Burn The Witches Because It's Dry Enough, vol. 2

Wow...what a heartbreaker! The D played great in general, CJ Gable was outstanding, and we had enough big plays that the game was winnable. We had way too many O-line pass protection breakdowns and the late turnovers were crushing. I have confidence that this team isn't that far off from being a force in the East after tonight, whereas after the Regina debacle I was wondering whether we could have beaten the MacNab Lions circa 1980.

Have at it!

Oski Wee Wee,

Russ

Can someone explain why we did a QB draw on the last play of the game? Pathetic. And if that wasnt by design, what was lefeveur thinking? I dont even know where to begin. Our D I thought played great, and kept us in it. I think we have the potential to have an amazing defence this year.

BUT we arent going anywhere until we fix this offence and oline. Our oline was a joke, again. Our qbs looked questionable, bonehead moves is what did us in. Gable looked great as usual. We aren't going anywhere until we patch up this oline. If we can fix that, were a championship contender, we dont fix it, then were hard pressed to win a handful of games this year. Dunno what can be done but something needs to be done. May help with fantux and ellingson HOPEFULLY back in 2 weeks. lets regroup and not crap the bed in calgary.

Getting tired of this BS year in and year out! I am getting too old for this crap. We had the lead we decided to give it back to them. I do not care who is in at QB you got there because you can lead the team not hand the freekin game away. Oline crap again same old crap just another year. Totally fed up with this team and ownership. I thought Austin was the guy and I still want to believe he is but this is his team he built and I am not impressed at all.

If the team practices ball security, they will win. They will learn from this one. Especially the young QB’s.

Really impressed by Coe, Lawrence and Butler on D. The French kid who filled in for Thurmond at DE also did a good job.

I was happy to see Gable get the ball more.

In general, Cats committed too many turnovers and penalties.

Cats were guilty of quite a few missed throws and dropped balls.

Tasker and Grant both had some nice catches. Grant needs to be more consistent. Koch looks like he might have scored on that go route if he hadn't had to slow down for the ball.

Protection is still suspect, but looked a lot better than last week.

We seemed to get decent pressure on Reilly at times. Sucks to see a young guy taken out by a knee injury in his first game (Thurmond).

Edmonton left lots of points on the field: Bowman's dropped TD pass and the missed field goals.

Cats still have a lot to improve, but looked nowhere near as bad as last week.

Only game 2, with 16 to go, but at this early stsge of the season this team looks unprepared and out coached (especially by Richie Hall).

Too many penalties, poor execution, and lack of leadership has reared its ugly he be ad with the purging of the veteran leadership of Burris, Hage, Stala, Johnson etc.

This team looks too young and too inexperienced because of Austin's moves.

It will be intereting watch his purported football acumen as the rest of the long season unfolds. I'm not sold,...yet.

There seems to be some doubting Thomases still! After last year I would have thought that we all would have learned that Kent Austin teams don't materialize in Games 1, 2, 3, or even 4 of the season. They are works in progress. Most of us understand that the sheep are separated from the goats after Labour Day and that is likely his goal, to get the team ready to play "real football" by September 1. That said, we should also realize that we have a very young team and they are going to be prone to miscues and penalties while they learn the coaches' systems and also the tendencies and tricks of the other teams in the League. Let's all step back and take a deep breath and enjoy the ride. Last night's defensive performance was a marked improvement from week 1 and I thought that the O-line looked a little better in the 2nd half. Also, we are missing some key personnel in the offense and when they return we will likely see better offensive performances. Keep the faith, we're going to be in the Grey Cup again this year!

Well at least this team is consistent,this lose makes it 6 years in a row that the Cats have lost their first two games of the season to open up at 0-2.The good news is that with the exception of the 2012 season,they've comeback to turn it around and make the play-offs in each of those seasons.This season though,even at only 2 games in and with still 16 to go IMO could go south and quickly if we don't fix the sad excuse for an O-Line and get some of our key players back off of the ever growing IL.
Luckily for us is that so far this early in the season it looks like there is no clear cut favourite in what appears to be a very weak East Division this season.I wouldn't be at all surprised to see 8 or 9 wins get you 1rst place this season and 6 or 7 wins getting somebody a 2nd place finish. I'm thinking that with Calgary up next our 0-2 will soon be 0-3 before we face Hank and the REDBLACKS and the improved Bombers in games 4 and 5. I hate to say it but I think we will be lucky to duplicate our 1-4 start we had last season and we could possibly be looking at 0-5 to start the year. :cry:

So we start the season 0-2. Our next game is against the Stamps in Calgary. I know the Cats won't lay over but I also don't think they can beat Calgary in Cow Town. 0-3. Then it's Ottawa in Hamilton. Burris will have a huge chip on his shoulder. It will be a tough one but I'm thinking we go 0-4 to start the season. If Winnipeg keeps playing the way the have for the first two games, 0-5. By the time Labour Day rolls around, 1-6.

All of this is assuming everything stays the same, which I am sure it wont. We should have Fantuz and Ellingson back by the time we play in Calgary and Dyakowski should be back before Labour Day.

I think the term my kids would have for last night's game is "Epic Fail". This was a game for the taking. The Eskimos did not look that strong, and the Ti-Cats had this game in their hands and just gave it away in the fourth quarter (up by 10 points with the ball, and then gave up 14 unaswered points). They ended up coming up a yard or two short of winning it on the last play.

The problems were pretty easy to see, some poor decisions and execution by some young QBs, an O-Line that is still getting established, a lot of poor penalties early on, an offense that often sputtered and had trouble consistently sustaining drives, a defense that was occassionally burned on blitzes, and IMO not enough utilization of CJ Gable in the offense.

I could go on to discuss all the things that went wrong, but we all saw the game, and most issues are not difficult to see.

Although we are 0-2, I don't think it is too difficult to see some good things, and know what to expect this year. The CFL has a short training camp and pre-season, so you can see lots of teams are still rounding into shape. We have three young unproven QBs, and I fully expect to see some inconsistancy out of this position. Hopefully one will step up to lead the team and will stay healthy throughout the season. Collaros looks pretty good, but is still a little slow to make reads, and sometimes struggles throwing the ball, Masolli has a cannon but it isn't accurate and after last night showed his inneperience, LeFavour is a powerful runner but he is not composed and his arm is supsect. Each of these QBs made some good plays last night, but each was also incosistent and turned the ball over. Reduce the turnovers, get them a little more protection, learn how to deal with the blitz and the team will improve considerable. As much as the O-Line got beat a few times, they looked much better this week. With our ratio situation, I am certain we will get this worked out, and have a better line as time goes on and they play together. CJ Gable continues to look solid, and are receivers played pretty well with two starters currently out. Our defense played much better last night. While there were not a ton of sacks, there were plenty of hurries which ended up in poor passes. The speed on the defense is evident as they swarm to balls. The D-Line also looked solid against the run, Lawrence was a beast shooting gaps and stopping the running back on several occassions. This defense is also tough. They put a licking on the QB and made numerous big hits. That's real Ti-Cat defense. Our special teams coverage was nothing short of amazing. Edmonton only had one lengthy return. Most were very short, and again these guys are really tough. The return game could still use some work. There were a few good returns, and most were OK.

I still can't believe the Ti-Cats lost the game. When they were up by 10 I was thinking if they scored again I would go to bed. Boy, that didn't work out.

I like a lot of what I saw. They need to work on the little things, and we all need to realize that the QB situation is what it is. Hopefully as we get further into the season our QBs will be making plays to win games instead of plays that lose the game. As a friend of mine have always said, in the CFL you will only go as far as your QB will take you. Right now it's a little uncertain where the Ti-Cat QBs will be able to take this team. Unlike a few short years ago, I also have a lot of faith in the Ti-Cat staff to continue to improve the on-field talent as they did last year.

For those making predictions about the next few games, I wouldn't look too far ahead. Things can change in a heartbeat in this league, just like they did last night in the fourth quarter.

PJ

I agree with pjones.
I was not expecting a magical turnaround after that debacle in Regina. I was expecting some improvement...and that's exactly what happened. The defence played very well last night and looks like it will improve and be a strong unit this season.
The O line is still very bad but the play calling showed some improvement and variety. I think Collaros will become a very good QB once the O-line gets fixed.
We lost 4 of the first 5 games last year before things improved but that will be a tougher thing to do this season with Ottawa in our division and looking very competitive.
Silly mistakes and coughing up the football can be cut down by good coaching. We saw Kent Austin and his crew work wonders last season after a lousy start .I'll bet he does the same thing this season.
He has a five year program to come up a championship team with depth and stability. We all need to get behind him through the bad games and not give up on the team. I think he can do it.

The CFL season with its 18 games amongst 9 teams and short training camp is a marathon more than it is a sprint. There are countless examples of slow starts finishing in playoff success or even championships in the CFL.

Consider last year's squad in Regina earned a 37-0 defeat. This year in a monsoon without a Hall of Fame QB and with a beleaguered o-line, the result was 31-10. Last year the team lost its first game against an otherwise useless Edmonton team in Guelph 30-20. This year with our starting QB knocked out of the game against a confident Edmonton team, the Cats held a lead into the 4th and lost by 4 on the road. I know Hamilton defeated a hapless Edmonton on the road last year but it was later in the season and that's moreover to my eventual point that if each game is better than the last, there's no reason to think the team cannot be a competitor in the last third of the season and into the playoffs.

Last year's Cats started 1-4, finished 10-8 with a Grey Cup berth. The 2011 BC Lions started 1-5, later 2-7 before finishing 11-7 and winning the Grey Cup.

Perhaps the most troubling aspect to this is our current problem is at o-line. The o-line is the most fundamental component to the offence's success. Though it was still extremely poor, the performance improved game 2 from game 1. Hopefully the sack count is less than 5 in our next outing. The bye week should provide some time to look at the problem areas.

Even if we eventually do regress from last year's results, I think the team sticking with current management is well positioned to grow around a fast, young contingent and be successful for years to come.

I agree with a number of posters on here - blue tees, cashandcarry, pjones, safetyblitz, mr62cats and joedavtav.

This team showed improvement over last week although there were still way too many penalties and mistakes. They are young, Collaros is still learning the offense but they will improve. Considering there were a couple of totally new starters on the O line last night, I thought they had a better game (not to say there isn't loads of room for improvement). The D showed the advantage of having a year in the system with many of them having played together. While we would all like to see a great start with no losses, and may have been expecting that given some roster and coaching consistency from last year, I'll take a steadily improving team that consistently wins down the stretch over one that starts fast and then fades leaving fans wondering if they will make it to the post season.

Can anyone imagine BC and Hamilton in the Grey Cup just now? :slight_smile:

Despite it being a heartbreaking loss, I saw a lot of good things that give hope for the coming season. The one person that really impressed me was Masolli. Despite throwing for 5-15, he was getting good yardage, and came close to finding wide open receivers. The best part of his game is the quickness of his release. Reminds me a lot Danny McManus. With some work and experience I think he could be a real keeper.

There were positives that I felt happened in this game.

First off, for once it appeared that our D.Line and Pass Rush was finally getting some penetration and pressuring the QB. There were a lot of goofs by Riley that were a direct result of pressure.

Medlock seems to be finding his stride and distance again, as there were a couple times we traded with the Esk and were able to push them back on the punting game.

The second positive was most of Masoli's play. He seemed to handle the job decently enough, and if not for his turnover (which is something that I hope Austin coaches out of him, specifically the need to slide as a QB) I though he contributed well enough.

Also, CJ Gable showed he still is a high impact RB.

However there were negatives.

First and foremost, the O.Line taking nearly three quarters to finally start offering decent protection is still the biggest issue.

The second was the play of Bakari Grant. We know Bakari is a better receiver then that, and too many dropsies and the out of bounds catch hurt us.

but all and all we need more offensive production, something that only comes with having healthy star players. Something that the league I guess doesn't feel is too important given three high impact starters have been taken out of games on illegal or reckless hits without so much as a flag or a fine.

I don't sugarcoat the play of the O-line, although in game 2 it showed some signs of coming together.

But probably Wojt is well under 100%. O'Neill was a good player for the Cats last couple of years, but more recently at guard than at centre. Myddelton has not done a lot of starting last couple of years: I think he was brought in as an experienced depth player more than a starter, basically the best they were likely to get on the free agent market. So the Ti-Cats in the second game started an O-line with two American rookies and a Canadian rookie. Obviously they are going to need some time.

You're never as good as you look when you win, nor are you as bad as you look when you lose.

With all the well-documented issues with the offensive line, it was only normal for them to struggle out the gate. But every game they play together will be an improvement. More than anything, a good O-line relies on cohesion and familiarity with the guy to your left or right. Picking up each other's tendencies lets you flow to your assignment faster, make protection calls pre-snap, and generally do a better job of protecting the quarterback.

The good news for the Cats is: the number one problem on offence is clearly identifiable (O-line), and can be fixed.

Russ,

First, thank you for bringing the witches out of winter storage for another season.

I am optimistic for 2014, and know that Austin will make the adjustments on people/schemes needed to reach victory in November.

Now, if only I can only stop referring to the Redblacks as the "Rough Riders!"