Cornerback

From the Als' website regarding day 4 of training camp:

"at cornerback, which has seen a strong battle between several players over the team’s 10 practices with Étienne Boulay, Paul Woldu, De’Audra Dix and Joshua Harris all in the mix."

Be afraid. Be very afraid. . .

Far be it for me to question the judgment of Trestman and Burke, given last year’s success, but OY. Major facepalm at Boulay and Dix being in the mix for the wide-side corner position. Dix can play any DB position but sucks at all of them. Boulay has speed and hits hard but doesn’t have the coverage skills to be an effective corner. I’d rather try converting Stanford Samuels, since Samuels is unlikely to displace Brown and Parker at halfback.

Anyhow, I’ll be curious to see how things shake out. The one thing in our favor is the fact that the wide-side corner is the longest throw for the QB to make. So whoever mans that spot won’t see a ton of balls thrown his way. Hopefully not, at any rate.

Interestingly, that's exactly what Herb is reporting, moving Samuels to corner:

"He’s [Samuels] battling De’Audra Dix and Canadian Paul Woldu for the spot vacated by Davis Sanchez, who signed with the B.C. Lions as a free agent."

[url=http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/football/montreal-alouettes/Samuels+maturing+into+player/3138665/story.html]http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/f ... story.html[/url]

My guess is that Boulay is in the mix for ratio reasons. . . he and Woldu are both non-imports.

But having seen Boulay try to play corner last season, I do not care to have that experience repeated. I'd keep him platooning with Proulx at safety, I think that is where his talent is best utilized. . . he might also be able to make the move up to LB as did Cox last season, but with Cox and Ferri at OLB and Guzman to back them up, there's no room there.

Interesting.

I'm probably being too harsh on Dix, though. It's not that he sucks per se. It's that he really looked out of place last season filling in for various injured players. Opposing teams picked on him with too much success. Maybe this is the year he takes a step forward. In any case, if it winds up being a two-man race between Dix and Samuels, I'm all for the healthy competition. It will push both men to excel if each knows that his spot isn't secure.

As for Sanchez, I wish him the best in BC (though not when we play the Lions, of course). That being said, age caught up with Davis last season, and I don't really regret his leaving at all. He's lost a step and frequently gives up big gains to his receiver because he tries to break on the ball for the INT instead of simply sticking with his man. It's not that he has no gas left in the tank. He can still play at a high level. But at this point in his career, he's a bit too inconsistent for my liking. Some games, he looked like the Sanchez of old. Others, he looked like an old Sanchez.

Whats a bit disappointing in all this is the fact that Paul Woldu hasnt grabbed the position by now. Its his 3rd year and he was kind of heralded as Sanchezs successor. There were even a couple of games down the stretch last year where he was not even dressed. We also traded Donovan Alexander to Sask. and he ended up as a starter with them.
So is this a make or break camp for Woldu?

Alexander was their starter that we exploited in that second half, Woldu may need 3 years on the roster, many CIS player need that, even worse for us with our roster depth.

My feeling is that it's unlikely that any Canadian will grab that corner spot this year. There's a reason Canadian cornerbacks are extremely rare. We typically play over the minimum NI requirement so Trestman and Burke may well opt to fill Sanchez's spot with an import. No use playing a Canadian just for extra ratio room if he can't get the job done.

Boulay, Wlodu, Dix et Harris sont dans la course. Boulay a démontré l'an dernier que son calibre de jeu fait qu'il mérite un poste de partant dans cette équipe. Le problème, c'est que Woldu et Dix aussi!

Boulay est un joueur très efficace, concentré, discipliné, un joueur d'équipe qui a non seulement admirablement bien remplacé Proulx, mais qui a fait sentir sa présence à tous les match auxquels il a participé. Il a sauvé le match de la Coupe Grey en récupérant le botté échappé en fin de match. Sans ce jeu, la remontée des Alouettes s'arrêtait là. Boulay a montré qu'il sait hausser son niveau de jeu à mesure que l'enjeu augmente. C'est pourquoi je le verrais partant comme demi de coin.

Woldu a abattu un boulot de première classe sur les unités spéciales. Il est rapide, solide et manque rarement un plaqué. Au minimum, il pourrait être le deuxième preneur sur cette position.

Dix était une recrue l'an dernier. Il est rapide et couvre assez bien ses receveurs. Il s'est constamment amélioré mais il a besoin d'encore un peu de temps pour parfaire son jeu. Il a commis quelques erreurs d'inexpérience l'an dernier (c'est normal), et les adversaires semble défier sa petite taille en le jumelant à des receveurs beaucoup plus grands que lui. Encore une ou deux saisons, et Dix ne devrait rien avoir à envier à Estelle.

J`aime votre analyse LeStaf sauf que vous avez oublie Stanford Samuels dans tout ca. A cause de son experience il a peut-etre une legere avance sur les autres.
A cause de son polyvalence, je vois Boulay plutot comme 6ieme demi dans les situations de passe.

À l'heure actuelle, Boulay, Woldu, Chandler, Snowden et Dix semblent se disputer le poste. Cette position devrait être partagée entre Boulay et Woldu, qui sont canadiens. Boulay est respecté et a montré comme remplaçant de Mathieu Proulx qu'il peut faire une bonne couverture et qu'il peut bien lire le jeu. Woldu a fait de très belles choses sur les unités spéciales, et il a la vitesse pour suivre les ailiers éloignés. Quand à Dix, il s'est beaucoup amélioré vers la fin de la saison et devrait conserver son poste comme demi défensif.

Je vous avoue candidement que je n'ai pas vu Samuels beaucoup jouer, sauf sur les unités spéciales, où malgré du bon jeu, il a été plus discret que Woldu.

Boulay sucks at corner. Safety and corner are two very different positions with different physical and mental requirements. I like Boulay a lot at safety: he's got great wheels and hits like a freight train. At corner, no damn way.

It's a tough spot for Etienne because Proulx to my mind is the better safety. He's not as fast, and doesn't hit quite as hard, but he reads the field better. Mind you, Proulx has trouble staying healthy, so a platoon situation would probably work this season.