Keys To Beating Montreal – Rematch Game – October 26th, 2013

Well ladies & gentlemen, in consideration of the poor performance last week combined with the crucial & critical nature of the game this upcoming Saturday in Guelph, I thought we’d all do our part & help the team with what we believe are the “Keys? to victory over Montreal.

My 2 Keys ... (So far … Think I’ll be adding a 3rd but need some help)

  1. Facial Hair, Focus & Fundamentals
  2. Dictate To Defeat The Blitz
  3. ???

My 1st Key is fairly obvious. From what I can tell, and I admit that I don’t have scientific proof, but the TiCats have won when Coach Austin is sporting a good 5 day or more growth of stubble! So, to me, it’s absolutely logical, rational & more importantly IMPERATIVE that Coach Austin STOPS SHAVING RIGHT NOW!

I’m doing my part inversely. I’ve washed my TiCats coffee mug that had gone unwashed through the back-to-back wins versus Toronto. Same with the T-Shirt & Jacket & Hat. I shall scrub, shower & shave & all evidence & experience of last weekend’s embarrassment & start anew. Then I shall go unshaven & such through the remaining 5 games for the 2

Second part of this is Focus & Fundamentals. Obviously, the team lacked focus last weekend. I’m not going to pontificate elaborately on this matter since I fully expect the team to play with focus, fortitude & ferocity. I’m also sure that fundamentals will have been stressed during this week’s preparation. Blocking. Tackling. Assignments. Winning your one-on-one battles. Focus & Fundamentals have to be on point this weekend against an experienced & now hungry Alouettes' team. Without a markedly improved effort, no game plan or strategy will succeed. I'm expecting the fellas to "Man Up" & play with professional pride & passion after being thoroughly man-handled last Sunday.

My 2nd Key is Dictating To Defeat The Blitz.

In my mind, the key for Hamilton in defeating Montreal’s Blitz is to move the pocket/launch point & dictate offensively rather than react to Montreal’s pressure packages. They must get Henry on the roll. Too often Henry is 5-7 yards behind centre & thus a sitting duck/stationary target for the Als’ pass rushing DE’s & blitzers.

Roll Henry out. 5-7-9 step designed roll-out packages. Oline slide blocks. RB fills gaps. Overload one side of the formation with 3 receivers running triangle tree routes that overload the zone(s). 1 vertical stretch route. 1 snag/stick sideline route. 1 drag/sit route. All to the area that Henry is rolling towards. All right in his view. Hit the deep. Hit the sideline. Hit the drag/sit. Or keep running to the sideline.

This will get Henry in a rhythm. Give him at least 3 or more easy reads. Instead of him having his head on a swivel looking for an open receiver with the rush coming at him, get him moving & focused on one side with multiple options. When Montreal adjusts, the backside seam route will open up. You can run shovels to the RB or short dumps over top of the defensive player who comes up to contain Henry’s roll.

Once again, Montreal was just pinning back their ears with Henry in the standard pro-set shotgun formation. They were rushing & blitzing to a spot … To a target.

To me it’s simple … MOVE THE SPOT … MOVE THE TARGET!

Overall offensively … The TiCats need to dictate & get on the move & make Montreal react! Traps & pulls on counter running plays. Roll-outs. Bootlegs. Stretch the field horizontally as well as vertically & get the Al’s experienced DB’s & LB’s & DL’s on the run chasing rather than attacking!

Those are my “Keys To Beating Montreal? thus far …

What are yours?

Keys to beating the Al's. Show up, play every play like its the last! This team can beat any team on any given day! Its all up to them how bad they want it!

That's a great post, as usual, Fender. My concern/quibble with changing the launchpoint is that you simply can't do that every play, since you're cutting off half the field for the QB and thus (on some basic level) making it easier for enemy defenders to flood the half of the field you're rolling to. Another concern, too, is Hank's ability to evade the rush even on designated rollouts. He's a great player, but he's also 37 (38?). Do you think he still has the legs to do that snap after snap against what's arguably the best LB corps in the league, particularly in sideline-to-sideline pursuit? The answer could easily be yes, but to me it's not a given at this stage in Burris's career.

Other issue is the running game. To me, that's the big key here. Somehow, some way, Austin and Condell have to find a way to run the ball against Montreal. Having at least one of your starting OTs back will help a bunch, but it won't be easy. No team is tougher to run against than the Als. Schematically, it's difficult to run when the other team is run-blitzing in a one-gap defense and guys like Cox and Hebert are on the prowl. So really, I think it will take a renewed commitment to winning one-on-one battles in the trenches. Put simply, Hamilton's O-line has to beat Montreal D-line at the point of attack. You do that and you can really gash the Als for big gains on the ground because the pressure D means there's no second level of defenders for the back to beat if he gets through that hole.

Finally, the RB screen, curl, check-release, and flare. Using Gable and/or Walker in the short receiving game will do a helluva lot to blunt Montreal's pass rush. Incidentally, it's exactly how Doug Berry used Sutton against Hamilton last week when Steinhauer was sending pressure. Condell simply has to get the RBs involved as pass-catchers to make Montreal pay for leaving the flats open.

