Glaring game management issues exposed by this loss

I want to recap things I've been pointing out in other threads regarding the state of the offense in its current form, but narrowing the focus a bit to what I think has to be in place ASAP for this team to have a sniff of playoff success -- and I consider the Thanksgiving game to be a playoff game for all intents and purposes.

  1. Playcalling - who does it from this week forward?

Clearly we have a OC whose ability to make in-game adjustments in his playcall to what a pressuring defence is doing has to be questioned at this point. The apparent dearth of plays that could readily take advantage of a safety cheating up to the line time and again is mindboggling, frankly. ANY playcaller worth his salt ensures that a set of emergency "KILL" plays are available to his QB to check to and has that game planned versus every opponent. Those plays have to be available 24/7 for the QB to audible to and the receivers have to be able to adapt on the fly to make the adjustment(s).

We do not have that and it's week fifteen coming up, folks.

I believe Marcel has no alternative but to assume offensive playcalling himself. Gibson can assist as a game planner and in-game spotter, but we need the head coach to take the bull by the horns and address this. Leaving the rest of the season to chance when a playoff spot is within the club's grasp is inexcusable.

  1. No audibling system (no hot routes, no discernable option route packages etc.)

Pretty obvious to me that Porter and Glenn don't get to audible enough or not at all. When all is required for a QB in shotgun to do is to kill the called play, call a hot route in the middle of the field for Cobb or an interior slotback (e.g. a slant or sluggo route to expose the vacated middle zone), and to execute, I am absolutely aghast at this lack of trust in allowing player to make plays.

We are not talking rocket science here. It means that Porter or Glenn or whoever else at QB has some flexibility in how they want to experience their rubber-pellet ingestion time -- after delivering a quick strike pass that breaks the game wide open or as the pivot who "cost" us the game because no emergency option(s) were provided.

All Porter had to do ONCE in that last five minutes of the game when the Stamps had seven lined up and the safety cheating was to call a slant hot route to a slot or a quick bang route to the flat by Cobb while rolling out a few steps to buy an extra second or two of time. Instead? Robotic-we-have-to-follow-what-coach-says lockstep to defeat.

  1. QB "development" -- allowing players to make plays is more than sloganeering

For me, the development of any QB's leadership skills involves giving that player time to grow as an active dictator of events by allowing him to adjust to what his sees and to process his results -- learning what works and what doesn't work. Combatting the glaze that can occur in one's eyes by having the freedom to alter the playcall and attack the defence. In other words, letting the players play and getting them ENGAGED in what the hell they are doing.

I would love to see Porter develop a relationship with a receiver or three where he is going over options at the bench between series -- similar to what I detect Glenn has with Bruce. I don't see a lot of strategic thought percolating on that sideline. It's "what did Gibson call now." There's no failsafe as to when Gibson is not making the necessary calls.

Porter, Glenn, and Tafralis obviously do not have an in-game signalling system to alert receivers to hot route adjustments of any effectiveness. We are left with five receivers sticking to their lanes, limited rubs and crosses, predictable route running that has route-depth as the main differentiation -- in other words an open book that emboldens a defence to pin their ears back and blitz because the plays take too long to develop when it's crunch time!

These flaws can be fixed somewhat, but it really does point to a philosophic overhaul that has to occur in the offseason. STOP BABYING ALL YOUR SKILL PLAYERS ON OFFENSE AND GIVE THEM THE TOOLS TO MODIFY/CHANGE PLAYS WHEN FACING PRESSURE. EOS.

If we executed one such play in the last five minutes of that game, we could have won!

Overcoaching is one thing. Undercoaching is another. Either allow players to make plays or call plays that address the weaknesses the opponent's alignment exposes. Chris Jones is not exactly some mystery man coaching in this league. We were not prepared and it cost us a game, regardless of execution.

Round one has ended. LOL

Oski Wee Wee,


Russ, any idea why PRod doesn’t run more fade routes? I recall Edmonton taking advantage of their taller receivers than the defensive backs covering them with this play. PRod usually has half a foot on his cover guy.

Design-wise, I have no idea. P-Rod makes those kinds of plays.

If you have the capacity to change a receiver’s route from that which is called, then we would see more fade routes, I’d hope! LOL

Deep routes (flys, fades, wheels, posts) are easier to adjust to in general because the QB’s read window is wider and there is more time to interpret one’s read based on how the safety is reacting. Short and medium-distance routes involve heavier traffic ordinarily, so the read windows are tighter. Every offense should have the ability for the QB to adjust deeper routes, IMHO. Game planning can set the parameters of in-game adjustment further.

My take is that it’s pretty easy to play safety against the Cats from a preparation perspective. Bruce and Rodriguez might be the biggest deep threats, but there’s nothing significant scheme-wise that is going to affect the safety from drifting over and doubling when needed – or otherwise blitzing his head off as Lysack demonstrated.

Oski Wee Wee,


Good thread, oski-oui-oui.

Also, given Porter's mobility, a direct rollout to either side of the field might have dissuaded the Stampeders from blitzing on consecutive plays. It is harder for the defence to "tee off" on a quarterback blitz if the quarterback has the speed to laterally outrun the contain and doesn't hesitate in the pocket before doing so.

In addition to the play calling and adjustment issues on offence, does anybody recall whether the Ticats actually used their second-half timeout? They forfeited their first-half timeout on an unsuccessful challenge but I did not recall seeing them use their second-half timeout and I was imploring them (by talking at the television screen) to use it when it was 2nd and 12 with less than a minute left in the game. If they used their second-half timeout earlier and I somehow missed seeing it, then my apologies for mentioning a non-issue. However, if they did not use it, then this should be added to the list of game management issues on offence.

All Porter had to do ONCE in that last five minutes of the game when the Stamps had seven lined up and the safety cheating

was to call a slant hot route to a slot

or a quick bang route to the flat by Cobb

while rolling out a few steps to buy
an extra second or two of time.

Coach Sal on the CHML radio broadcast said that

on the second to last play of the game Prechea was running a slant
across the middle but Quinton didn't have time to get the pass away.

Where was Prechae lined up though, Ron? If he's slanting from the edge, the ball is going to take longer in flight to arrive at its destination. If he's motioning inside into a interior slot, then the pass in flight is shorter and the speed of hitting the vacated area behind the blitzing safety is quicker. If Porter had two seconds from the snap to react, that slant from the edge is tougher to succeed! You're looking at him getting the ball off either too early or too late in the face of that kind of pass rush.

Porter had to account for the CB on Prechae if it was from the edge. The CB would likely be trying to take the middle away from P-Rod. I would have preferred a free option in lieu of a blitzing safety or LB covering that player. It just makes sense.

Keep in mind that unless he rolls out deeper or more to the side (depending on the depth of any edge rush), having a launch point in the pocket likely would mean he would have a rusher in his face facing an all-out blitz. The slant would have to be deeper in that event, not a quick hitter.

A hitch screen to P-Rod, although not my call of choice, would be a more effective option.

Cobb or Bruce from an interior slot on a slant or sluggo would have been a better bet. This offense has little experience with hitting anyone in stride, but that would have been on offer with a quick release. It's the kind of route where the QB dictates the pace of release with a closer target.

Oski Wee Wee,


He is running them and running them often and teams are rolling the safety in his direction on every play, teams are not giving him man to man ceverage on fades like last year. The good thing is it's opening up room for everyone else.

As far as audibles, it didnt even seem like Porter saw the blitz on lots of plays in the 4th, on the second last play he had Currie running a 5 yard hot route (slant) and Porter was looking at him but didnt throw it, I have no clue why, he looked like he had a step on his man.

Russ: I always feel a little more educated when you submit this type of thread.
Thanks for your insight. I could also see the flat opened repeatedly with nobody in it.
It was an invitation to make some yards and buy some time and our coaching management
continually overlooked it.
Allowing our quarterbacks to call audibles depending on the defensive lineup facing us, also makes
a lot of sense.
Our offense appears to require more coaching confidence in their capabilities.

This is my first thread today, but I wonder what's wrong with Nick Setta. He too, missed
opportunities to win this game for us. I'm guessing that he remains injured. (since training camp)

I agree with what you say re P-Rod. It does point to the fact that safeties don't feel challenged too much across the middle or have to honour the possibility of misdirection underneath creating chase positions for DBs and LBs. It's a pretty open book they face.

Oski Wee Wee,


On a bit of a tangent. . .

For those asking for Marcel to call the plays instead of Gibson. . . any recall what was being said on these boards last season when Marcel was the offensive coordinator? Or what was said of his offensive playcalling when he was the offensive coordinator in Saskatchewan and Montreal?

When he was running his own playbook? Too conservative, ran the ball too much in lieu of deep shots down field, bad protection schemes. We saw a lot of that in Hamilton last year.

Sound familiar? We just don't run enough now on a consistent basis.

They are using Gibson's system here now.

I want the evil I know running a different system than the evil I just witnessed who can't run his own system. We will not make the playoffs unless Marcel fixes this. Kind of thinking outside the box than being buried in one. LOL


Good observations, Russ. Until the "Heartbreaker Offence" (planning and execution) improves, I dont see many more wins. Still going with 8-10.

I suggest most of Tiger Cats fans watching the game last night could see the blitz comimg 7 and 8 men in the box. So, is there a spotter in the stands or in the press box indentifying these iusses? I consider myself a person who has watched more football than my wife would like and I feel I see issues that need to be addressed immediately. I intend to ask two questions tomorrow evening if I have an opportunity during the Tiger Cat show (900CHML) 7 pm.

Just in passing... this really highlights our need for a BIG,HULKING FB,not just for short yardage,but for pass protection as well. It would enable us to use roll-outs more often to alleviate the all-out rushes QP is getting...make more of his run threat that way ,too. Or maybe just use your tight end more frequently... blocking ability + short ,hot routes...which we needed desparately.

Robert Pavlovic 6' 4" 255 lbs - Number 49

What is Khari Jones doing?

Does not seem like Porter is developing quickly enough for my liking.
He is however an experienced guy that could help with the offensive game plan.

KJ is the QB coach.

You aren't seeing a development going on with QP because of the play calling. We need a better coordinator. We run too simple of an offense. We seem to have run the same offense the last 5 years. This is just the best group that we have.

I think that if QP gets full reps in practice and gets a little bit better line protection, he will turn into a great QB.

If Kevin Glenn is such a great QB, he would have taken the reigns when Porter got hurt and never looked back.

You say we run a simple offense… Dunnigan…says QP is in information overload…see the problem??

Simple as in the plays we run are basic.

Dunnigan is talking about the terminology of the plays and what to look for and not too look for. The information overload comes from reading and worrying too much about the defense.

Our offense is way to simple. We have no originality, we don't run hitches or screens or maintain a running game. Arland Bruce came in a picked up our offense in 3 days or less. It's way too simple.

The information overload could also be the defences he has to try and sort out with a limited playbook...