GAME PLAN: PLAYOFFS - STEP 1 MONTREAL

You are confusing the issue, as usual. I am fully willing to give him credit for what he's done well. In fact, I've noted as much in various assessments of Smith's performance in those three games. But you invoked projections that are just faulty. You simply can't extrapolate 48 TDs from 3 TDs when talking about a rookie QB on whom other teams still have little game film. Those aren't facts; they are faulty uses of selected, cherrypicked statistics.

If you don't understand how stats work, don't use them as leverage in an argument. It's that simple.

Do we take away Ray's amazing completion percentage and TDINT ratio because he only played 12 games ?
We appreciate it for what it is, within the sample size (12 games). That said -- and I don't know why you can't understand this -- [i]12 games is a better sample size than three games[/i]. The more instances you have to work with, the more reliable the statistic becomes as a metric. Furthermore, Ricky Ray is a 10-year veteran of the CFL, an elite QB who will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer after he retires. He also quarterbacks the defending Grey Cup champions coached by an offensive guru who had much success with us in Montreal. So when we assess Ray's streak, we have a host of other factors to support a tentative hypothesis that he's having a white-hot season. And even then, we have to set a limit on expectations. Maybe Ray dominates this season, then comes back down to earth next year (when teams adjust to what Toronto is doing, etc). Maybe he cools off a bit in the postseason. We don't know. But there is absolutely no basis for comparing Ray's performance to Smith's.

I wasn't talking about you specifically but thanks for the backhander :lol:
Ask Hamilton fans if they feel sorry for us being 8-10 ? You demonstrate the Als fan base has been spoiled beyond belief.

Oh come on!!!
Nothing wrong with using 3 starts to project how someone would do.
Nick Foles has 11 TDs in 3 starts for the Eagles, and that puts him on a pace for 59 TDs in a 16 game season. (And in one of those 3 games he threw no TDs. So you could say he had 11 TDs in 2 starts, putting him on an 88 TD pace.)
Obviously Nick Foles is the greatest quarterback in the history of football.

Of course not. I wrote There is a lot to work with.

They proved that the threat and the running of our quarterback is the key to the offense by then opening up the passing lanes for Henry to have some fun. If we can shut down the rush by running and screen passes very quickly along with our line getting mean and stubborn we should be able to handle Montreal. Smith isn't bad but pressure will make him panic a little and it throws his whole game off....I think our defense is more then ready for them but has to watch the long passes.

Personally, I feel Smith is very good at grounding the ball when he feels he's in trouble, which is an excellent trait to have as a rookie QB. What I think he needs to work on is realizing when he's in trouble. Sadly no one has really been able to pressure Smith consistently enough to really have him pickup on this, but you do see when people sneak up on him, he gets tipped, he'll also toss the ball away because he can't find a reciever, and thinks pressure is comming.

The bottom line is that Smith has been impressive in his first three starts.
Things He does well :
Escapability . Based on what I see he is difficult to sack and has the ability to burn you deep if you blitz him and miss.

Strong Arm. He has a cannon. Throwing side line patterns to the wide side are no problem for this guy. He can throw on a rope when he has to. This ability combined with quality of receiver the Al’s have make him dangerous.

He is a pocket passer. When he first came up I thought he was a scrambler but he is a quality pocket passer. He may enjoy a longer career because of this.

Character. I am impressed with his attitude towards his coaches , team mates and opposition.

Ball Security. He does not make stupid throws into double coverage. He will throw the ball away if he has to.

Things he doesn’t do well :
He seems stronger with his initial read. Once his primary receiver is covered he hesitates. I expect he will improve in this area.

He doesn’t always throw strikes. The pass is there the receiver is open but he misses the throw. That is potentially a dangerous habit.

Things we have not seen yet :
Can he use his legs to beat you . I suspect he can.

Toughness
How will he handle things when he is in a tough game.
Remember the B.C. game in Guelph. We beat the living daylights out of Travis Lulay for three quarters.
This guy proved what a great competitor he is by coming back in the fourth and making play after play.
Can Smith deliver this kind of performance. In order to win the Cup he will eventually have to.

I see it as you do. A classic "line of scrimmage" battle.

Dans le genre de saison que Hamilton et Montréal ont eue, je dirais que ce sont les punitions, les revirements et les séquences offensives qui vont déterminer le gagnant de la prochaine partie.

Contrairement aux années antérieures, Hamilton n'a pas écrasé les Alouettes cette saison. Deux courtes victoires qui auraient bien pu leur échapper. Mais ce sont 2 victoires, quelle que soit la façon dont elles ont été gagnées.

Je parle des séquences offensives, parce que c'est l'élément clé des victoires des Alouettes. Lorsque les Alouettes sont capables d'étirer leur séquences, mêmes lorsque l'équipe ne compte pas, la défensive revient forte et limite les gains de l'adversaire. Mais lorsque les séquences sont toujours interrompues rapidement (revirements, punitions), la défensive finit par faiblir est l'adversaire se sauve avec la partie.

La discipline et les revirements sont des fantômes qui sont venus hanter les deux équipes cette saison. Ça devrait être là-dessus que la différence va se faire.

Pour ma part, même si je souhaite une victoire des Alouettes (il va sans dire), je tiens l'équipe de Hamilton pour favorie pour gagner cette prochaine partie.

Rough translation of our friend LeStaf's post;

In the kind of season that Hamilton and Montreal have had, I would say that it is the punishment, turnovers and offensive sequences that will determine the winner of the next game.

Unlike previous years, Hamilton has not crushed the Alouettes this season. Two short victories that could well have their escape. But they are 2 wins, regardless of how they were earned .

I'm talking about offensive sequences , because it is the key victories of the Alouettes. When the Alouettes are able to stretch their sequences , even when the team does not count/score, defensive (comes) back strong and limit(s) the gains of the opponent. But when the sequences are always interrupted quickly ( turnovers, penalties ) , defensive ends up weakened & the opponent is saved with the game.

Discipline and turnovers are ghosts came to haunt the two teams this season. That should be it that will make the difference .

For my part , even if I want a victory Alouettes ( needless to say ) , I want the team to Hamilton favorie to win this next game.

thanks for the translation Fender, I wouldn't have bothered to translate. LeStaf should've though

GO CATS

I've got this feeling Buris will have a monster game for us this week.

I have enjoyed reading all the posts here and have been enlightened by the responses (the argument about Smith's stats notwithstanding.)

I agree that this game has the potential to come right down to the wire and be decided by one or two plays. I get the feeling that turnovers will play a HUGE part. I also like the post where it was suggested that the Cats have shown the Als three different offencive plans and that now the Als have a lot to think about for the preparation of a defencive game plan. I have been VERY happy to see the Cats' defence round out nicely and the second half of the last game v. Montreal seemed to be a statement game. They shut the door and held it closed.

That said, to me the difficult prep for the Cats is on D. Smith has shown some swagger, and I expect to see the playbook expanded for him again this game. The Cats can't rest on their past plans with the Als O as there are sure to be some things in the plan that are not on film from this year. Also, that Carter kid is scary good and he has to be kept in check. I think one of Davis or Breaux are going to have to play him man up all game and punish him at every opportunity. I haven't seen much of an "over the middle" game by him but he sure can stretch the D vertically. A few shots from the safety coming across the field might take the game out of him. Oh yeah, if Sutton can't go, I won't mind.

I think Austin would have liked to been able to keep that Wildcat under wraps till the playoffs but the need to get that home playoff game made him pull it out. Can't wait to see what he comes up with this weekend.

Regarding Carter he's replaced Williams as the most exciting player in the league, unfortunately I think he will also leave for the NFL before too long. Hopefully under better terms.

I expect that one of the big differences in this game will be that while Troy Smith has been reluctant to run himself, Burris doesn't hesitate to run. I think that could be a big key to the game...Burris extending drives with his feet.

Two keys to this game IMHO : Inserting a fullback at the right time to counter chip Cox, Keep him out of the play as much as possible, and take Banks out, One kick return does not win championships, Put Walker, Gable and Tasker on kick returns

Field position and neutralizing the Al’s top Defensive player !

What do you think about running right at Chip Cox? Use the fullback or an O lineman at the second level to block and run Gable right through him. He seems a bit small to take that kind of pounding and still make plays.

Problem is that Thorpe moves them around all the time so you don't know where Cox is going to be. Its a cat and mouse game non stop. Last game they use Masoli to shoot up the middle that worked as well as anything I've seen. Toronto handed the ball off to Norwood further behind the line of scrimmage to allow him a better view post snap, that worked pretty well too but the Als were running very vanilla pretty much Lb blitz on every snap no matter the situation. But to sum it up what's worked best against us is hard north south running to break through the line then there is at least 10 yards for the taking every time. We give up that secondary line of containment.

Cox is our best player, but he's not our only defensive playmaker, and as Hfx said, Thorpe moves the LBs around a ton to disguise who's doing what (run-stopping, blitz, pass coverage). So you might "run" at Cox on a given play only to find him dropping into pass coverage. I don't think it's wise for Austin to get preoccupied with those kinds of individual matchups, given the kind of D Thorpe runs. Control of the line of scrimmage will decide the game IMO.

Nothing a well practiced audible system could counter

Counter based on what? As I said, Montreal shows you very little pre-snap, particularly with respect to the linebackers, all three of whom can be swapping roles play to play. Cox is excellent at disguising his intentions pre-snap and Thorpe has put him in a Polamalu-type role where it’s difficult to account for him on the field because he can be anywhere, depending on the playcall and alignment.

Also, it’s rare to audible into whole new plays at the line. The 20-second playclock generally doesn’t give you time to make it happen. At best, Burris can audible into one alternate preset play that Austin has already given him, or change the protections at the line. That’s about it.

I maintain that in order to win this game, Hamilton has to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Mistakes are going to happen. I think both teams will turn the ball over, and both teams will take penalties. Ultimately, it comes down to whether the O-line can win its individual battles in the trenches and spring Gable for big gains…