Early, but Mid-Season Evaluation

Okay, I know we're a week shy of halfway through the season, but I am too anxious to see what people have to say. How do you feel about the Als so far, in particular, coach Trestman.

I don't mean to be c**ky, but I knew this team would be #1 in the East at this point of the season.

A lot of questions were asked about Coach Trestman. He was regarded as a 'Offensive Genius' and this league is based around Offense. We've added a lot of depth to this Offense, and our Defense was good last season, and pretty much remained the same, on the roster side.

Our 2 major issues last season, was the 2 lines. Offensive line, we have given up less than more than HALF the sacks we had at this point, which is a huge improvement. Defensive line, were #1 in Sacks this season, Keron Williams and Anwar Stewart have been huge for us. We're #1 in sacks, not bad for a team that hardly sends in the blitz.

Kudos to Trestman. He made virtually a nobody in Cobourne, to a lethal threat. Who would of thunk? I knew he had potential, but I never imagined he'd be as valuable as he is for us.

Anthony Calvillo has been the Comeback Player of the Year. He's been phenomenal. Everyone questioned his ability to play, and/or claimed that he is done, again, I don't mean to be cocky, but if you look at the history of my posts, I called it. He has been the best Quarterback this season for sure.

Our Offense is a steamroller. Saskatchewan has an incredible Defense, and we put up a lot of points against them. Right now, the nominees for Offensive player of the Year, definately Cobourne and Calvillo are in the mix.

Defensively, we haven't been brilliant, but they haven't been bad. This Defense should be a wall with all the talent they have, but we all seem to agree, the scheme isn't the best for this type of Offense. Reggie Hunt hasn't disappointed me. I know I've said I am a huge Hunt fan, but the leadership he displays on the field is awesome. He is such a team player, and it's players like that, that makes teams come together. Statistically, he's been great for the time he's been in there. He took over the Interception lead on this team, in his first game he played for us. He's not the leader anymore. Speaking of Linebackers, I think we have a candidate in Defensive player of the Year, in TJ Hill.

Keron Williams has been Gold. Great pickup, and his presence on the field is felt all the time, and him being a threat, has made Anwar Stewart step up his game, and he's doing awesome this year as well.

Special Teams, you can't complain about Damon Duval. Whatever he did in the Off-Season, paid off. He has been on target all season, he was bound to have an off night. And what about Larry Taylor? A legitimate threat when he gets his hand on the ball.

In our losses, Calgary had us beat. They did a great job. But our 2 losses to B.C and Saskatchewan, we had them beat but our coaches lack of knowledge in the CFL's 2 minute warning, bit us in the behind. He's learned from his mistakes, and understands a team can score 3 TDs in the 2 minutes, unlike the NFL. I think he understands it now, and he showed a different strategy in the last 2 games when it came down to finishing an opponent.

I am satisfied, I think we are the best team in the East, and we possible could be best in the league. They just got to play every team, the way they play the Eastern teams.

Agree with all of that, but 2 others need mentioning:

  1. Vince Martino, for a great job with our offensive line, turning a weak spot from last year into a strength this year.

  2. Jim Popp, for doing what he does best, and bringing in lots of good new talent to the team (Hunt, Cody, Carter, Woldu, Alexander, Larry Taylor, Chris Smith, Keron Williams).

A look at our 'washed-up, over the hill' QB after 8 games:

67.8% completion percentage: 1st in the league
2648 total yards: 1st
331.0 average yards per game: 1st
20 TDs thrown: 1st
5 INTs thrown: tied for fewest among starting quarterbacks who have played 7 or more games
6 300-yard games: 1st
109.3 QB rating: 1st among quarterbacks who have played 4 or more games

Crow, anyone? :wink: :slight_smile:

I could care less what is stats are. As long as he dosen't choke in the big game...

This is a positive, and correct, analysis of the present status of the Als. Actually since this post Davis Sanchez and the rest of the defensive team has raised their level of play.

Calvillo is playing at a level higher than ever. It is a fallicy to blame him for the Als Grey Cup losses in past years. It takes a team effort to win a Grey Cup and, in the Als last kick at the can the defensive team was horrible as the opposing [BC ] QB ran and picked them apart with ease.

In addition, Colbourne’s receiving abilities have improved the receivers overall stats. We have seen fullbacks before who could catch on screens and other short passes [ Bruno Heppell ] but Colbourne’s long TD pass in the last game demonstrated he has the ability to go long also- this was a perfect catch to a perfect pass. I also rate Watkins as one who has lifted his performance level. He has always been great as a long receiver and now has shown a remarkable ability to run back to Calvillo when Calvillo scrambles. Deslauriers does not command his presence on the field and I noted that Desriveaux caught more passes against Toronto than Deslauriers has done all year- maybe a switch here?

Baring significant injuries, The Als should be playing in another Grey Cup game in Montreal.

Agreed. The only change I'd make on offence is replacing Deslauriers with Desriveaux; doesn't change the ratio and Desriveaux has shown more so far than Deslauriers.

If Deslauriers doesn't step up his game soon, he'll find himself on the bench, and rightfully so. He just doesn't seem interested in making plays for the ball. Sure, Calvillo has overthrown him a few times, but there have also been times when he's broken off his route prematurely and caused the ball to appear overthrown. He never lays out for a catch, never fights for extra yardage. Not impressed at all.

Kerry Carter has really impressed me this season. He's always been a good blocking fullback, but now he's showing that he can be an effective safety valve for Calvillo in pressure situations and with play action.