Defense 2011

Okay, boys and girls. What's to be done?

Yes, we're 2-0, but that 2-0 mark is largely the result of a sizzling offense. Our defense needs to be able to win us a few games this season, because Calvillo isn't going to go off for 5 TDs every week.

I do see some good things. John Bowman continues to play at a high level. Billy Parker had what I thought was a quietly effective game against Saskatchewan. Dwight Anderson is already showing why he is worth the money. But as a unit, the D is lacking.

What, in your opinion, are the biggest problems?

I also want to echo Niagara's observation and give props to Dix for turning in a strong performance. He wasn't victimized on any big plays that I remember and he played smart, assignment-sharp, yet physical football.

The pass rush is probably the biggest problem. The front 4 cannot get any pressure. And, when the Als blitz, it seems there blitzes are always picked up by the opposing offense. So, they are getting no pressure either way. Any quarterback with time will be effective, even Cleo Lemon might have a good game if he consistently has 5 seconds to throw the ball.

Another thing I noticed is that the linebackers seem to have disappeared. They are anonymous/non existent on most plays. They do not seem to be having an impact. I don't recall many plays from Cox, Emry, Guzman or Ferri. A stat that supports this is the number of tackles. The 3 Als players who have accumulated the most tackles are Anderson (12), Estelle (11) and Parker (8). Guzman, Emry, and Ferri have 4 tackles each. Cox has only 2!

Usually, in a good defence, the linebackers should be getting the bulk of the tackles. It is usually not a good sign when the players in the secondary are getting so many tackles.

I don't believe the linebackers have lost that much ability in one year. They are all young enough. There must be something wrong with the schemes/strategies.

Gabe, I agree that the linebackers have been invisible. It's puzzling me. It may be tempting to blame Tibesar, but he's been the LB coach for the past few years. Is it that he no longer has time to coach them up properly? None of them look good or interested in flying to the football, which is probably why our run D has suddenly declined.

I did notice yesterday that Tibesar is experimenting with some Chris Jones style disguises at the line, like having the front-seven mill about at the LOS with only one d-linemen in a three-point stance so as to give the opposing QB no indication of where the rush will be coming from. It didn’t work particularly well, but I like that we’re trying new things.

For years, I felt that we needed a very good DT and I feel the same today; while we have a good defence,it would be much better with the addition of a good DT; unfortunately,it is hard to find,at least for us.

While I have no doubts that Jim Popp knows it, he has not recruited the "perle rare",yet.

When we compare our defence with other, we realize that we are a smaller defence; we tend to focus more on speed. Just for comparative purpose, I compared the yards gained and given by us and Hamilton,for the first 2 games of 2011. Why Hamilton? Since the beginning of the season,TSN and Media have,again and again, mentionned that Hamilton has the best 3 linebackers in the CFL; they keep praising praised Renauld Williams; what an off-season signing; the same for Avon. Best RB and what will the Als do. Well,after 2 games we gained 214 yards rushing,compared with 141 for Hamilton; we allowed 135 yards rushing,compared with 276 for Hamilton. Not too bad. Avon has definitely realized that in Hamilton he does not have the same support/ as good personnel as with the Als. A few more games like the first 2 and he too will complain.

I have confidence in our defence and coaching staff; adjustments will be made to improve,at least I hope. We had a very good second half in yesterday's game and it should continue. We may not have as good a defence as Toronto or Winnipeg but,to our advantage we have much,much superior offense than them.


I can picture the call now....Jim Popp looking at his phone, why the heck is Avon calling me. Please Jimmy please Jimmy take me back, Please Please!

I agree about the LBs. Arguably, they have the toughest assignments on D. The D-lineman need to rush, but they also must contain. This is true for sweeps, that the LBs can key on individuals, size up the play, and come up to make the stop or drop back into zone or short coverage.

Usually, the LBs are considered the 2nd line of D. When it gets to the DHs/S (as was often the case yesterday), you're in trouble; that means the guys up front can't get the job done.

It is difficult to judge from TV coverage as the cameras tend to focus on the RB or QB; it's not always apparent how the LBs are arrayed, and that's where the problem may be.

Also, the blitz package needs work. Once in while, bring the house. At others, line up as if you are about to bring the house and let at least 2 LBs drop into medium coverage. You have to mix up your schemes and keep the opposing O guessing. There is always risk involved, of course, but this is football!

Not only that but take Cox for example he’s having to run down guys like Tristan jackson for 70 yards then go in for his turn on defense. The Special Teams is fracking up everything.

To me that's letting Chip off the hook. He's looked like a ghost since the season started, and you can't attribute that solely to our ST gaffes. He was beaten badly on the Getzlaf TD, he's not tackling anybody, he's not making plays, and generally he's been invisible. He'd better get it in gear soon, along with the rest of the linebackers. Jkm is right: it's a bad sign when the top three tacklers on our team are defensive backs.

He wasn't beaten by Gezlaf, there is no way the deep corner was his assignment, you might have seen him there cause he was the closest to the play but it isn'this job to cover the slotback that deep into the end zone. I don't really have a problem with the defense. it will give yards and some big plays but as long as they continue to force the QB deep it is very difficult to sustain drives and control the clock.

