Jacques Chapdelaine VS. ALL Other CFL Offensive Coordinators

As we wait to see what ol' Jacques has in store for us this coming Saturday in Hamilton, here's a not-so-deep thought...

Why, not only on this forum, but in post games, in the media, with Lions Fans around the country, does Jacques Chapdelaine's name get brought up (and RIGHTLY SO!!) in discussing his game planning and scheming...or lack thereof...YET....

Go ahead and look at ANY of the other 7 teams Forums on the Internet (seriously, go check it out) and there is little to no mention of the Offensive Schemes or Offensive Game Plans for their teams. You can even throw Edmonton and Winnipeg in to this mix. I obviously don't have access to a Winnipeg or Edmonton post-game radio show (I suppose I could access it through the Internet) but I have a pretty good idea that the concepts of...

"Noncreative, predictable, unable to make half-time adjustments, unable to make adjustments mid-series, overusing plays such as 'Jet Sweeps' on short yardage plays, etc., etc., etc."

Don't seem to come up as often as they do with the BC Lions. I'm curious why this is? Why does this ONLY seem to happen with the Lions. Why does Wally put up with it??

I do agree with Lowell Ulrich's assessment of Jacques' situation on a TEAM 1040 post-game when he states "Firing an assistant mid-season USUALLY has catastrophic effects on the team". So...why not give Jacques an ultimatuum. That is...."Jacques, you have the rest of the season to prove to the team, the fans and yourself that you're NOT {insert: all of the things I've listed above}". Why can't the team give him this ultimatuum?? He clearly is NOT one of the better offensive minds in the league and NEVER has been. Much like there's better talent at safety, on the Lions own practice squad, than J.R. Larose, there's better offensive minds out there (even in the amateur ranks) than Jacques. We conveniently forget when he left this team, a few seasons back, he lasted, wait for it, a total of ONE season with the Eskimos before he was FIRED!! Of course, Wally gladly took him back with open arms. Sad but true...

And to everyone else on this board who thinks I might be morosing over this situation, I give you something to think about...

Do you think you could scheme games and call better, more creative, more robust plays than Jacques?? Of course you do!! A friend of mine was recently watching a Lions game with his girlfriend. She knew a little bit about the game of football, but nothing overly crazy. Just for fun, my friend asked his girlfriend to try and PREDICT the plays Jacques would call on 1st down and 2nd down in both short and long situations. Amazingly (actually, maybe not so amazingly), the girlfriend was correct more than 75% of the time. And, if you're about to say...Well that's football and there's certain plays that are ALWAYS run...you're getting the picture about why Jacques is so pathetic....errrr...so predictable. Now, put yourself in the role of Defensive Coordinator for the other team. Yes, that would be someone with a WHOLE LOT MORE football experience than the said girlfriend predicting 75% of the time. How does Jacques scheming compare to a Community Football coach?? Would an amateur, community coach decide to bring a WIDE receiver in motion, to the strength of the defense in the tackle box, and simply hand it off to him on 3rd and 1?? If the obvious answer is "No, are you CRAZY??", perhaps the word AMATEUR could also be a word to describe Chap as the word keeps coming up here. Hmmm....do you understand why rival defenses absolutely rise to the occasion and "lick their lips in anticipation" when they play the Lions offense?

Wow!! Sorry, this IS one really long post about Jacques once again. Can we please talk about some other CFL Offensive Coordinator for a change!!

they keep him around because they think that anyone that can chew gum and flap all those plays in like a one eyed chicken , is bound to come up with something creative, like maybe a screen pass when Lulay is being constantly blitzed, or maybe going forward instead of lateral when its 3rd and 1like the Montreal game. You know something different, like a quick hitter so Lulay doesn't have to stand in the pocket so long and get hammered. Maybe some running plays would be nice occasionally?

Furthermore, to my best recollection, Jacques has NEVER taken any form of OWNERSHIP WHATSOEVER. In fact, in a recent Vancouver Sun interview he was QUOTED as saying...

  "I come up with the plays.  It's UP TO THE PLAYERS to run those plays". 

Good God. Jacques...HONESTLY (and I really, really, really hope you might read these forum posts one of these days). Can you PLEEEEEASE take one ounce of ownership and, to fans and/or the media, in the papers or on a post-game state:

"Yes, I think there IS room for more creativity, there IS room for LESS predictability, there IS room for better decision-making". With that last one, Jacques would, in some many words, be admitting that he DOES make mistakes. Trouble is...

Jacques, the proud Frenchman he is, has NEVER, EVER admitted he has made a mistake...to the fans and the media...in his scheming or play-calling.

How can this be? Why is it so bad to admit your human and you could be doing better? What does he continue to get a FREEEEE pass from this team. Honestly, they don't think he can do any wrong !?!?!

Admit your fault, Jacques!!!....and speak up about them!

You seriously think one of your buddies here could call a better game for the Lions than a pro OC like Jacqes Chapdelaine who has multiple Grey Cup rings as a coordinator? I don’t know what to say except: your friends must be football geniuses.

Well, if you're referring or, rather, inferring that Jacques is some sort of football "genius", I think we're all seriously missing something here. He certainly hasn't proved anything that would remotely call him a "genius" of football offenses. And...

Yes, I do think we could rival Chaps on his play-calling. Some of the suggestions that have been made HERE, on the forum, over the past couple of years could, at the very least, be considered if Jacques could "lower himself" to the lonely football pions called "BC Lions fans". Furthermore...

Would you continue to hold him in a higher status knowing the bone-headed calls he's made over the years. Sorry to belabour this point...but plays such as calling a receiver sweep on 3rd and 1 or continuing to counter-draw to Harris OFTEN on 1st down or throwing countless short hitch passes in the flats with either no blockers and/or no hope of getting by 3 or 4 defenders simply waiting there. I could go on further but...

Again, yes I think it would make for an EXCELLENT Reality TV show called "So You Think You Can Be A BC Lions Offensive Coordinator". TEAM 1040, the BC Lions station, could host it. Anyone know the number of the program director for the station??

...and the Lions lose the 1983 Grey Cup.

I'd have to say when we won in 2011 and 2006 it was our defense that won those games more so than the offense. We have always been known for our defense being able to set us up or score themselves since at least 2004 and the Carl Kidd days to the Marsh, Banks, Barron Miles era which has to be one of the most dominant defenses in the history of football.

Hey voice of reason. I too have criticized Chapdelaine in the past. But get some perspective, man. We're 6-3. One game lost by just a point, after racking up 38 points. A loss against the Grey Cup champs and a loss to the same team that knocked us out in the western final in week one. If this is how you react when we're winning, you must be a riot to be around when we're losing.

If you think we're so terrible, look at the beating Mike Reilly is taking in Edmonton the last few games. Or the quarterback revolving door in Winnipeg. The public flogging Simeon Rottier just took from Ed Hervey. Those are bad teams, out of playoff contention by Labour Day, with losing records for five or six years straight despite multiple changes at head coach and GM.

Its a football axiom: coaches prepare the players; players play the game. A good practice week usually means a strong effort in the game. Coaches adjust their game plan from possession to possession using input from other coaches and the players and make big changes a halftime, especially when trailing. Chappy is no different. He can't make Moore focus better so he can catch a couple of easy throws. He can't help our inside offensive linemen, all second stringers and rookies, hold their blocks a couple seconds longer. He can't throw it or catch it. Okay, he was a receiver, so he can do that. :slight_smile: He can't make receivers read blitz and adjust their routes accordingly. He can't read the D for Lulay.

A valid criticism posters in this forum don't talk enough about is Chapdelaine's use of hand signals to send in plays, while every other team uses radio between the coordinator's headset and the QB, using speakers in his helmet. Chappy certainly shown a tendency at times to abandon Harris altogether if the first couple runs don't hit it big, perhaps a natural bias by a former receiver who knows teams routinely rack up three to five times as much offense through the air than on the ground. Harris is so explosive he should be used on inside and outside screens, draws, counters, jets, searches, tosses to the flat, zone reads, even occasionally going deep, the whole running back chapter of the play book. Or maybe Chappy just wants to save him from getting too banged up in the first half of the year, so he can perform at his best later in the year and in post season when it really counts. Like Sheets and Cornish,who both los man-games to injury in the first half

IMO, BC's problems so far on offense have been mostly execution errors, not poor play calling. They struggle getting good production on first down at times and also struggle making first down on second and short situations. And Lulay, like virtually every QB in every league, struggles against the all-out blitz on second and long. Teams will continue to dog us with seven or eight guys, basically the Don Matthews D, until we prove we can beat it. I thought we were better at that last week against Hamilton. And after a couple of years of film study, defensive coordinators are figuring out ways to limit Lulay's production.

