DEfense 2010

The Als offense still looks good but the defense was horrible. The obvious deficiencies were at the corner- we could better have used Estelle and Sanchez had they been available. This spot has to be an area for extreme concern at this point in time. The Sask running attack powered through the defensive line at will. THe Riders offensive line blew open holes for Wes Cates and Duran who easily scampered around the Als defensive rush. I kept wonderingif Belicasiak was present on the team as there was no mention of him- also questioning why the team allowed K. Williams to go to BC? The only defensive player who demonstrated his positive status was Chip Cox who played a great game. I am beginning to wonder if Duval is continuing the slide downward from his functioning in the 09 Grey Cup. I was hoping the Als would have looked at Maver as a priority in the 2010 Canadian draft. Robertshaw failed to impress as he was blown away easily by the Riders defensive team and, he was called for being off side a couple of times.

A couple of notes on offense- great passing attack and over all offensive play. Brian Bratton deserved his promotion to first string status- he had some good runs which could be a mighty weapon as the season develops. Maypray might the guy who returns the ball as shown in his speed returning a missed field goal for a TD. The coaches should tell him , however, that powerful winds are a factor in this league- especially in western cities.

A very entertaining opening game. I am also glad that the NFL will be broadcasting about 15 games this season.

Well, we were treated to a an almost unbelieveable back-and-forth barnburner. It looked for a while like the Als were going to dominate as they have in the early part of the season for that last several seasons. HOWEVER - the game, boys, lasts 4 quarters, not 3! I have never been a great fan of "prevent defence" until and unless your team is up by 35 points and there is only 2 minutes left. Until that time, gentlemen of the D - it's black flag! No quarters! Keep the heat turned up full! No letup on the opposing QB!

AC and the Als O did a marvellous job on O and welcome to the league, Tim Maypray! Let's get things straightened up on D for next game - 40 points ought to be more than enough to win football games.

We had some massive breakdowns in coverage in the second half. Best (worst) example was the Bagg TD where somehow Samuels played the outside third thinking he had help from Cox or Parker, help which never came. Protecting a 21-point lead, it is unforgivable to let the other team score 21 points in less than five minutes. If you're going to give up those points, make them work for it by driving slowly down the field. I have to wonder what Burke was thinking in the second half, as I found his playcalling to be awful.

Then there was the run defense. Or more precisely, the complete absence of any run defense. The Riders ran over us at will, every which way. We couldn't contain Durant whenever he took off and the sweeps and misdirection runs gave us all kinds of trouble, as Cates was frequently past the linebackers before anyone even laid a hand on him.

I'm not worried about the offense, because they did a lot of things right last night in a losing cause. The defense? Boy, oh boy. Burke had better get this ship righted fast.

Als are short two corners and possibly a kicker...

Parker and Brown were just as poor last night at halfback. Dix at least forced a fumble on P-Rod even thought Rodriguez beat him later for the TD. Estelle's return will help a lot, but we need better coverage inside and no more breakdowns when someone has to switch off in zone. I saw Dressler all alone on intermediate routes many times last night with not a DB in sight until he'd picked up 15 yards. That is just garbage.

Assuming that Estelle is back for game 2, he'll be at boundary corner, Dix moves back to field, and Samuels will take a seat on the bench. Got that from Dix first hand. . .

But everyone, from Burke on down through the lineup, has to pull up their socks next time out.

I'm assuming that both Berry on offence and Etcheverry on defence made significant halftime adjustments, and the Als' didn't compensate. So not only did they lose. . . they were out-coached, which shouldn't happen too often. . .

The D line I thought was most ineffective when they had Wilson and Robertshaw at the tackle spots. Man was that brutal.

Robertshaw is a pile of crap. Don't know what incriminating photos he has of the coaching staff but he is not even fit to be in a rotation with McElveen, let alone a starter.

As I feared, we are really missing Keron Williams in the interior of the line. Last night, we never got pressure with a four-man rush.

Hey discipline, let's wait until next game. Everybody, regardless of what game they play or what they do in life, is going to screw up every now and again. Let's seen how they regroup against Edmonton. No offence intended, but the loss of a single player does not account for 54 points being scored against.
As a matter of fact, I will bet you a beer that the Als win the next game and hold their opposition to less than 20 points.

And, by the way, your insights are amazing. I make this wager with no small amout of trepidation.

Hey, dude, I won't take that bet. :slight_smile: I too think the Als will rebound and win next game. Not sure they'll hold their opposition to under 20 points, though.

As for a single player, I wasn't implying that Keron Williams was the only reason we gave up 54 points. But everything starts from the defensive line. If the line can't get pressure as a four-man unit, everything goes to hell. Robertshaw was crap, Bowman was not in game shape, and Wilson missed tackles. Anwar tried his best, and McElveen actually acquitted himself fairly well, but the whole line needs to be on point or we don't have success.

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Apparently, on one Sask TD, WE DIDN'T HAVE A DEFENSIVE END ON THE FIELD. In fact, we only had 11 men.

Wtf did the defense smoke last night?

Hopefully this loss kicks everyone in the ass and makes them understand that it's a new season, the Grey Cup win is in the past, and nobody is going to give them anything because they won it all last year.

I agree. As painful as it was to watch, I am glad this game happens very early in the season, and they know that they are beatable. Dressler is the new Jason Tucker in my opinion. Always has the Als' number.

Hard to give player of the game for Defense. From what I saw, Chip Cox was a ball hawk, seemed to be everywhere the ball was. I am starting to really like Ramon Guzman. To me, he had a real good game.

Anyways, I am anxious to see how the bounce back, especially against a tough western team on the road.

There's something I haven't seen mentioned yet: This is nothing new!

Last year The Roughriders, Eskimos, Ticats, and Bombers had HUGE passing games against the Alouettes.
How'd they do it? They went DEEP!!!
Have teams around the league woken up to this vulnerability...made even worse by the loss of Keron Williams and Davis Sanchez?

It's early....and just like the foolish talk of a "perfect season" last year (after 3 games)'s equally absurd to panic....yet.

But if that's all the pressure we're going to get on Ricky Ray next week and (shudder) Casey Printers in week 3, and somebody doesn't have the good sense to sack Dix and and put Woldu in on the other corner from Estelle...Herb's dire warnings of a possible 0-3 homecoming may well come true.

Watch them try to fill those extra 5,000 seats after THAT.

Hold on everone! Let's not push the panic button yet!

Yes, on D the Als stunk out the joint in the first game. There was no effective pass rush and there were glaring breakdowns on the deep routes. Let's see if the Als can come up with a response to this next game.

Let's not forget that AC and the O still racked up 40 points in the game before OT. Let's get things right on D and I think we will be fine!

I wonder if it was a combination of our being Grey Cup champions along with a big lead at the end of the first half, combined with the Riders being uber-motivated that caused the second half collapse. If so, it is a lesson well learned in game one of the season, as opposed to having it happen later on. . . .

Frankly, the defense didn't look ready to play. They looked slow, gassed, and sloppy the whole game, and particularly during the second half. We had no pressure on Durant because our D-line was ineffective, and Burke refused to switch to more blitz packages to force Durant into bad decisions (which worked, incidentally, on the occasions when we did blitz).

I'm not going to panic just yet. One awful game for the D doesn't mean anything in the grand scheme of things. The litmus test will be next week against Edmonton. If they come out and play like the 2009 defense, we can rest easy that this week was just a blip on the radar. If, however, they mess the bed again, it is definitely cause for concern.

In my opinion, too many missed takles by our Dline(i'll give it to DD, he is one evasive qb). also, the player that disappointed the most during that game was Mathieu Proulx, he seemed out of sync on many many plays. However, if I recall, he started the same way last year and came back on top. I loved his comments on rds after the game, when asked about the defense, he said: ''c'était de la marde'' et ''j'ai joué comme un pied'' LOL... at least, he noticed.

Pierre Vercheval made a heads up Hypotomuse as he usually does. He wrote on RDS (I'm just paraphrasing because it is in French)The Starting defense only played a quarter of football in the two pre-season games and in his opinion that hurt them. While he agrees with the choice Trestman had to make if he wanted to evaluate some rookies.

Like you, I did read Pierre Vercheval's comments and wondered which rookies they "were looking at"; to me,there was basically no competition both offensively and defensively, during training camp. The only competition was between Chad Owens and Tim Maypray for return specialist. On the defense, only 1 rookie-Marc-Olivier Brouillette- made the team; once Estelle was injured,another rookie,Tanard Davis, was added.

Had there been defensive competition players such as Eric Wilson and Stanford Samuels would not be starters on defense. Eric Wilson had 12 tackles in 2008 and 13 in 2009 and 1 sack in each of these years. We can't find a better player? Why teams such as BC,Winnipeg,Hamilton and Toronto can find good defensive linemen and we can't? Last night,BC had 15 rookies,including 7 on defense, on their roster and they did beat Edmonton, thanks mostly on pressure put on Ricky Ray. He won't have the same pressure from us next Sunday. He may have a "field" day/game.

Presently, I don't expect us to win the next 2 games; I hope to be wrong.

Season could be long and like someone wrote before, there may not be too many sell-outs.


I dont think the sky is falling but there are some concerns. Keep in mind a very good offensive team - strong O line and Dressler did not play in the Grey Cup. To my untrained eyes Proulx, as has been mentioned, very slow in reacting, Guzman and Samuels seemed very hesitent, and I dont like the DL rotation using Bekasiak, MacDonald and Robertshaw. I realize it was hot in Regina, but I don`t think a rotation allows the top DL playmakers to get into a rhythm.
On the other hand, I thought Chip Cox played an amazing game - was all over the field and even blocked a punt.
My main concern is the boundary corner with Dix until Estelle returns. He will be tested against Edmonton.
Also see where the Als released Ivan Brown and Greg Middleton from the practice roster. Other moves to follow?