Esks Missing Carson Walch

Jason Maas was caught flat footed when Caron Walch jumped to the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles and needs someone to be more a quasi OC like Walch did the year before becoming the OC.

In year one, by his own admission, Maas came prepared with the offensive philosophy, principles, scheme and a partial playbook before even being hired and then he makes Walch a quasi OC who is responsible for signal calling and quickly became the in game coordinator for adjustments and play calling. Maas retained high-level control over the philosophy, principles and scheme, but as the trust grew Walch took over more and more of the play calling. The Esks offense improves from3,126 yards passing,1,221 rushingand 27 TDs in 2015 to4,052 passing,1,051 rushing and 30 TDs.

In year two, Walch was promoted to full fledged OC and the offense takes off even more. Reilly has an MOP season, really he had it the year before, with4,057 passing yards,1,010 rushing and 33 TDs.He still works within the Maas framework, but he has more input and control over the playbook and to some degree scheme.The biggest change is the Esks go from 10-8 to 12-6 and the offense gets most of the credit for this improvement on several close wins. Like week #1 vs the Lions with a Sean Whyte FG with 2 seconds left or the week #5 vs the Ti-Cats via a Vidal Hazelton TD with 33 seconds left, ect.

In this year, Walch jumps to the Philly Eagles in March, just before the planning gets serious and that means either Maas hires an OC or takes over. He decides to do the latter, but he does not promote Jordan Maksymic to quasi OC, like he did for Walch, even though he calls him the OC of the future. This means unlike year one, Maas actually has the in game responsibilities and he seems unable to focus on adjustments / play calling needed in the 2nd half of most games. He does well scripting the first half, but having to roll with it not so much. Unlike the previous year the Esks blow leads and have five weeks where the defensive adjustments prove too much and offense can’t score. This leads to a 6-5 records and if not fixed could put the Esks season in jeopardy.

Maas just has to swallow his pride and lean on his in game coordinators Jordan Maksymic or Mike Gibson for the rest of the season.Maksymic has to take over as quasi OC and spread the ball to all the targets adjusting to what the defense is giving the offense. Right now the adjustments are just not happening without Walch and it needs to start happening or the Esks will miss the playoffs.

Much better adjustment at homeagainst Calgary in the 2nd half.

Three possessions to go FG, TD and TD and go up 48-28 at the end of the 3rd Q. If Reilly doesn’t fumble at the Calgary 5 yard line early in the 4th the Stamps never get back into the game.

The score actually flattered the Stamps as a result of that fumble and the fact the Esks played a cover 3 and even dime defence for most of the 4th quarter.

Whatever the Esks did to make halftime adjustments they need to keep it up, because it worked. It also helped that Duke Williams bullied everyone he went up against and that Mike Reilly put the team on his shoulders when needed too. Even though Williams was obviously hurt, he followed Reilly’s lead with a gutsy performance and showed for the first time as an Eskimo true leadership.

The Esks have to execute with that level of leadership, determination and guts every game from now until the end of the Grey Cup. That will certainly help with the halftime adjustments.

For now, the Esks have to heal up over the bye week and come back strong versus Ottawa.