Pardon my digression, but In a recent column Ed Willes thought we could use a big, tough back to help us get the tough yards inside. We had that guy in Jerome Messam, until he committed a minor rules violation in training camp 2012 and was summarily dealt to Edmonton. We had a veteran slot in Arland Bruce with plenty of gas left in the tank, who right now is more reliable than Nik Moore, but he was allowed to just leave without getting anything back. We had that guy Sanders, another good running back/returner before we let slip him away to Saskatchewan; a year later we did the same thing with Geroy. Over the years we gave up impact players like Mitchell and let Jim Yurichuck, Jamall Johnson, Markeith Knowlton and many others leave. So we/ve lost some of the leaders on our team this year, exacerbated by injuries to linemen Hameister Reis, Reed, Baboulis and, most recently, Fabien. How well do you think any team would block inside with three starters and solid backup out? Why do you think BC just signed an east cost scout to " find linemen" on both sides of the ball? Things happen for a reason.

Finally, if we replace Chappy as you seem to prefer, unless we promote from within we'll get a guy who's unfamiliar with our offense. Not a guy who's been in this league as a player and a coach for about thirty years. That's 30 more than you or I have. Name me an offensive coordinator in this league with more experience.

Dooger in Surrey :cowboy:

There was quite a huge change letting Bruce and Simon go. I'm still kind of confused with that, I think Bruce was under-used and could've been a huge part of this team this year.

Chapdelaine may not be up there with some of the so-called OC guru's in this league but he did make some good adjustments to the offensive game after failing to deal with Montreal's blitz the week before. That said, the running-game is certainly in trouble but from my perspective the O-line is not getting the blocking done like they were in some earlier games so it is as much play-calling, the RB's and the O-line as anything.


Just read your last post. What an excellent post. One of the best I've read regarding the Lions in a very long time. :thup:

"BC's problems so far on offense have been mostly execution errors, not poor play calling. They struggle getting good production on first down at times and also struggle making first down on second and short situations. And Lulay, like virtually every QB in every league, struggles against the all-out blitz on second and long. Teams will continue to dog us with seven or eight guys, basically the Don Matthews D, until we prove we can beat it. I thought we were better at that last week against Hamilton. And after a couple of years of film study, defensive coordinators are figuring out ways to limit Lulay's production."

The above quote nails it, especially the inability to execute well. It's one thing for the coach to send in a bonehead play, it is an entirely different matter when the OC has sent in a play that is sound but poorly executed. No one can or should blame the coach for that. I believe this is what Chapdelaine meant when he basically said it is up to the players to execute the play and do it well. That is a fact, not an attempt to avoid taking responsibility.

In fairness to the OC I think before he is hung out to dry it would be wise to examine a multitude of plays and see if it was poor play selection on the coach's part or lousy execution on the player's part. I've seen the QB make brilliant passes only do have the pass dropped by the receiver. Unfortunately, some fans end up laying blame on the QB when it was not his fault. The same can be said about the OC and for that matter the head coach.

As far as Chap's competency is concerned, wasn't he the one instrumental in turning the Lions around in 2011 from a 1-6 team to Grey Cup champions? I think so! :thup:

When the QB is being mauled by the opposing D's line it is up to the OC to come up with a game plan to neutralize that. That requires two components:

  1. A creative game plan.
  2. Players on the O line that can give the QB the protection and time to execute the plays being sent in.

I do not have confidence in the the Lions' O line at this time. They are doing their best but they are being out-numbered and out-muscled leaving Lulay frequently staring up at the sky. How do we blame the OC when his O line is simply being man-handled? We don't. We accept it as it is and hope that the passing game improves when Lulay is getting the protection he needs and the Lions' D can continue to keep the Lions in every game.

Yeah definitely agree with the O-line. People underestimate the power of having a good O-line. At the Western Final in 2007 we would've beat Saskatchewan had we not lost 3 players to Injury JUST ON OUR O-LINE. After that it was very hard to block the Saskatchewan D when we had no problems before those injuries and I still say BC probably should've won it in 2007.