And Dinwiddie admits he frucked up! Admitting the problem is the first step to fixing thing.
It seemed like a revolutionary move at the time, when the Alouettes dressed and used two tailbacks — Brandon Whitaker and Tyrell Sutton — a month ago, against Saskatchewan.
Both were effective that afternoon, although the Als lost a close game.
But like most things associated with Montreal’s offence this season, there has been no consistency to the move, no results and, it would seem, no plan or thought.
When the Als lost at Edmonton last week, Sutton was limited to two kickoffs. He had no carries out of the backfield and failed to catch a pass. Is Montreal that desperate to dress an import on offence, yet fail to take advantage of his talents and potential?
“I don’t call the plays,? Sutton said Friday, laughing heartily, following the team’s practice at Stade Hébert. “Of course it’s frustrating as a competitor ... frustrating as a player.
“Everybody on this team wants the ball,? he continued. “We have so many guys on this team who can do so many things with the ball. It’s hard to dial up calls for each and every one of us, (but) we have to find a way.?
And, Als head coach Tom Higgins has vowed the team will find a way to make better use of Sutton this Sunday, when Montreal entertains the Calgary Stampeders (1 p.m., TSN, RDS, TSN Radio-690) at Molson Stadium — part of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony weekend.
“He (Sutton) needs to be used — and he’s going to be used,? Higgins said this week. “He’ll get his hands on the football. We need to run him on offensive plays. We have two backs. What happened (against Edmonton) is we got nothing established. It was somewhat helter-skelter.
“Right now, it’s easy. Hindsight’s always 20/20. Obviously when you have two talented backs, get them on the field; get them the football and, hopefully, good things happen. Give our offensive-line an opportunity to be aggressive, let them run the football.?
The inability to use Sutton didn’t exactly materialize in a career game for Whitaker against the Eskimos, it should be mentioned. Whitaker was held to 46 yards on 10 carries, adding an additional 31 yards on six receptions.
Conversely, Edmonton generated 187 yards rushing, with Kendial Lawrence carrying 11 times and his backup, Tyler Thomas, chipping in with four, gaining an impressive 52 yards and scoring on a 20-yard run. Even quarterback Mike Reilly ran seven times — three more than Montreal pivot Jonathan Crompton.
The irony is the Eskimos generally had only five defensive players in the box, close to the line of scrimmage. The run game should have been there for the Als to exploit, but offensive co-ordinator Ryan Dinwiddie admits losing patience when plays to Whitaker didn’t work.
“It’s on me. I have to stay more patient with the run game, for sure,? Dinwiddie said. “Obviously, we didn’t run the ball well enough. They gave us opportunities. We got stopped ... and went away from that.
“You emphasize you’re going to run the rock, pound the rock. When it’s not working and you’re struggling, you tend to go away (from it) and find an answer. Sometimes you look back at it the next day and say we could have stuck with it a few more times. But any co-ordinator who has been a quarterback in this league realizes you have to throw to win in this league.?
Actually, that’s not always the case.
The Stampeders, who have a league-leading 10-1 record, have tailback Jon Cornish, the CFL’s outstanding player and top Canadian in 2013. Cornish has gained 587 yards in only five games this season and is coming off three successive plus 100-yard performances, including 174 yards last week, against Toronto.
But the organization announced on Friday Cornish won’t play this weekend while healing some nagging injuries which, the club claimed, has no correlation to his earlier concussion, sustained against the Als in the season opener, that forced him to miss six games.
The Stamps’ roster certainly is depleted. Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell is out with a sprained ankle and stretched ligament in his left knee. Drew Tate, Calgary’s former starter, replaces him.
The club’s also missing its leading receiver, Marquay McDaniel, out with a broken hand, and defensive-lineman Charleston Hughes, who has a foot injury. Hughes has a team-leading eight sacks.
The Als, arguably, are meeting Calgary at an opportune time.
“It doesn’t change things. Tate’s a proven guy in this league,? said linebacker Kyries Hebert, who knocked out Cornish in late June and was subsequently fined by the CFL.
“He (Tate) has had starts in which I’ve played against him and I’ve seen him do some really good things. We know his resumé. He’s not your typical email@example.com