MEMO RE USING THIGPEN ON OFFENSE (hi-resolution)

DEAR WHOEVER OR WHOM IT MAY CONCERN THAT REMOTELY ASSOCIATES WITH A TICAT HEADSET HONCHO:

OKAY... HERE GOES.

MARCUS THIGPEN MUST BE IN EVERY GAME AS A FEATURED WEAPON AS RETURNER, HALFBACK, AND SLOTBACK. AS A STARTER. IF CHAD OWENS CAN HAVE OXYGEN AT THE FRICKING SIDELINE, THIGGY CAN TOO FFS! SITTING HIM ON THE PINE IS RIDICULOUS!

WHY?

HE RETURNS TWO MISSED FGS FOR TDS

HE GASHES THE STAMPS ON A RUNNING TD...

HE. MUST. BE. PLAYED. ON. OFFENSE. EVERY. DAMN. GAME. WHISTLE. TO. WHISTLE.[/size]

Look...is it because Mike Gibson doesn't want to hurt Cobb's feelings? For me, you use this guy as a HB to run and receive, you move him to the slot -- in short you create mismatches wherever you can. He's closer to a Corey Holmes / Archie Amerson guy than Earl Winfield. That being stated, it BOGGLES me why he is not PLAYING OFFENSE more in a game he clearly dominates in special teams.

Last week, he was IN the offense throughout. Tonight? Sporadically, mainly in mop-up time. Does he look injured to you? I think not. it's ludicrous knuckle-dragging from a coaching perspective, IMHO.

WAKE UP! YOU DO THIS IN NOVEMBER AND IT'LL BE TOAST BEING SERVED.

Cue the exit music!

Yours,

O-O-O

P.S. #1:

The man is ELECTRIC!

I can just imagine Al Bruno with Earl Winfield:

“We put you in bubble wrap so you can catch your breath. I’ll come over in a quarter to let you in for a play.”

UNREAL.

Ralph Sazio to Garney Henley:

“DO NOT…NOT…COME A STEP CLOSER! YOU STAY OUT THERE! I’LL SEE YOU AT HALFTIME!”

:D :D :D

Does it really come as a surprise to anyone here. Gibson does not know how to use his weapons. For those of us who think the Cats are going to walk over the Argos in the eastern semi, you had better brace yourself for a possible disappointment. That game could go either way depending on which Ticat team shows up. Will they use Thigpen properly, of course not. Will it cost us, we will see.

First, Thigpen only had one return TD tonight, not two.

Secondly, he bounces the ball to the outside almost every time he has the ball. Isn't that the complaint everyone has a bout Cobb? In fairness to Thigpen, he is very successful when he does it, but it doesn't work every time.

Thirdly, it's not like Cobb was a bum today. He wasn't given the ball much (you don't usually run when down by 20+), but he had a couple of very nice runs.

Finally, while I agree that Thigpen should be featured more on offense, he can't (and won't) be in on every play. No one is in on every play, not even Bruce. Guys need a rest. Thigpen is a great weapon to have, but I am fine with how the team is bringing him along slowly. I'm sure many will disagree with it, but that's my opinion.

I agree fully with all you say here.

Me too.

Hopefully, Gibson didn't want to show all his cards tonight. If things go well Calgary is probably our opponent in the GC.

  1. True. It was close to two. One and 7/8 if all of them are added together. LMAO

  2. True, but faster to the outside than anyone on the field is a threat, no?

  3. True.

  4. True. I mentioned the oxygen tank though. Did you think I meant they would have a crew wheel the sucker out and he could get oxygenated inside the 20-second clock?

:D :D :D

Use him more...throughout the game. This is Week 18 coming up...how slow is slow to "bring him up?" He should be a STARTER and regular contributor. I mean on the field. Like getting the ball in space. Like handing it to the ref in the old school way after gashing a defense for six.

Marv Levy to Johnny Rodgers: "Great return, JR...but we want you to sit and rest your tired head. You go out with they punt." BAH!

Obie to Pinball: "No, you stay there. Joe, fetch him his pipe and slippers!"

November 15th will be too late to be coddling Marcus Thigpen. It's a insult to a guy who makes plays to be an accessory when it clear the guy can ball as a triple threat. It's an insult to my intelligence that a gamebreaking threat is being withheld for who? For what?

November 14th, 21st, 28th...he better be more of a factor, IMHO. A guy like that on the field makes every skilled player on the offensive unit better because the defence must account for him. More opportunities for Bruce, McDaniel, Cobb...everybody!

Cobb? They can't both play together in the backfield? Thiggy can shift to slot to sub McDaniel or Bruce. Place him on the edge and have him run a few fly patterns. The Montreal game was a primer on how to integrate Thiggy in the offense. He has the experience as both a halfback and receiver in college to be a dual threat on offense.

