, Bekasiak, Jackson. What's going on with Wilson?

I thought Wilson was still under contract.

Wilson is very much under contract. I heard on Team 990 that he was hosting a bash with the Grey Cup at a cigar lounge last wk.

The DE that I am anxious to see develop is Ihekwoaba. High draft choice Canadian, tryout with the Lions, supposedly great athletic ability. Let`s see how Mike Sinclair can mold him.

On est bien nantis à cette position, et je crois qu'on verra d'autres visages au camp d'entraînement. Je crois qu'on a eu plus de problèmes en arrière de la ligne défensive et qu'il devrait y avoir quelques ajustements de ce côté.

Heureusement, après la saison régulière, tout s'est replacé.

Being in "good shape" at defensive end is hardly enough.
While the position doesn't require a law degree
To dominate, one needs a rather unique skill-set
And as with Bowman
Some time to mature
We've seen it with McElveen...
Being a very good defensive lineman isn't enough

Two division rivals significantly upgraded at the position last year
With Rickey Foley in Toronto and Stevie Baggs in Hamilton
Both teams are sure to continue to benefit as both players play from training camp on...

I'm not sure the Alouettes can afford to "stand pat" with an ageing Anwar Stewart
While Anwar stepped up when it counted the most....there were games last year when Rod Stewart would have put more of the "fear in God" in opposing quarterbacks.

Considering the significance pressure from our front 4 has in our defensive success
Or how a lack of same has led to some pretty impressive losses in the last 2 years.

It would be a shame if Jim Popp et al ignore such a glaring weakness
One that arguably could cost the Alouettes that coveted 3-peat.

I respectfully disagree.
While I still have my doubts about Dix
I'd say that our linebackers and secondary are as good as it gets in the league.
The reason the defense looked so porous (I say again)
Is that it relies heavily on pressure from the front four
Frustrating opposing quarterbacks
And freeing the linebackers to help out in coverage

The reason things seemed to get better in the off-season is our pass-rush gets cranked up several notches in big games. The difference is that young guys have the energy for that kind of intensity all season long.

Without that pressure 2 things invariably happened:

  1. The linebackers would drop back into coverage but the QB had a dozen steamboats to find a receiver...especially deep where linebackers dare not tread (well they do...in fact...watching the season over...you've never seen a team with linebackers in such deep coverage...sometimes even as second safety. But, with the exception of Chip Cox...and possibly Ferri...LB's aren't going to make it in that role).
    All of which led to big gainers or desperation PI's.

  2. The Alouettes would have to blitz frequently....leading to occasional huge plays on screens, dumps and crossing patterns.

There's no doubt in my mind:
The Alouettes need that one element to make it again this season.
We can't count on Toronto knocking off the Cats again in the semis.
The Bombers might just break that jinx
And if the Argos can find themselves a quarterback there WILL be trouble
Right here in River City

I doubt Popp would ignore the end position if he felt it was in need of improvement. In fact, I'd argue that signing Harriott, re-signing Stewart, and trying to acquire Labinjo demonstrates that Jim is quite aware that we need support on the line. We have two non-imports as well in Iwekwoaba and Brown, one of whom may well take a step to the next level just like Bekasiak did in the interior of the line in 2010. Finally, I'd be surprised if Popp didn't bring in more defensive ends to spur competition at training camp.

Tibesar may also have different ideas about who to use on the line, and how to generate pressure.

Je suis bien d'accord. Ce que je voulais dire, c'est que puisque les gars d'en avant ont réussi mettre beaucoup de pression sur les quarts adverses en éliminatoires, les gars d'en arrière ont pu mieux exécuter leurs couvertures et ce fut heureux. Également, il y a eu un meilleur mix entre la défensive homme à homme et la défensive de zone, ce qui a semblé mêler les adversaires.

Je crois par contre que durant la saison, la ligne défensive a eu son lot de problèmes, mais derrière elle, la tertiaire a eu encore plus de difficultés. L'usage intensif de la défensive homme pour homme y était peut-être pour quelque chose, mais dans l'ensemble, c'est quand même là que les jeux adverses se faisaient.

Lorsqu'une partie de la défensive a de la difficulté, l'autre partie doit remplir sa mission. Il a fallu presque 14 parties à la tertiaire pour se mettre à jouer comme du monde.

Au moins, il semble y avoir du mouvement du côté défensif aussi et c'est de bon augure.