Ok so i got some sleep after the long train trip and id like to give my thoughts on last nights game, close yet heartbreaking.
As much as people dont want to admit it, this offence is coming around, 400 yards of total offence and a very nice statistical night from Jason Maas... we scored 24 points on offence which is not bad at all considering what we have seen this year. We left some points on the field again last night, getting in close and coming away with only 3 at that point.
Having said that, this is a ball control offence, so as much as people are complaining about the screen plays and dump offs, keep in mind that with virtually NO running game those are just as good as running plays. We DID go vertical with deep balls thrown to Kamau and Brock, some completed and some not, Brock Ralph was WIDE open and Maas simply missed him. I have seen some people say that Ralph slowed up, but I ask you this, check the replay and see where the ball landed, VERY close to the sideline meaning that had Ralph of been where that ball landed he would have made the catch but would have had his momentum take him out of bounds, the play would have been made, but a better ball would have been a TD.
I have a couple complaints with the offence right now, the timing of some of the calls... Late in the game we get the ball with a chance to win the game and we run a draw play (loses yards) and on 2nd and 11 we throw the deep corner route on a 35 yard pass... I question some of the play calls but more importantly i question their timing.
My only other concern is the lack of use (or misuse) of DJ Flick, The last couple years has has been a slow starter statistically but has always come around. This time he is lacking the chance to shine... it seems everytime the ball is thrown his way we either get a flag, or he makes the play. I noticed him open on many plays but either the play isnt designed to go to him, or Maas isnt seeing him open, either way this needs to be sorted out, he has too much talent to be wasted like this. Perhaps its time to move him to the slot? He played there in Ottawa effectively, if this offence is designed to get the ball to the slots and underneith, why not put one of your playmakers in the slot to get him the ball.
The short passes are helping to mask the fact that we have no running game, Anthony Davis looked alright last night but neither back was effective. The injuries on the OLine are hurting.... Here's hoping Jonta Woodard falls vicitm to NFL politics.... j/k Jonta.
Lastly, Is Jason Maas hurt? The screen showed him stretching his back or hip as did the TSN coverage. Here's one thing the TV did not show. On that final play, before it was called Kevin Eakin and Kwame Cavil started to come on to the field, its obvious that Eakin was coming in to throw the deep pass because Maas has shown that arm stregnth isnt his specialty. Maas waved them back, why? was this a time clock concern or him just waving them back cause he didnt want to come out at that time? I dont know. Stay tuned im sure.
This is a big play defence, this D now has 4 or 5 TD's this year? impressive. Last night the injury to Goss was huge, yes he is one guy but it causes other people to switch assignments and affects chemistry in the secondary. The DLine did not create much pressure last night, it did at times and im temped to say that the late prayer to Cahoon was somewhat lucky but hats off to them for making the play.
The bottom line here is that big play or not this defence gave up 34 points last night, thats not acceptable... yes Montreal is a good team with a good offence, we can be happy that they are making big plays to help this offence but we cant ignore the fact that we have had trouble stopping the run and gave up alot of points.
Kickoff coverage was good, i didnt think Montreal had too many holes on kick returns other than one in the second half.
We have had another punt blocked and i seem to recall Lancaster suggesting that "it wont be happening again" after last time, well I wonder if this will force his hand to do something.
Mark Myers seems to be the real deal, he made a couple nice long kicks and missed 1 into the wind, did anyone else notice that he kicks a "Power Fade" like my golf swing? Starts it right and brings it back? As long as he is making kicks i dont care how he does it. His kickoffs into the wind werent great but his kicks with the wind were good. I dont recall them starting much further than the 35 on many kickoffs.
Our kickoff return team needs some work, it seems that Yeast/Holmes dont have anything to work with out there.
As for the fake punt by Montreal, everybody knew they were going to try it, Matthews does it all the time... a couple ST players admitted to me on the train that they were prepared for it, calling out "fake" but like any other play, if they execute perfectly... its hard to stop.
Thats basically all i have to say, I made a point of discussing the game without calling out any player inparticular, i did this for a couple reasons. Coach Lancaster has made it a point that this is a team and they all have to stick together as a unit, making the guy next to them better. I also did it because im sick of coming on and seeing 1 person blamed for a loss... i do believe that THIS GROUP (not the group in the first 4 weeks) can win and Coach Lancaster can lead them there.
Offence - Jason Maas
Statistically played well, i question a couple of his decisions but i wonder if it was playcalling.
Defence - Jason Goss
In only 1 half he shut down Ben Cahoon. His injury cost us huge. This guy could be defensive player of the year if he keeps this up.
Special Teams - Mark Myers
3-4 on FG 2 kicks over 40.
On a personal note, the train trip was great... thanks for orgainizing this event Ticat Staff. I would go again for sure.