You have to give credit where it was due: Lions beat Hamilton soundly to pick up their 11th win on the road in the second to last TiCat home game at Ivor Wynn Stadium. Lulay got all of his weapons going early, was ridiculously efficient on second down all night and the BC defence clamped down on Henry Burris for most of the game. Hamilton's 17 points flattered them.Truth is, the Lions hammered the hopeless 'Cats, dominated them in all three phases. A tip of the hat to Tim Brown, who had some great returns and solid runs and maintained ball security all night. Good to see Harris set the record and Ernest Jackson was making plays, in for the mighty mouse Kierre Johnson who wasn't very effective the week before against the Stamps. I thought the offensive line was very effective for most of the night. They gave Travis plenty of time on most plays, did a solid job run blocking and limited their mistakes and penalties.
With Mitchell and Taylor unable to start, coach Stubler used that to his advantage and played a three-four for most defensive snaps. That allowed them to get Elimimian and Bighill inside and Shell and MacKenzie outside. That change helped to hold Cobourne to only thirty-four years in the first half. Keron Williams was able to get a sack when the D rushed only three guys. While the Tiger Cats offence were able to make plays within the twenty-yard lines, they were less effective in the red zone and bad penalties took at least one TD off the board. I thought Marsh and Banks played their usual solid game on the short side and Parker and Phillips were solid on the wide side. I thought Muamba's tackling and decision-making were solid all night, a good rebound game for him.
At times our kickoff cover guys were unable to shed their blocks quickly and so gave up some yardage. So there is always something to improve upon for next week. Bottom line: MacCallum was perfect on his field goals after a shaky kickoff early on and the cover teams kept Chris Williams out of our end zone.
Next week another desperate team (Edmonton) searching for consistency comes into BC Place. The keys will be limiting Fred Stamps' production, keeping Joseph in the pocket and getting good first tackles on Hugh Charles and Jerome Messam. Kerry Joseph can still pull a rabbit out of a hat every so often, so the Lions will have to prepare the same way they did this week against Hamilton. The Eskimos' defence aren't the same attacking unit without JC Sherritt.
This season ends with a three-game swing through the Western Conference, at home against the Eskimos, on the road to Calgary and the final game against Saskatchewan which might be a "mean nothing" game. I can see Bene resting some starters, limiting reps for others, so we have everybody ready for the Western Final.
Gotta say something about Dee Webb's cheap shot on Marco Ianuzzi in the third quarter. Hits like this were fairly common twenty years ago and more. Some very good receivers had their careers shortened because of it. Remember how Jason Tucker's career ended? I don't mind the safety coming over and hitting Ianuzzi, that's his job. But the helmet-to-helmet hit to the back of Ianuzzi's head was vicious and reckless. It's a game, not a war, players need to play with poise even if they're getting shredded at home.
To set an example Webb should be punished to the limit of the league CBA. I also think hits like that, basically spearing someone with your helmet, need to be punished more harshly on the field, notwithstanding supplementary discipline. I would prefer a 25-yard rough play call for the first illegal hit and toss/fine the player if he does a second one. I'd be interested to read the comments of other regular contributors to this forum on this helmet-to-helmet hit on defenseless players.
I hope Ianuzzi recovers and is healthy for the post season. From the Hamilton DB's point of view, if he doesn't make hits like that he'll be replaced with someone who will, the old apple and a road map treatment. But where is the need to scramble someone's brains? Just hit him in the torso and wrap him up.
Dooger in Surrey :cowboy: