Esks Dismantle Alouettes

There have been two questions this week on the CFL thread- Is Ricky Ray finished and will the Als have an undefeated season. Both questions were answered in tonights game. Ricky Ray, Calvin McCarty and the Eskimo team in general gave Montreal a sound beating. The Als started two excellent drives but wound up with two field goals. This team is the third worst [43.8%] CFL team in touchdowns from the red zone. The Als dominated offensive time played in the first half but this did not end in TD's and, the team was completely outplayed by the Esks. The Als tried to live via the short passing game which was innefective. Calvillo rarely attempted to go long despite the success he has had to date. In the first series of plays, Trestman inserted Larry Taylor into the offence attempting to utilize his speed via both running and passing plays which were uneventful and, for the rest of the game the short passing game prevailed. The Esks were the first team to go with the long pass and Ricky Ray, having plenty of time to complete, had a stellar game. The Esks, who dominated both the offensive and defensive lines , were the better team.

Calvin McCarty stood out for the Esks with his running, receiving, blocking, kick returning etc. Kamu Peterson has been playing great football. I remember his time at Winnipeg and Hamilton when, with his great speed, he was able to get into the clear but, would drop the TD pass. He is excelling with Edmonton. A week ago the Als made some half time shifts which led to victories but, nothing different came from the Als in the second half. The EE's outplayed Montreal and, deserved the victory!

I sort of had a bad feeling in the first quarter; two nice long marches into the red zone, and only two field goals to show for it. I sort of thought right then that it was not to be. We've really got to do something about our red zone production. We're close to the bottom of the heap in terms of red zone TD production; which is really inexcusable for an offence as good as ours. We probably lead the league in times reaching the red zone, but we need more TDs and less Duval.

2Ti2:22

per Lady C 2 :frowning: , and friends, and friends of friends...

And last night, everything I was worried about came to a head in an ugly way.

Still don't believe me when I say the offense has issues? We LEAD THE LEAGUE in field goals, people! That is not a stat to be proud of. The red-zone production was absolutely brutal and as much as execution played a part in it, I am very skeptical of Trestman and Milanovich's red-zone strategy this season. All those short passes and draws don't work because the DBs are playing tight press coverage: they don't fear being beaten over the top and we make no attempt to stretch them by actually trying to hit a receiver with a pass in the end zone itself.

I think our offense has gotten stale and predictable, frankly. Teams have figured us out and will give us the dink and dump stuff underneath until we get into scoring range, where they stiffen up. It's baffling. We have two guys with big-play capability in Watkins and Richardson and here we are just content with these stupid little 5-yard passes ALL DAY LONG.

I don't mind the loss itself at all. We were due for one and Edmonton has always been a difficult place for us to win. It's the way we lost that bothers me. This offense has been getting worse each week, not better, but nobody said anything because the defense was winning us games and we were getting lucky with turnovers and other teams shooting themselves in the foot. Well, last night Ricky Ray showed us that we can't keep relying on our defense to hold the line when our offense goes two-and-out or settles for field goals.

Trestman had better figure this crap out. My patience with the dink and dump is wearing very thin.

Another subpar performance on special teams as well. The Esks ripped off big gains all night and Taylor was smothered.

I hate Squires so much. His unit never looks ready to play and it's always one problem or another from week to week.

I was at that game and Montreal looked bad minus one or two drives.

The thing I found that hurt us the most was, #69 Willson? taking horrible penalties all game. I know the whole team overall didn't play well, but his penalties came at perfect times to kill any momentum.

I also wonder why it is that in our first 12-16 scripted plays, the run features so infrequently. That, in itself, has become a tendency that I’m sure teams have isolated and attacked. If you watch our opening drives, we never come out of the chute running. Never. Always with short passes. And we all know that if you never challenge yourself on a tendency, you get stale and ineffective, because the other team’s D.C. gets paid too and he’ll eventually figure out how to shut you down.

What alerts me to the playcalling deficiency is how we attack the field differently in second and long. Suddenly, the intermediate routes open up and we see Calvillo hitting receivers with passes of 10 yards or more. Yet on second and medium or second and short, we invariably revert to our comfort zone: 3, 4, or 5-yard underneath patterns. Well, those are great when mixed in with intermediate routes and deep routes to keep defenses honest, but not so hot when EVERYONE IN THE BALL PARK knows you’re going to try a short pass or a running play (which incidentally, wasn’t working for us on second down either last night).

Just once, on second and short, I’d like to see us stretch the field. Even if the pass is incomplete, it stretches the defense and gives them one more thing to think about in those situations.

My observations and comments…

Dario Romero vs Eric Wilson… Dario really hurt us last night. killed at least 3 drives, maybe more.

Ray found his touch last night and the Eskimo D found ways to free Fred Stamps over and over again. The defense has been exposed.

Our Als looked tired. Maybe its time to give the guys a few days rest. I know Trestman is practicing them hard plus 3 trips out west in five weeks and two short weeks. Mark the boys deserve and need a break. This was very obvious to me on special teams.

Als need to stretch the field more, teams are curling up on the Als.

Also I’m not sure how healthy Duval is maybe its just my imagination, who knows ?

As far as the loss. It really dosen’t bother me much. I figured the Als would be 2-3 or 3-2 after this five game stretch and we sit at 4-1 with a bunch of new and changes in the Linebacker and DB starters.

The toughest chunk of the season is done with and I think with a bit of rest and a little imagination our boys will have the energy and stimulus to play with an edge.

This team has a lot of heart. I’m not even concerned.

Oh and Hassal, Dimantle ? :roll:

We win 4 games in a row fans and even some media are talking about a "perfect' seadon; we lose 1 and we are "lousy"/dismantled and so on. We are playing against professional opponents who are just as good as us; no game is or will be easy.

In the Spring/beginning of season,when I was looking at the schedule,I expected that we would be,at best, 3-2 at the end of July; we are 4-1. I am more than happy.

This being said I feel that we will have to improve in some areas in order to be in the Grey Cup; changes/improvements are extremely difficult we we take into account the import/non-import ratio.

Here are the areas where I feel /hope that we will need to improve.

Defensive Tackle: At best Eric Wilson is a "reserve"/replacement and not a starter; hope that Darrell Campbell will improve to replace him as starter.
Anwar Stewart is "Joe Hussle" but not a "great" defensive end; hoping that Jermaine McElveen will play more and improve.
On the defensive line we have faster but smaller players; we can't "overpower" some of bigger teams.

In the last 2 games S.J.Green caught 1 pass for 11 yards; talent wasted but he cannot replace Jamell. In the next game he may not dress; Hawkins or Whitaker could dress.

Larry Taylor is one of the best punt returner but average on kickoff returns; again, somebody like Chad Owens could be activated.

While Eric Deslauriers is not great, I hope that he will be OK for next game; his return will or would send Green to injured or practice roster. His return and the deletion of Green would free an import spot; either a Hawkins,a Whitaker,an Owens or even a Stanford Samuels.

We don't have a dominant player/tackler on special teams; again,easy to say but harder to improve; Guzman had a good first game,but normal since.

The month of August should be excellent; I foresee a 3-0 month.

Richard

That's par for the course in Montreal. Whether its Football, Hockey or baseball.

Hey we are 4-1...... To be honest, I didn't expect to win last night mainly because Edmonton had something to prove, and 90% of the time you get a split with a home and home.

How many thought that Montreal would be 1-4 at this point in the season....I would say most.

Did anyone expect them to go 18-0? No! So whats the problem?

The Als have shown the league that they mean business

Like I said, losing one game is not a problem at all. And anyone who seriously thought we'd go 18-0 this season should put down the crack pipe. It's the offense that concerns me (well, special teams is garbage again, but I've given up expecting any change on that front as long as Squires is running things). IMO our offense has been steadily worsening since opening day. Trestman is going to have to make significant changes to our play packages, particularly in the red zone. Teams have caught on to what we're doing now; what worked smoothly last year is now stale and predictable. The intermediate and deep routes have to be used more. Right now DBs are just locking down all that underneath stuff, playing tight man because we're not making them pay over top.

I found the Offense very predictable last night. I didn't think they went deep as much as they should of.

I'm not worried. Edmonton had a lot more going for them. A ton of momentum from their last game, home field and didn't have to reset they're bodies to the time difference, and also, they had a 50-16 loss in the back of their heads.

Montreal started the season with a very tough schedule. They worked hard and earned some awesome wins. Some games, you just don't show up. As for the Field Goals stats, while I do agree its not the best stat, but some games, we've just dominated the field position, and started drives in excellent position, get a first down, your in Field Goal range.

I am not worried. I thought they would lose, they never really play well in Edmonton, no matter how good they are. Also, Edmonton isn't exactly a bad team. They're good, and they are finally coming around and playing like the team they should be. Didn't make sense to see the Offence do poorly, especially with a guy like Ricky Ray as QB.

Good news, we got the Argos next :lol:

So our front four has one poor game and suddenly it's not good enough? Stewart is having a great season and Wilson has been making a solid impact in the interior. Campbell already rotates in at times, as does McElveen. This unit has been a force in the first third of the season against both the pass and the run. Let's not panic after one loss.

In the last 2 games S.J.Green caught 1 pass for 11 yards; talent wasted but he cannot replace Jamell. In the next game he may not dress; Hawkins or Whitaker could dress.

Larry Taylor is one of the best punt returner but average on kickoff returns; again, somebody like Chad Owens could be activated.

While Eric Deslauriers is not great, I hope that he will be OK for next game; his return will or would send Green to injured or practice roster. His return and the deletion of Green would free an import spot; either a Hawkins,a Whitaker,an Owens or even a Stanford Samuels.

We don't have a dominant player/tackler on special teams; again,easy to say but harder to improve; Guzman had a good first game,but normal since.


Taylor was great on kickoff returns last year. Methinks it's the blocking and schemes that are preventing him from excelling this season. He never gets a good first block from his three-man protection unit. Squires is the problem here, not personnel.

As for the offense, I firmly believe the schemes need to change and Trestman has to get out of this conservative funk he's in. We're starting to look like a Bellefeuille offense c. 2007: throw a 3-yard pass on 2nd and 7 and hope like hell the receiver can make something on his own. That works some of the time in a good offense, but not all of the time. Every defense in the league knows that we're going to run a short pass or a draw play on second and medium. Nobody respects our ability to go deep and our receivers are getting smothered by the press coverage. The offense is too talented as a unit to be sputtering like this.

im starting to agree with D&P about Squires. There is always some issue with special teams that he can not seem to nail down particulalry this season. I have yet to see a game this season where I can say we definitively won the battle on special teams.

Some of the problems I saw was as a few people have said already WAY too conservative and predictable on offense and I think everyone on that side of the ball knows it and if a guy like Cahoon is saying to the media that the offense was totally uncreative and capable of a lot more than what they showed last game. It has to be the offense that is forcing the opposing defence to adapt not the other way around. If we stay with these 3-7 yard passes DBs will bump our receivers around too much for us to get proper passes into their hands.

On the running plays, Ive said this in another thread, can we please get some runs to the outside going. Our receivers are capable of blocking and so is Carter and our tackles so there is no reason we can not run these plays. These would stretch out the opposing defensive line and open up holes in the middle for cobourne.

On defence we need to avoid stupid undisciplined penalties. For the most part we did this until this past game. Stuff like Roughing the Passer, Unnecessary Roughness and offsides when they need to come up with a big stop are backbreakers. this is the area of the game Im least worried about I trust stewart will get everything in order. Pass interference sucks but I have a much easier time accepting it than the penalties that are a direct lack of discipline that easily be avoided

EDIT: One last thing I wanted to add about the offense, while Taylor is excellent on special teams and has great speed and shiftiness we should not be making plays where he is expected to make too many DBs and LBs miss special teams and defensive units are very different

I think the Als play a smart methodical football and force the opponent to beat them and that is exactly what Ray and the shmoes did. As opposed to teams like TO, Winnipeg, Sakatchewan,BC and even Calgary early on that give the game away with turnovers and bad penalties.

Richard V. Several years ago the Als had a smaller but quicker defense and, Matthews brought in a couple of huge defensive ends from the NFL as the thinking then was the defensive line was indeed fast but not big enough. These huge ends did not last long as the experiment did not produce results. Today Anwar Stewart is still around and, is the strength of the defensive line. Remember Stewart's knocking down an opponents supposed TD pass in the Als end zone? You must admit that Stewart came a long way from his defensive endzone to make that play. Anwar is still fast enough to produce and is a piller of strenght in the AL's defense.
If the Als do have a problem it is on the offensive team as noted by all the above posts! They are producing field goals too often instead of TD'S.

Yeah, remember the days of Mark Word and Felipe Claybrooks? shudder

Bigger doesn't always mean better. I'd love to have a Montford or Wake body type coming off the edge, but those are special players whom you don't see very often. Our D-line IMO is just fine, and will be better as Campbell and McElveen rotate in more frequently.

How can you say that the offense is the problem when we lead the CFL in net yards gained and points scored? Has the "scoring"of field goals translated in a loss? Definitively not this year. Before you say so,yes we also have allowed the fewest points.

In 5 games we gained 2,074 net yards while the 2nd team-Hamilton- is at 1,880; Winnipeg is the lowest at 1,253. Defensively we rank 3rd in net yards allowed.-1,646-

Throughout the years, my main "beef" with the Als-my team- has been the size of the defense; in many,many occasions I wrote to Management about this; I have nothing against Anwar but,to me, he is not a dominant defensive end; he is good but not a CFL all star. When was he selected as a CFL all-star?- Long time ago.- How many defensive players were CFL all-stars last year? None. Some were Eastern but not all League We have good defensive players but no "dominant" defensive players; Shea Emry should become one, in the not too distant future.

In last year Grey Cup yes we made mistakes offensively, but the players who "hurt" us the most were Calgary defensive players,namely Labinjo,Carpenter,Browner,James,Armour and Anderson. Our defense could not stop Burris in the 2nd half.

We have a good team, but I doubt that we will win the Grey Cup with the present defensive players.

Go Als Go!

Richard

Montreal's offence is serious. They scored 40 points against Saskatchewan, 40 points on Calgary and 50 points on Edmonton, who don't quite have "bad" coaches. Montreal hit a wall. Its pretty normal, for a team who came flying out the gate. Clearly, Montreal has what it takes to beat any team in the league, but Edmonton made adjustments, and ran on momentum and had a better outing against the Als the second time.

Defensively, I don't think the numbers lie. Montreal has had the toughest schedule coming out the gate, and they haven't given up 100 points yet. A good defense will find a way to keep the opposition out of the end zone.

Most of the season, Montreal has put the ball in the other teams's endzones a lot, and has kept the ball out their endzone the best. I don't think theres a team in the Eastern Conference who can shock Montreal in the Eastern Final, not even Hamilton no matter how great they've been playing lately.

I honestly, do believe this is the year of the Alouette. I don't see a weakness that can't be fixed. Like I said in a previous post, Edmonton had a lot of things going their way going into that game.

If we lose to the Argos, then maybe we have something to worry about, but for now. I'm a hppy camper :thup: