How Can Our Offence Be Improved?

Our defense is very good but, the offense has stalled. With our present OC's and, without the addition of new players can we come up with suggestions which might improve this offense? I believe we should use our ground game consistently in future games. To date our ground game has been hit or miss, sometimes featured, sometimes abandoned too quickly. I believe our recent win over Hamilton demonstrates what steps we might take to improve it. Even without Cato our QB supreme, we managed a win over the TiCats. With a lesser quality QB, we were able to win over this excellent team. First we have to point out to our OC's that our ground game was indeed very effective. A look at the average gain per carry demonstrates this. Up to and including the win over the TiCats, Sutton has averaged an average 5.9 yards per carry. Giguere, against Hamilton was very effective on his sweeps and, his average gain has been 7.3, Logan's average is 7.9, Rutley's is 4.6 ( and so many of his rushes were right up the middle, while the clock ticked away the final minutes). Our QBs have done their share of running. Marsh has a 2.8 ypc but, Catos ypc is 6.5. I would suggest we play both Sutton and Rutley and to a lesser extent Logan, at a beginning sequence and give Cato the OK to run, occasionally as he perceives the opportunity. Against the TiCats, Giguere's sweeps were effective. He often made 6-7 easy yards but, had the strength to push for the first down.
Feel free to be CRITICAL of this suggestion. There are certainly other variations to refine the running game.

I like your analysis of the run game. One point of disagreement: I don't want Cato busting runs to the inside because that is an injury waiting to happen. I'm fine with him bootlegging to the sidelines if he sees open field ahead of him -- he can protect himself by running out of bounds if he sees an enemy player closing in. But middle of the field? No way IMO.

At this point, I think two-back sets with Rutley and Sutton should be almost standard. You can split one wide on passing plays and leave the other in to block or check-release into a curl or shallow cross.

One way to improve our deep ball game is to put the wide-side WR (Giguere right now, but Hoffman eventually) in complex motion before the snap: switch him from field to boundary back to field at a steep angle so he can hit the LOS at full speed but without giving away his post-snap route. Out of that motion, he should have a deep route and an underneath route at minimum – whether they’re dedicated option routes on the same play or different routes on different plays is up to the coaches. What happens here is that you force the secondary to declare their coverage intention with the lateral movement – whether they’re playing man or zone on that particular receiver – which gives Cato extra information pre-snap. Second, if it’s man coverage, you increase the chances of getting the DB out of his alignment, even if just a little, by forcing him to follow the WR across the width of the field, so that even when he gets back to his initial position, something may be off: maybe he isn’t quite as well-positioned to maintain leverage (outside or inside, depending on where and what the safety help is) because Cato snaps the ball before he’s ready. And those little things can be the difference between tight coverage on the receiver and the receiver getting enough separation to be legitimately open. You also increase the chances of a bust in coverage if the other team is trying to switch off receivers between their DBs.

In a nutshell, this is the kind of complex motion that has been missing from our offense since Trestman left. Remember how Brian Bratton, of all people, was a consistent 500-yard receiver who frequently caught deep balls on busted coverage? It’s not because he was some kind of special talent (he wasn’t). It was because Trestman schemed to give him free access routes so AC could surprise other teams by going deep to the fourth receiver instead of distributing to Richardson, Watkins, and Cahoon. Yes, we had great receivers then, but the offensive scheme routinely put them in a position to be open, so they weren’t forced to beat tight man coverage play after play after play (as is the case now with our receivers). Unlimited motion, in the CFL, gives you the ability not only to disguise your intentions pre-snap but to force enemy DBs out of their alignment and test their readiness to maintain good alignment even after moving all over the field laterally. It allows you to employ misdirection to increase your chances of springing a receiver open. It may not happen every play, or to every receiver, but it will help you in the long haul. This is what I find that neophyte CFL OCs (whether straight from the NFL or guys who only coached US college) don’t understand and can’t properly utilize. They see all this motion, they’re afraid of/unwilling to use it, and so what they devise is just a transplanted US offense that doesn’t take advantage of this unique aspect of the Canadian game. And with only two downs to pick up 10 yards, not three, it’s no wonder that these types of offense almost invariably stall.

I know Trestman said that he basically ran the same offense in the NFL as he ran in Montreal, but he was also boosting the CFL very diplomatically; it was clear, from the caliber and complexity of his motion, that he had adapted his NFL playbook to maximal effect on our wider field. He may have been running many of the same plays, but the disguise and misdirection was all CFL. He came in, took a look, grasped what the key differences were, and exploited those differences to devastating effect, to the point where the Trestman offense is now a league-wide staple.

Le jeu au sol va assez bien. Je crois que Dinwiddie fait du bon travail de ce côté, finalement.

Premièrement,il va falloir améliorer les schémas de protection du quart. Il y a une lacune au niveau des protections et l'attaque ne pourra progresser sans améliorer cette facette essentielle.

Deuxièmement, il va falloir améliorer les tracés de passe et mieux se servir du mouvement avant la remise. Le mouvement avant remise présentement utilisé par les Alouettes est essentiellement vertical. On ne se sert pratiquement pas de mouvements obliques. Il va falloir varier davantage ces mouvements. Dans le même ordre d'idées, il ne serait pas vilain de se servir davantage de Beaulieu quittant la protection pour devenir un receveur supplémentaire.

Troisièmement, il va falloir mieux utiliser le long jeu. Les Alouettes utilisent peu le long jeu pour ouvrir les zones intermédiaires. Également, il arrive souvent que cette attaque n'utilise pas le long jeu alors que l'adversaire est conditionné aux zones plus rapprochées.

Finalement, il va falloir mieux utiliser le mouvement de la ligne à l'attaque. Les Alouettes ont eu un certain succès en déplaçant le point d'attaque au sol, et leur ligne offensive a montré une bonne mobilité pour le faire. Avec un quart comme Cato, les Alouettes auraient avantage à déplacer plus souvent la protection pour varier le point d'attaque. Cato est un bon passeur en mouvement et il y aurait un avantage à mieux se servir de cette qualité. Je ne sais pas dans quelle est la capacité de Blake de se déplacer en mode protection (ce que Matte fait très bien), mais je crois que ceci permettrait de se servir de la mobilité de Cato sans avoir à le mettre trop à risque.

Using the deep ball to open up the underneath routes and the run is crucial, agreed. Unfortunately, many of the ex-NFL types who come up here are mediocre football minds who are used to having three tries to pick up 10 yards and who have come to rely on just running all the time, with a few short passes built in. It's that old-school NFL philosophy that is actually 5 years behind where successful NFL OCs are now. The deep ball has become a big thing in recent years down south but that aspect of the game passed guys like Schonert, Miller, and Andrus by. Which is probably why they weren't able to find work in the NFL after they were fired.

Rakeem has such good touch on his passes that it would be criminal not to exploit that ability on post and corner routes every so often. Even if the pass falls incomplete, you've backed off the D just a bit for the next time.

Yes, I agree with you both that the team should make more use of the deep ball. Against BC I noted that Marsh quickly threw a long corner pass. Unfortunately after that he restricted himself to a short pass, which the defenders expected and easily defended the rest of the 2nd half. I like extending the use of movement by our WR, and, using Cato in lateral movement to the sideline re pass/run options.Having players in motion begins the process of making the defenders guess and, the more they have to guess, the better would be our offense. Movement of one or more of the OL can assist the blocking offensively and the lateral movement of Cato in run/pass options would permit Cato to get out of bounds thereby protecting himself from injury. Both Sutton and Rutley are good at receiving and blocking.

I don't think the team has any offensive identity at all. They do not know what they want to be. Way too simple to say we need to score more. What do they expect.
They have had 4 HC changes in 2 years
10 different offensive coaches
5 different offensive coaches in QB ears
10 different QB's in 2.5 years
revolving door at receivers

run for 250 in a game. Then say well we can't do that every game.
They build on very little.

This an epic gong show.
They need to reset and get a proper org in place. Step one.

This is looking like Kelly's Winnipeg and old Ottawa really is.

Ça ne répond pas à la question posée.

Revoir complètement notre style et opter pour un système mieux balancer avec la course. Sutton et Ruthley peuvent faire le travail (Sutton en puissance, Ruthley course au sol après attrapé). Le tout nous donne plus de protection dans la pochette question de mieux encadrer le développement de Cato. Giguère-Stamps-Lewis c'est quand même mieux que plusieurs équipes, mais il faut plus de créativité. Présentement Green est la seule option viable. Le style shotgun, c'est du passé maintenant.

Hmmm...I think I responded directly. Perhaps not to your liking. I have no idea.

As I stated lestaff in answer to the post
the first step in improving the offense is to stop this madness of imposed instability.

this team is being run like a slip shod trinket.

Nice to see you agree with D&P and HfxTC... :slight_smile:

Certaintly, the vast majority of us agree that the management of the team his been a disaster the past the past 2.5 years. The present coaching situation maintains in limbo without a pro coach and, OC’s whose experience in that role are not up to par with more experienced ones. AC’s coaching ability will be sorely tested in the weeks to come.
Slant I too would be interested in hearing your notions as to- what can be done to improve our offense moving into the second half of the season?

I dont believe it can be much improved.They should run it 30 times a game. Become a power team identity. Its all they can do well and I believe they should build on that until they get a re-set in their organization. Start Crompton. I don't think Cato is coming back. There is something else going on with this young man.

I'm on record as stating that I think the biggest problem on this team is Popp.
I now find that I'm hoping for failure. Can't help it. He's the cancer with this franchise imo and I have no interest in seeing him have any fake success.

Just a fact for me now.

It takes time to right the ship. Recovering from 1.5 years of Higgins and Schonert this year isn't going to happen overnight. To me, this current season is a write-off. We should use it to develop the players around whom we want to build (like Cato) and to see what AC and Dinwiddie can do. In the offseason, hopefully Wetenhall allows Popp to go out and do a thorough canvas for a head coach and we can roll from there.

From Slant

I don’t think the team has any offensive identity at all. They do not know what they want to be.

I seem to recall hearing that when Trestman arrived on the scene, he recognized that Calvillo had a lot of talent, but didn’t have an “identity”. There was no “Calvillo offence”. He made that happen and the rest is history. Correct me if I’m wrong.

[quote="slant"]I dont believe it can be much improved.They should run it 30 times a game. Become a power team identity. Its all they can do well and I believe they should build on that until they get a re-set in their organization. Start Crompton. I don't think Cato is coming back. There is something else going on with this young man.

[quote="slant"]I dont believe it can be much improved.They should run it 30 times a game. Become a power team identity. Its all they can do well and I believe they should build on that until they get a re-set in their organization. Start Crompton. I don't think Cato is coming back. There is something else going on with this young man.

Slant, I agree with you. Just a question do you believe Cato is gone for the season?

At this point, I don't want to speculate on Cato's return. According to multiple media sources, a member of his family was in a serious car accident, and he is with his family at this time. While I sincerely hope he returns to the team ASAP, family comes first. Best wishes for Rakeem's family.

I believe we can begin looking ahead to next season as the deficiencies of the team at the moment are very visible. This team needs some additional speed and, the requirement for younger players going into 2016. Lewis, Deslauriers, and Stamps are certainly at retirement age. Why Deslauriers is now with the team is a good question. As for Lewis and Stamps, they were a decent acquirement a year ago when Devon and Greene were appearing to be moving towards the NFL. In this season, their abilities are surely in decline- age and lack of appropriate speed has been apparent. The team does have Hoffman who, until injury, looked very well as a rookie receiver. Charrette was a good draft pick as he has decent speed and, shows future promise as the national receiver. Last season, Gilyard appeared as promising until he was injured but, he has to remain as a question mark at this point in time.
Defensive back is a second area of concern presently, It was just last season that Brown proved his worth with an interception in the East semi final that moved the team to the final against the TiCats. Brown of course in injured although Parker has been an asset whom, I believe has been productive. Both players have served diligently over the past several years but, the notions of both speed and age now point to the beginning of the end for both. Perhaps the practice squad's Cunningham, along with Lue and Ackie might attend to this issue in training camp. I still wonder why Mike Edem has not played since his initial year of promise? Kyries Hebert is creeping up in age and, Bear Woods potential for injury has been established. Cox still plays with vigor and speed at linebacker although Marko B has hinted at retirement.
With respect to the OL, some have begun to question LBJ's position at center although Perrette, Matte,Blake and Bourke are mainstays at OT and Guard. The DL positions with Cash, Knapton, Klasson appear solid. Bowman,'situation our elite DE has aroused some concern re age and speed Findlay will be available for rotation.At present our defensive team is the best in the league, as measured by points against.
While undoubtedly strong on defense, as noted the issues of youth and age do point to the requirement of some change.
The biggest issue for next season, as Slant has pointed out, is that of a HC with Canadian experience.This team requires stability in management. The issues of youth and speed require some position change and upgrading. At QB Cato has shown strength and, LeFevour, should be adequate as backup. I do not believe he will be back.

From indicators and my own experience I think the lure of his old neighborhood, the ties that bind, the team turmoil and his playing in a foreign country and league is too much for him.