How do you know it isn't his job? Do you have Tibesar's playbook?

Seriously, dude, that's a lame excuse for Cox. Cox often gets assigned a receiver in coverage and it's entirely possible that Berry put in a play package designed to match Getzlaf up against our weakest cover man.

In any case, no pass rush = bad news. If you're okay with not pressuring the quarterback and needing our offense to post up 30+ points every game, that's your right.

I am not saying everything is perfect and you don't have Tibesar's playbook either. You think he got beat but you don't know anymore than I do.

Defense is not perfect but it is adequate early in the season considering Brown and Brouillete got injured. Dix played well. Hecht for a 2 year starter out of SMU wasn't a liability. As for the linebackers I don't know because I watch the games on TV so they've been out of the frame quite a bit. Dline well Bowman got another sack. They contained Durant very well, knocked down a bunch of passes which for me is almost as good as a sack.

While I'm all for "flying off the handle" and making wild statements with a minimum of information
I'd say it's a bit early to know anything about these various aspects of the 2011 Alouettes

How good/bad our team is can be said to be a product of how good/bad our opponents are
And until we've gone the rounds of the opposition at least once...a lot will remain unclear

For's a bit worrying that the Alouettes are basically in last place in the sack race
While it's true that sacks are not the ultimate gauge of the effectiveness of a pass rush
It is and indicator of sorts
And Lulay and Durant really didn't seem to be in too much trouble in the two games we've played so far
With a few exceptions.

It could be said that using Diamond Ferri at "rush-end" in the Grey Cup was one of those "strokes of genius" that every Championship team needs. While Burke had his detractors last year (myself included) there's no question that the regular season defensive woes got turned around in the post-season...impressively so. Also impressive is the job he seems to be doing in Winnipeg.

There's bound to be some adjustment to a team that was set with Jerald Brown as one of it's main pillars of strength.

But just as it's too early to be dumping on the team's flaws, I'm a little amused that everyone is singing Dix's great Whitaker is...or how Maypray isn't hurting the team.
Wait for a loss or two (yes...we are going to lose a few games...barring a miracle)
Then we can start asking ourselves where our strengths and weaknesses lie.

Until then....I'm content to sit back and enjoy an early season winning streak
And let the 0-2 teams wrack their brains

:thup: :thup: :thup:

Une partie de l'explication de la pauvre réolte de plaqués de nos secondeurs est que les adversaires ont beaucoup testé notre tertiaire. Avec la perte de Brown, c'était un champ à exploiter, ce qui a été fait avec plus de succès par les Lions (qui ont profité de l'instant de la blessure) que par les Roughriders (qui ont subi le fait que les Alouettes se soient entraînés en fonction de l'absence de Brown).

Notre défensive a assez bien fait. Elle a limité les dégâts en première demie et a su faire les ajustements qu'il fallait pour contenir les Roughriders. Après tout, ils n'ont marqué que 8 points en deuxième demie!

Notre défensive est encore en train de se bâtir. Certes, la poursuite du quart manque encore de vigueur et nos secondeurs semblent plutôt absents, mais dans l'ensemble, elle a su accomplir sa mission au cours de ces deux parties. Elle a arrêté les Lions plusieurs fois dans la zone payante et a su empêcher les Roughriders de s'inscrire au tableau de façon significative lorsque ça comptait.

Je crois que notre défensive va évoluer en s'améliorant, et qu'éventuellement, Cox, Guzman, Ferri et Emry feront plus parler d'eux.

Chapeau à Dix, il a disputé un bon match, même si Durant l'a un peu aidé.


I have a basis for my opinion: his proximity on the play. All you're doing is speculating. In the end, neither of us knows for sure, but defending Cox by saying there's 'no way' the playbook would have called him to defend the deep corner is silly. There are defensive plays in which the SAM backer is playing deep coverage. It's not unheard-of. Unless you have concrete evidence to suggest that Getzlaf wasn't Cox's responsibility, you have to accept what actually happened on film.

Defense is not perfect but it is adequate early in the season considering Brown and Brouillete got injured. Dix played well. Hecht for a 2 year starter out of SMU wasn't a liability. As for the linebackers I don't know because I watch the games on TV so they've been out of the frame quite a bit. Dline well Bowman got another sack. They contained Durant very well, knocked down a bunch of passes which for me is almost as good as a sack.
We have two sacks in two games. Our linebackers are not in the top three in tackles. Granted, we saw an improvement against SSK in the second half, so maybe they're starting to come together, but so far, we haven't looked good. And our run D has suddenly gone south. That's usually a function of poor play from the LB spot.

Have to admit, am pleasantly surprised by this comment. :thup:

We have 3 sacks

Number of tackles don't mean anything when your opposition can't sustain drives or complete passes.

Lions and Riders didn't burn us running the ball.

"Unless you have concrete evidence to suggest that Getzlaf wasn't Cox's responsibility, you have to accept what actually happened on film."

To play devil's advocate, do you have concrete evidence to suggest Getzlaf was Cox's responsibility?