The love affair with sub-par talent continues with this team. Every year for the last so many years I have gone to training camp and I only need to be at one practice to see what talent we have compared to the rest of the league. This year, just like the last so many years, the analysis was simple……?we are not there yet’!
I say this year over year over year. This year I said it again. Today’s game proves just that. Rain or no rain, our effort was listless, our talent level is just not there. Let’s look at what I am talking about, and in no particular order.
Matt Ingersoll, OT…..imports on this offensive line have to play OT, and to play this position the one thing you need, among many, is power and foot quickness. He doesn’t have it.
Joel Figueroa, OT……read above
**Yet they are here from day one, and its not their fault, it is the fault of management that keeps them on the team roster in some capacity (42, 46, PR or IL). Is their no import OT available that is more suitable to play in our league with better talent, and a realistic chance to play and succeed? Why keep players that are just not good enough. Ingersoll played one or two series today. Perhaps he is better at LT or inside, but regardless, the way the ratio works and considering our Canadians inside, he has to work at either Tackle position.
CJ Gable, RB….he may be able to block, he may be able to catch a pass out of the backfield, but he wouldn’t give us the running game we need inside and out. His speed is sub-par. Yet he is praised as always. We have Chevon Walker (now injured) that has super speed, can catch, but also cant be your everyday running back because he cant flourish between the tackles. We have Lindsey Lamar, he can give give you a better running game, can catch, but isn’t the best blocker. I am not picking on any one of these players, but simply proving that our best running back lately is Avon Cobourne but hes not on the roster. I am not saying we bring him back, I am saying we haven’t brought in the proper back, this means management falls in love with the wrong players. Again this isn’t me picking on Gable or any other player, it is to prove management’s love affair with current talent.
Eric Norwood, DE….let’s hope we kept Boudreaux out of this game because of an injury because if it was just to see what this guy can do, then we made another bad judgement call. Norwood will never become a Boudreaux, and I am not saying Boudreaux is the next (fill in the blank), but he has to play because he has greater upside and potential that needs to come to the forefront.
Erik Harris..LB, DB…..Coach Austin loves him. I even like him, but hes not starter material, so why use up that Import spot with someone who cant be? Is there no other option?
Hinds, DB….had regressed throughout last year and regressed through training camp this year, yet he starts last week, and then finally they realize he is no longer a starter, and start Bucknor (who also isn’t a starter).
James Patrick..S….what is the love affair with this guy? He was released by Saskatchewan because he lost a step, and he has lost two more steps since hes been here. Is it because Stephen is still not ready to play at Safety or no one else can play that position? If so, lets not hurt the team and find someone, because Patrick is done!!!
Ray Brown….DB….probably a guy that is a playmaker but we do everything in our power to not get him on the roster. I don’t buy the ratio excuse, especially when he will bring more than someone like Erik Harris would, or even Bussey, yet they are on the roster. Brown is as big or bigger than both, and has the capability to play linebacker if needed and his customary position in the secondary.
I am not picking on any player, just relaying my thoughts, and the thoughts of many others out there.
These are just a few examples (I can add many more) of filling up our complete team roster with some players that just ‘CANT PLAY’ in this league. CANT PLAY means players that cant make a difference.
So what am I saying? Let’s raise the bar here. You are only going to challenge Calgary, Saskatchewan, B.C., etc if you start thinking that we cant just settle for average players, but we have to bring in players that can play and be impactful. I will never buy the rationale that these players are in the NFL, that they don’t want to play up in Canada, or whatever, because if that is the case and they use that as a cop out, then whats the point of hiring and paying a management staff that only will bring excuses.
I am a big fan of Austin as our leader, but today he needed to coach better. Within 3 minutes, Edmonton had a 3rd down and were punting, and Austin didn’t call a time out until near the end of the 20 second run down. Now that didn’t make a difference in the game, but you have to coach to give your team a chance to win. We wasted twenty seconds for no reason. Not a major thing today, but lets hope it doesn’t happen when we need those twenty extra seconds!!!
Also, and this is for OC Tommy Condell….We had 3rd and 2 near the end of the game and we called a swing pass to Gable. Apart from the fact that it wasn’t executed properly, why run that play to Gable and not Lamar? Gable wont out run a DB or make him miss with his elusiveness, but Lamar might!!!! The end result was he didn’t get the 3rd down converted.
So lets get better by searching for Quality players and not just fill ins, lets eliminate some of the talent on our Practice Roster and Injury Lists (when they are eligible to come off the list and are healthy) who simply cant make a difference on our team. If we don’t beat Winnipeg this week, we may be looking at an 0-5 start with Saskatchewan back to back on our schedule. They played really well against a very good Calgary team. We are not a ‘very good’ team.
There is an urgency to turn this around and it’s the entire organization that has to wake up, not just the players.