I did not detect an injury issue while Thiggy singed the turf last night. Just saying. So something is causing the fog to roll in and keep Gibson and Bellefeuille from putting Thigpen in the game more during meaningful playing time (i.e. when the game is still in the balance). I don't get the "he needs rest" bit. Rest is rest. Series after series of no Thigpen? Sounds like playing on not hurting feelings, lack of ingenuity, and stupidity rolled into some combination of the three.

Start him on offense. Subtract the plays he needs for rest. What have we got to lose but a greater possibility of losing?

Oski Wee Wee,

Russ

  • edit – in the game thread I mentioned Chad Owens being a starter for Toronto as receiver as well as a regular ST return demon using the oxygen tank to recuperate on the sideline, but my cut-and-paste here did not include that bit. I was referring to the fact the Argos recognize what they have in him and they exploit it to the max. We don’t with Thigpen. Not even close.

Oski Wee Wee,

Russ

Thigpen: The new Archie Amerson.

Give him the ball!

He usually does find the corner, but when teams start to gameplan for that (and they will), then that won't be available as often as it is now. Since they don't use Thigpen more, teams don't seem to focus on him.

This is how players like Thigpen are used now. They are called situational players. Thigpen is not big enough to be an every-down back. I know the CFL game is very different, but Thigpen reminds me A LOT of Reggie Bush. Great threats to have in the return game and on offense, but not the kind of guy that you want being your bellcow back.

But now you have them taking Bruce and McDaniel off the field. Those guys are threats too. I won't disagree with you that Thigpen is a weapon (I'm not debating that point at all), but I think there is a right way to use him. The Montreal game you cite was a very good way of using him. And who is to say that the gameplan didn't call for more Thigpen but when the play was called, the option just wasn't there. It's entirely possible that Thigpen's role was reduced because Calgary took it away when he came on the field.

Perhaps, as some others have mentioned, it's about holding some stuff close to the chest for a potential playoff match up. As odd as it is to say, the Cats had nothing to play for last night. That doesn't excuse their performance, but perhaps it caused for the team to change philosophies at halftime or whatnot.

Who does Thigpen start in place of? It's either Cobb, Bruce, McDaniel, Mann. Which guys does Thigpen replace in the lineup? I'm guessing you're going to say Mann, but him and Thigpen play drastically different roles. It's not just as simple as putting him out there.

All of them at different times. Corey Holmes is as recent and as close to what Thigpen's versatility represents as one can find. Thomas Haskins for Montreal would be another. You rotate a dual threat HB/SB guy in and out of the game, especially when other guys need a blow on the sideline.

You are suggesting that it's more difficult than it is to utilize a guy like this than it is. I disagree.

A coaching staff that was on the ball would have assembled a Thigpen package that would be usable every game employing him at HB, FB/HB2 (with Cobb in the shotgun), and SB -- adding to it throughout the year and adjusting it to attack specific personnel in the opposing D.

I'm not disputing any claim that Cobb isn't or can't be the main back at the rate of participation he is. All i'm saying is why aren't we seeing both guys in the game at once more often based on the Montreal game model and the earlier success this year against Winnipeg? Why do we do it one week, abandon it for four, oh let's go back to it, and nada?

[url=http://forums.ticats.ca/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=62249#p1054175]http://forums.ticats.ca/viewtopic.php?f ... 9#p1054175[/url]

I'll defer to the cheque writer here.

Again, it's bizarro world to see Owens play WR and return kicks on one end of the QEW and contrast that with what we do with Thigpen.

Henley, Rodgers, Crawford, Clemons, Winfield, Haskins, Holmes, Owens...the CFL has a history of multi-purpose talent that played as starters AND excelled as returners. I could go on naming others, but I think there's a point here. If you have a guy who can score anytime he touches the ball from anywhere on the field, YOU FIND A WAY TO PLAY HIM REGULARLY. It means telling guys who can't do what he does that they have to sit sometimes.

It's not about hurt feelings. it's taking a difference maker and maximizing his output in the hope that his presence on the field will create mismatches elsewhere as well as additional big plays. As a coaching staff, you adjust his participation level to ensure he doesn't get gassed -- like one does with EVERY player on the field.

It's not thinking outside the box. In the CFL, there is no box. It's a cow pasture with rubber pellets. Run Thiggy, run!

Oski Wee Wee,

Russ

Russ, you said that Thigpen should be STARTING, that implies that he should be replacing one of the other starters. I ask again, which one?

I sure as heck don't want him replacing Bruce or McDaniel. Those guys are bigger threats than Thigpen. Bruce is perhaps the best receiver in the CFL, period. McDaniel is really starting to come into his own, and is the heir apparent to Bruce when ABIII decides to hang 'em up.

Cobb, for all the things negative said about him, is a darn good RB. I don't have an issue with him and Thigpen being used in tandem or with Cobb going to the sideline (like Reynolds-Cornis in Calgary), but Cobb should still be the starter (like Reynolds-Cornish in Calgary).

I agree with needing to get Thigpen more involved in the offense. We do not disagree on that point at all. The guy is a threat every time he touches the ball. He is a thrill to watch and could be utilized better than he is now.