Fenderguy:

Excellent points. Well thought out.
But you missed one crucial thing about the Montreal game....they were wearing the white pants!!!! :lol:

The key for Hamilton will be protection and it looks like 100 percent ready or not Austin will get at least two of three of his offensive linesmen back. Maybe go with seven on the line to widen the wall some instead of trying to flood the field with targets.

Awesome Post! Great points!

I was actually thinking the same thing! I went looking at any correlation between uniform choice/combos & wins/losses. I'll have to spend some time on it but I think you're right. The white pant/jersey combo has not been victory friendly!

FEAR THE BEARD!!!!!GO CATS GO!!!!! :rockin: :rockin: :rockin: IN AUSTIN WE TRUST :thup: :thup: :thup:

http://cfl.uploads.mrx.ca/ham/images/general/2013/07/crop_19649053327.jpg

Is Austin suiting up :lol:

In Sunday’s game, when Gable and/or Walker ran to the flats, they didn’t look back until they were at least ten yards away. Way too late, as Burris was often surrounded by Als players by then. I’m thinking they need to look back for the outlet a lot earlier.

The second RB out of the backfield should also be checking for the blitz before starting his route. Watching the first sack of the game, Gable was out of the backfield well before the snap, but Walker was just leaving as the ball was snapped. If he had looked to his right, he would have seen the Als linebacker with a free route to Burris. At that point, he should have done one of two things, cut off his route to pick up the blitz (or at least stutter step to make it look like he was going to), or shorten his route by looking back for the outlet.

This is a really nice post. The RBs need to play heads-up football as the ball is snapped and not just execute the assignment robotically. Same as a receiver needing to read hot and get to an open space ASAP instead of just running his normal route.

Of the two backs, Walker seems like the better one at picking up the blitz, while Gable misses his assignments more frequently but is a more effective blocker when he does block (where Walker is a bit more likely to get pancaked or blown by). I'm curious to see how Austin uses them this week, and whether or not we'll see a lot of two-back sets.

LOL!!!! CHUCKLE.....YUP!!!!! As our 4th stringer!!!! :lol: :lol:

The backs in the blocking scheme is what I have concern over. There is a reason the Cats have two fullbacks on the roster. Use them. Neither of the ball carrying backs are enough to counter the Als, blitz. I also wonder whether on the plays where both backs went into patterns rather than blocking that they were instructed not to block and get out for passing. I would like to think that they have been playing football long enough to know not to pass a blitzer if the assignment is to chip/block first then release and that the passing routes were instructions from the coaches.

Its not easy. Offense pretty much has to show their formation. So the Als see Pontbriand and Gable set up on second and long. They can just drop back and send four... This is a classic matchup between the best offense and defense in the league.

In that chess match, I'd line up the backs on check-release options. They have to check off and block if blitz is coming; if not, one can curl into the flat while the other runs a hook keyed to a soft spot between LB spot drops. Not easy indeed but these are the kinds of matchups that are flat-out fascinating to watch...

Even that's not great because Cox and Hebert will be sitting right there if they aren't blitzing. Looking forward to this game. :rockin:

A lot of great feedback & contributions. Thanks everyone. In no particular order.

@CatsFanInOttawa

"In Sunday's game, when Gable and/or Walker ran to the flats, they didn't look back until they were at least ten yards away. Way too late, as Burris was often surrounded by Als players by then. I'm thinking they need to look back for the outlet a lot earlier."


Very good point. Noticed that a lot as well. I'll take it one step further. The other receivers ... especially the inside guys ... have to recognize the blitz & either slide in & chip on protection &/or release on a "hot route"!
@disciplineandpunish:

My concern/quibble with changing the launchpoint is that you simply can't do that every play, since you're cutting off half the field for the QB and thus (on some basic level) making it easier for enemy defenders to flood the half of the field you're rolling to. Another concern, too, is Hank's ability to evade the rush even on designated rollouts.

Other issue is the running game ... I think it will take a renewed commitment to winning one-on-one battles in the trenches. Put simply, Hamilton's O-line has to beat Montreal D-line at the point of attack. You do that and you can really gash the Als for big gains on the ground because the pressure D means there's no second level of defenders for the back to beat if he gets through that hole.

Condell simply has to get the RBs involved as pass-catchers to make Montreal pay for leaving the flats open.


All excellent points D&P! Especially the one about beating the Als gap-blitz on 1st down & hopefully gashing them for a big gain. I say, counters & traps are in order here. Sometimes they'll get you for a loss by blitzing through a gap left by the trap, but other times you'll gash them big when they guess wrong!

I understand & agree with what you're saying with respect to constant roll-outs. But I'd like them to start with this strategy & then make Montreal adjust, thus allowing Hamilton to go back to a traditional set. Or, if the Als start over-pursuing to the roll-out side, this will open up the backside seams that we know Henry can hit with his arm strength.

@HfxTC

Looking forward to this game.


Agree whole heartedly! I think this is shaping up as a real doozie! Especially the chess-match between Austin/Condell & Thorpe.

I'm gonna go with Austin stubble as well.

IMPORTANT UPDATE!!!

Coach Austin has some really good stubble going on this Thursday ... The day before the day before game day! It's even trimmed & shaped! It will be perfect & optimal length come Saturday!

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Things are looking up everyone!

http://www.ticats.ca/video/index/id/91669

Other than Austin's facial hair I think the key to beating Montreal is win the turnover battle. Protect the ball and force at least 2 turnovers and we win!