Keys To Beating BC - Game 2 - Getting The Split

Greetings Ladies & Gentlemen. It's that time once again to delve into the keys for the upcoming test for the TiCats. Really enjoying the discussion that ensues in these threads! It's becoming very clear that there are A LOT of very knowledgeable football fans both on this board and the league forum. It's great to see!

I'll begin with a quick summary of last week's effort which is necessary to see what it is that they have to do in order to win Saturday, get the split with BC, and get back to .500.

In my opinion the game plan, especially offensively, was not nearly as good as it had been in week's past. Is this due to playing a better opponent in the Lions? I think some what. But I would not put the loss down to just the fact that BC is better than Winnipeg & Edmonton. I give the game plan utilized last week a C grade. Execution of game plan also a C+. Effort from the players an A if not A+.

Much of what I believed to be keys to the game, especially in strategy/tactics, schemes/coverages, play calling/scripting ... did not occur last Friday evening in BC in my mind. So with that said, here's what I think needs to be done with the hindsight of last week's experience & knowledge.

Offense - Spread The Field - Horizontally & Vertically

I feel the main downfall last week, and what will be a key this week is to spread the field of play both horizontally & vertically. The Lions were too easily able to stack the box & with their front 7 and be very aggressive with their secondary. Their DB's gave no respect to Hamilton being able to throw deep. They hardly ever got out of their back-peddle and were able to close in on everything. They blitzed very well with the confidence that Henry wouldn't find the dump off/outlet or that the receivers wouldn't read and find the outlet valve route.

One thing I think Hamilton should do is utilize the "fake" waggle. The SB's should start their waggle to the LOS early in the count and hold up/stop. Make BC show their hand. Then protection and routes can be adjusted.

As far as formations and offensive sets, I'd really like to see more 2 back sets. With 2 backs in their theirs a lot more options. Both can pass block picking up blitzes. One can block while other releases. Both can release to the flats. One can run the seam while the other runs the wheel route. They can run counters in the running game, quick pitches to gain the edge. I'd really like to see Gable & Moore/Walker used in the backfield together. The best way to spread BC horizontally is with their RB's as well as the zone-read-run-option. Dan LeFevour didn't have a great impact last week, but I think the success from giving him at least a few series executing the zone-read-option is still there.

Spread the front 7 horizontally & that will open up the direct snaps inside, the draws, the shovel passes. Run some screens to give their DLine something to think about. That'll slow them down as well as spread them out.

They also need to get Henry on the roll. 5 to 7 step rolls. All the linemen down/slide block. RB/FB has to pick up whoever slips through a gap which is what happened last week. Get Henry rolling and flood that side of the field with receivers. Gotta send one guy on the deep corner or post route and make BC respect the back zone. Run the inside SB on an out underneath the deep clearing route. Let the 3rd receiver, most likely Fantuz, find the gap in the zone.

Some of the problems with stretching the field vertically is personnel related. I think that's the main reason actually. At this point they have no burner. But they need to run it all the same. Perhaps BC will underestimate it once and that long TD could be the difference maker.

Offense Summary - Spread the Lions DLine & LB's horizontally & make their secondary respect vertically. When the DB's & SAM blitz, you gotta recognize & hit the dump off route.

Defensive Keys To Come ... (Hint ... I don't think they did that bad actually!)

Defence was fine last game for the most part. One or two big plays given up were the difference. On Offence, just don't start as slowly as last game and the W should be easy.

Great post as usual, Fender. I entirely agree about the need to stretch BC vertically and horizontally. Particularly the deep game. Some of the older BC DBs don't necessarily have the wheels to be effective against the long ball. Take your shots and make them pay for overcommitting to the underneath stuff. If you try to nickel and dime a Stubler defense, you're playing right into his hands...

Great point! Stubler is the master of "bend don't break"!

I think the difference in that game was the Lions' defense.

Lots of pressure and sacks coupled with tight coverage took away any deep game. A good offense will take what the defense gives them.

That, and not running the ball (again) led to the loss, IMO

I think Hank is going to have to use his legs a bit too. Nothing breaks a D like taking away the deep ball only to watch the QB ramble up the middle for a 10-yard gain. Marsh had some success against the Lions doing just that and it opened up the deep ball as the BC secondary wasn’t just allowed to throw a blanket over the Als’ receivers.

Apologies for not getting to the Defensive Keys earlier.

As I hinted to earlier, I think the defense played a fairly decent game last Friday save for a couple breakdowns that resulted in big plays.

Defensive Keys - Pressure & Personnel

When looking back to last week's game versus BC, defensively, I saw that when they brought pressure, they were good. A few times I saw them only rush 3 and play some sort of cover 4 & 1 which simply did not work. I also see them dropping Boudreaux or Norwood into some sort of short flat coverage while they try to get others to the QB. Please stop that Orlando. I understand the scheme. But at this point I don't see the advantage of dropping a inferior pass defender while blitzing a inferior pass rusher. I know it can work at times, but I think Lulay and the BC Oline is too smart & experienced for that.

Pressure worked for the TiCats. Blitzing up the middle was better than off the bringing extra off the edge. Bulcke & Davis are commanding respect in the middle. Lawrence looks good in his blitzing. He comes through the middle with force. JJ is JJ as always. With the interior Olinemen having to use 3 to take on Brian & Torrey, this opens up something inside for JJ &/or Simoni. Pressure in Lulay's, or any QB's face for that matter, is much more effective than pressure off the edge.

As I alluded to earlier, I feel "Personnel" is much more of a key for defense than it is on offense. Generally, you're looking for offensive players to execute to play/game plan and hoping that your guys make a few plays more than the other team. On defense I see it differently. Yes, playing assignment sound is important, but defense is all about making plays. That's why I emphasize "players" more on defense and "game-plan" more on offense.

The TiCats need to have either Breaux or Rico Murray playing short-side corner this week and in the future. A Lock-down, physical corner. Someone who can man-up with Arceneaux. Get hands on him. Bump him. Rub him. Dennis Rodman-like phone-booth defense!!! You break & shut down Arceneaux ... You break & shut down all the Lions' receivers! He's the dump off when Lulay feels pressure. Gotta take that away! In fact that goes with all of Hamilton's secondary. The Lions' receivers are not tough or physical outside of #84. Bump. Rub. Give 'em a shot. They'll wilt.

Harris ripped a couple big runs, but he can't carry the mail all game long. As opposed to most teams that get better passing off of play action, BC gets better rushing from Harris after establishing their passing game. If you shut down Arceneaux with Breaux or Murray on the boundary, I have full faith that Hamilton's LB's and DB's & Safety can handle Harris & slot backs.

Pressure. Gotta bring it. If you get burnt ... so be it. Bring it again. Hamilton won't win by letting the Lions catch passes in front of them at 8-10-12 yards and getting YAC. Bring pressure each and every play. Make Lulay beat you running and making plays himself. If he does, so be it.