Buono and quarterbacks

I am beginning to understand Wally Buono's philosophy on quarterbacks:

  1. You can never have enough good ones.

In Calgary and in BC he never sees any point in worrying over having a suprlus. I think he realizes the odds are against making it through the season with one quarterback so you prepare by having good talent waiting for a chance to get in. I don't think he worries whether Jeff Garcia likesd Doug Flutie, or if Dave Dickenson and Casey Printers hang out together on weekends. Buono's concern is only having good ones waiting in case of injury. Other coaches trade away high-priced talent that stays on the sidelines and pay later.

  1. You have a playing order for your quarterbacks and you stick to your plans to build security and trust.

In the case of the Roughie's game yesterday Casey Printers was told he was #2, so Wally stuck with him even when he was having limited success. To pull him with an 8-0 record and lots of time in the game would have signalled a lack of confidence, and resentment and rivalry would build. He was left in the game till he had to leave due to injury. In this way there is now perfect understanding between all three quarterbacks.

  1. You don't show great enthusiasm with success of your quarterbacks and you don't panic when they have trouble.

Wally never blamed Dickenson for the loss of the Grey Cup game, and he never criticized Printers for his troubles this year. This kind of steadiness probalby leads to his players thinking "long haul" and avoiding trying to produce miracles and then throwing lots of interceptions. His quarterbacks are not picked often, nobody seems to be in a great panic.


Jim - to me your are probably spot on with how Wally Buono thinks and works with his QBs. Good insights and there is no room to argue that it could be any other way.

My posts on other threads have suggested that point no.2 needed to be reassessed during the Rider game. That is a judgment call coaches get paid to make. Fans like me just have our views.

Casey was not ready to play that day for a lot of reasons. There is a fine line between supporting your QB in the game and abandonment when the guy is not able to play due to injury and lack of game prep.

Hockey coaches pull their goalee when getting bombed just to give the give some mercy but also to shake up the team. Baseball managers take out pitchers when they struggle. This is all part of the game.

I liked how Hamilton took out Danny McManus and inserted Khari Jones on all short yardage plays when they beat the Bombers the other night. It kept Khari who was a hit away from playing "in the game" and part of the team responsible for getting that win.

The coach has to make that call as to when it is time to make a change. Last year in the Grey Cup I felt Wally was wrong in not bringing on the CFL MOP at all if for no other reason than to see if the change in mix changed our score.

The other night it was getting dangerously close to being too late if the Riders weren't offensively challenged as they were during that game.

Was it worth it to risk an unnecessary loss just to preserve a philosophy that is questionable when your guy is not ready to play?

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....

Casey was not ready to play that day for a lot of reasons. There is a fine line between supporting your QB in the game and abandonment when the guy is not able to play due to injury and lack of game prep.
This statement...Football 16...has made me try to look at the situation through Casey Printers eyes. Try to imagine:

In your first year you make the Leos as the third string quarterback. You get only a few game reps all season. In the off-season you work on your throwing motion, study film, and work out relentlessly. You come into training camp prepared physically and mentally to try to become the second string quarterback. You have an excellent training camp and exhibition season and win the #2 back up job.

The starting quarterback goes down and you now have to lead the team. Fan expectations have increased. Within a short period of time you’ve become the key part of transforming the Lions offence into the most explosive, dynamic offence in the league. Your offensive line is awful but you run for your life in a lot of games. You make great plays and a buzz is created about you which brings fans in droves. Your play is so good that, when the #1 starter returns its impossible to take you out. You injury your toe and have it frozen for each game. A device is fitted into your shoe which attempts to prevent making the injury worse. You give it all for your team, running and throwing without being able to put proper weight on the toe.

You lead your team through the Western Finals and into the Grey Cup. The team decides it wants the starting quarterback to start. The team loses and in the last three quarters the starting quarterback only throws for 100 yards. You don’t get in for one play. You feel heartbroken. Family, friends are also very disappointed.

You have your toe injury operation in the off-season. You can’t train properly due to the toe injury. You wonder if the Leos really want you. You wonder if the offensive coordinator has have confidence in They tell you that you’ll be competing for the number one job in training camp.

You tell the Leos you want to continue to play for them. Your uncle/agent tells you this is the once chance to get a big contract. He’s family, he’s older, he tells you to trust him. The Leos offer a generous contract. Your uncle advises against signing it.

You go into training camp and the toe injury hasn’t fully healed. You announce that you can’t compete and are prepared to back up Dave Dickenson. You try to throw but you are developing a painful shoulder injury from changing your arm motion throwing without weight on the toe. It’s something that has been created from last season and trying to throw in training camp and practices.

You do everything to rehab the arm including working in the pool to strengthen the shoulder muscles. Sometimes the arm works fine, other days its stiff and painful. You haven’t played in the exhibition season and rarely have a full practice.

Dickenson comes up with back spasms the day of the game against Edmonton, one of the formidable defences in the league. You haven’t practiced and now your starting. You play well, considering the circumstances, but not to your previous standard. The team wins the game but there is criticism of your play. You take responsibilty, don’t make excuses, and say your going to work as hard as possible to get better.

A couple of games later and the Leos are playing Hamilton. You’ve been sick and haven’t practiced hardly at all. Dickenson goes down with a slight shoulder separation and your back out there. Dickenson had been moving the ball well. You move the ball well early but then start to struggle. Your arm accuracy is off and the pace of the game is hard to adjust to. You do everything you can to try to change things. You take off with the ball trying to leap over a couple of defenders at the goalline…a dangerous play risking injury but you’re giving it yourall. Your team keeps its undefeated record alive but your performance is disappointing.

The next game is against Saskatchewan, the best defence in the league, at Taylor Field in Regina, a tough place to play. You practice well early in the week but by Thursday and Friday the arm is too sore to practice.

You go into the game and Saskatchewan is blitzing like hell. Missed offensive line assignments result in early sacks. Your offence starts off in bad field position. A number of off-side and holding calls make the situation even more difficult. The running game isn’t going anywhere. You throw short at times but need to go downfield. Two passes are intercepted…your arm is painful and won’t loosen up. Finally you get a drive going but Paris Jackson fumbles.

As the second half begins you tell Buck Pierce to get ready…you don’t think you’ll be able to play much longer. On a run towards the sidelines you fall out of bounds on your shoulder. You realize that you can’t go on, your team is losing, you can’t do what you’ve been able to do, and you pull yourself out because you know the best chance for your team to win is to go with Buck Pierce, who pulls the game out of the hat with some great play.

A lot of people are very critical of you. Your arm hurts like hell. Your playing for $62, 000 a year because your uncle didn’t know what he was doing. You’ve answered the call each time you’ve been asked to play, even though you knew you were ill prepared. You’ve given it your all and you’ve pulled yourself to give your team a better chance to win. You don’t know what it will take to heal. Your future is in doubt and your dream is blowing up in your face. Your a young quarterback with a lot of talent who only a short time ago was the CFL MVP. You’ve done a ton of work for the Leos to increase their community profile and charity work in the community.
Now a lot of fans are ready to throw you in the quarterback trash can.

Right now, I don’t think its a lot of fun to be Casey Printers.

Right now, I don’t think its a l

Blitz - not only do you have a good football mind and knowledge, you are a capable mind reader and you have no doubt got Casey’s thinking now pretty much nailed here.

What I was trying to do was address the issue of whether this should have been left to Casey Printers to make the call or they go to him at the half and have a private chat and make the call before the Lions take the field for the second half.

The attacks on Casey are appalling to me - talk about fair weather friends and fans! I hope that my comments aren’t misinterpreted as I do not intend to be attacking Casey at all, rather I was trying to see the circumstances he was in and suggest that the coach should have helped in making that call.

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…

The attacks on Casey are appalling to me - talk about fair weather friends and fans! I hope that my comments aren't misinterpreted as I do not intend to be attacking Casey at all, rather I was trying to see the circumstances he was in and suggest that the coach should have helped in making that call.
Like you Football 16 (TV) I support both our quarterbacks. Both Dave Dickenson and Casey Printers have won a hell of a lot of football games for our team. Sometimes they've had to overcome tough challenges like our weak offensive line last year and they've also had to overcome game plans and play calls that put them in positions that has meant they've had to absorb a lot of punishment. They've both played injured and showed courage. They've taken wicked hits time and again and picked themselves off the turf and gone right back at the defence with aggressiveness and fearlessness. I don't doubt you support all our quarterbacks as I do.

The Casey Printers situation is unusual. Its not every team has last years MVP on the sidelines as the backup quarterback. I understand why the Leos wanted to play Printers this season when Dickenson has been unable to play due to injury. Quite simply, he gave the team the best chance to win or so they thought. A winning streak was on the line. Buck Pierce, while showing excellent potential in training camp and skilled play in the exhibition season was untested in regular game action.

I've read that Printers wanted to play. I'm sure he did to continue to prove himself and try to help his team. Dickenson always wants to play, even when he's injured also. They love to play, they're in a competitive situation with each other, and they're leaders who want to play that role in helping their team win. However, that decision shouldn't be in their hands because they will not always have the necessary perspective.

I'm not going to get into a discussion of whether Casey Printers should have come out at half time or later. On the Lionbackers chat line I said at half time they should give Casey two more series and if he didn't move the team they should take him out. Whatever call was the right one the call should have been in the hands of the coaches.

On this website I questioned a number of weeks ago whether Casey should be the backup quarterback. At that time, I said I understood why Casey wanted to play and why the Leos wanted to play him over a much less experienced third string quarterback. However, I questioned having Casey Printers playing without practice time because its something Wally doesn't usually allow. Wally believes if you can't practice you can't play. In a lot of ways an exception has been made in the case of Casey Printers.

I question whether Casey Printers should have been in the game at all. The situation, with only Buck Pierce available with limited game rests but lots of practice time was challenging. Another strategy might have been to start Buck Pierce and come in with Casey Printers only if necessary. Things worked out much better the other way around, of course. I was less hesitant obout Casey Printers playing against Saskatchewan because he had taken about 60% of the practice reps earlier in the week although he rested his arm on Thursday and Friday before the game.

I was more concerned with the Leos bringing in Casey in the Hamilton game because he hadn't practiced throwing all week and had also had a virus. In that situation I really believed Buck Pierce should have been the second string quarterback.

Hindsight always makes better decisions. However, as much as the temptation is often there to play a talented player who is injured and isn't properly prepared through practice, it also often backfires. If the game is perhaps a championship game it may be worth it, depending on the injury and whether it could cause further damage. However, early in a season, or even at the mid-point of a season its unncessary.

There's no sense looking back any more. I hope the Leos will take the approach, for the remainder of the regular season, that the winning streak is less important than getting Casey physically and mentally ready to play the game at 100% and shouldn't see further game action until he is. The decision may be easier now because Pierce has looked so good. The same approach to Lions players needing to practice at 100% should be applied to the Leos quarterbacks as it is with all other positions on the team.

I''' be supportive of Casey Printers and Dave Dickens because they have shown courage and been willing to sacrifice themselves for this team to win. Buck Pierce appears to be cut in the same mold.

Football 16.....we're definitely on the same page!!

Blitz- the idea of the other back up starting - Buck Pierce - and being rescued if he needs support is how coaches of youth baseball players bring new pitchers along.

I know I have beaten that horse dead now about my view of the change at the half to avoid Roughrider momentum building and then the new guy gets to go to work.