"Some people think football is a matter of life & death. I assure you, its much more serious than that!? Bill Shankly (I know … Different type of Football … I just love the quote!)Alright Ladies & Gentlemen! It’s Playoff Time!
Win or Go Home!
Do or Die!
It’s Now or Never!
Some sort of verbal ultimatum & irrevocable action to succeed at all costs!
So with that being said … It’s time once again to take a look at the Keys to Beating Montreal in this weekend’s Eastern Division Semi Final.
Let’s start with the Defense.
- Contain Troy Smith
- Challenge The Receivers
- Create Turnovers
Contain Troy Smith
When I say contain, I mean it in the most literal sense. They need to keep QB Smith in the pocket. They need to keep him from running or rolling out with ease. This can be achieved with equal and sustained pocket pressure & a spy by the MLB or WILL LB. Linemen must stay in their gaps/lanes while rushing the passer & pushing the pocket. If they leave gaps in the middle or off the tackles, the former Buckeye will quickly take advantage for big gains. The DLine must be very assignment sound & the LB’s must be able to fill the gaps quickly & soundly. The other key aspect in containing Smith, I think we saw a glimpse of last week against Winnipeg … Defensive Linemen Getting Their Hands Up & Deflecting Passes.
A solid front & sustained push into Smith’s face with the linemen getting their hands up deflecting passes or making Smith throw over top adding air under his throws will be very important.
Challenge The Receivers
By no means am I saying the Alouette receivers are soft or light by any means … Except for Deslauriers who folds like a cheap tent & Carter who I think can be manhandled. But I believe that the TiCats need to apply up front, in their grille-type pressure to the Montreal receivers. They can’t let Green get off the line of scrimmage clean & untouched. They have to get some sort of jam on him & Bruce. Again, by no means do I think they can intimidate Arland &/or SJ. But they need to be physical & make them change their routes. Get hands on them. Get a body in the way. Be aggressive fighting through picks. It’s playoff football & I truly believe they’ll be able to get away with a little more contact.
Ideally I’d like to see Rico Murray with a bump & cover inside 10 yards with an over top cover with McCullough on # 19. Anyone covering Bruce, push him to the sideline, he does less damage there.
This is really a desired result of the first two key factors. If you can contain Smith … Get your hands up defensively along the line … make Troy throw errant balls … bump receivers off their routes … then the TiCats should be able to create turnovers.
I think the most likely source of turnovers will be in the form of tipped passes at the line of scrimmage. Pressure from Isaac outside combine with “HANDS UP? and line-backers dropping in coverage equals turnovers to me.
In Summary ... On Defense
Contain Troy Smith - Disciplined - Assignments - Keep in Pocket - Get Hands Up
Challenge The Receivers - Get a body on the big boys - Bump & Run #19 & #1
Create Turnovers - Get to the ball - It’ll be in play - Get to the ball - Strip - It'll be in play