But you said you want to see him starting. And my question remains: in place of whom? You said "all of the above" in your previous post. That can't happen. Does that mean that some games you want ABIII on the bench to start the game? I can't imagine you'd think it would be a good idea to have Bruce sitting out.

I will stress again that I am not disputing you on Thigpen needing to be more involved. I'm just wondering who you think he replaces in the starting lineup. Not in the lineup once the game has started, but in the lineup when the offense first takes the field.

Be clear: I am not fetishizing Thiggy being an actual starter over one guy or another. If he can line up as a starter against an opponent when the first series begins that will yield instant benefit via creating a mismatch, then by all means he should be slotted in the lineup that way.

When I use "starter" in my discussion, I'm more concerned with him getting something approaching a starter's amount of plays per game even while being moved from spot to spot on the field. My take is he would be a devastating change of pace either as a HB motioning out for a deep route as a slot or as a slotback proper than simply being a sub for Cobb (particularly when he's used mostly when the mops are out). I mean he must become a major contributor to the offense, series to series, quarter to quarter. Every game.

It's not even a case of being out there EVERY snap where he's need winded. But can we see him getting used 20, 30% more on offense as part of a rotation?

Over time, he may find his starter's niche at a particular position as Crawford and Amerson did at SB. Again, I feel sometimes there is this "fear he might get hurt" mentality that is at play here that at the pro level really shouldn't be at play. You got him, use him.

Oski Wee Wee,

Russ

Mann would one possible guy he could take reps from, frankly. My take is Thiggy when not being deployed as a halfback would be more effective as a change-of-pace slot guy that would add a run threat on reverses and motioned carries in concert with Cobb.

Pushing McDaniel is not a bad thing either, I believe Marquay is an excellent receiver. When Bruce needs a break, Thiggy should be an option there too.

There isn't a place where you can point and say that Thiggy must be the replacement starter for a IMP receiver, IMHO...although Mann is the Invisible Mann at times. It's a question of making Thiggy a Swiss Army Knife of gashing D's as much as possible. The opportunities are there.

Oski Wee Wee,

Russ

How can you say McDaniel is a bigger threat than Thigpen?
He's a serviceable WR, but not a threat to score or may a big play every time he touches the ball.

Indeed. And if we start to see Thiggy in that slot and he displays that explosion, then the decision would be simple if I were a coordinator. Period. More is more when you have options. The point is to create that fait accompli whenever possible. Then the guys in the room see one is serious in building a winner.

Keeping head-scratching to a minimum on the roster is a good thing, IMHO.

Oski Wee Wee,

Russ

[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kV_f8nTRyes&feature=player_embedded#]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kV_f8nTR ... _embedded#[/url]!

Yes, there were days when dual or multi-threat guys on the Cats were not fodder in hand-wringing fests on Internet boards. LOL :wink:

I think Blogskee and myself are not too far apart regarding how Marcus can be used. I'm simply stating that as for me, I'd be looking to putting this touchdown machine on the front line of the offense. If it takes a number of weeks into next year even until he finds his niche, I think the experiment is absolutely necessary. It means added reps and added responsibility.

Maybe he will become only a specialist a la Gizmo Williams in Edmonton. My gut is there's a lot more to explore with this guy and it will be fun finding out with the right people in place on the Ticat staff who have the the audacity to work at it. :wink:

Oski Wee Wee,

Russ

I feel like people are misconstruing what I am saying.

I'm not saying that Thigpen isn't a threat on nearly every play. The guy is phenomenal. He has speed to burn and should be given more of an opportunity on offense.

The reason I view McDaniel as a bigger threat -- and maybe I should have said, "more reliable threat" -- is that McDaniel is much more comfortable in the offense than Thigpen is. We need to remember that Thigpen is but a rookie. He's still learning many things. McDaniel has had almost two years and has sat and learned under guys like Bruce and Stala on how to be a better receiver. I trust McDaniel much more than Thigpen to execute the game plan.

Let's not forget, that it was just last season that McDaniel was simply a return guy. He learned the offense and by the end of the year he was getting a lot of snaps as a receiver. It was he who caught the game-tying two-point convert against BC in the playoffs.

Look, I like Thigpen a lot, but he's not the second-coming of Pinball Clemons, at least not yet. He still has a lot to learn. Bringing guys along slowly is not a sign that the coaching staff has no faith in him. And who knows, perhaps they will unleash Thigpen in the playoffs. Maybe they have been designing things for him with an eye on playoff time so that it will hit teams by surprise.

We are but a few millimetres away from being in complete agreement. We both want to see Thigpen getting more chances. I just don't know how the team should go about doing it. I will say that if Thigpen isn't utilized more (the Archie Amerson comparisons earlier are quiet apt) next season, then something is wrong. I think the injury that he reportedly had mid-season hurt his development as far as getting more offensive touches. I think had he been healthy, we'd be seeing more from him on offense.