Offensive Adjustments=Common Sense...Doesn't It?

Like most of you, I write this post with somewhat of a "heavy heart" after watching a last play loss of a hard-fought game Friday night in Montreal. I realize that we're still 6-3 and that we cannot "win them all". Besides, as last season would show, a little adversity goes a long way to seeing what character a team has moving forward and building on. Yet, as another post in this Forum recently indicated, there is a distinct ill-feeling one has with, specifically, the offense of our team...

First, I have to say that I'm a firm believer that Travis Lulay has ALL the traits to be a championship calibre quarterback for a LONG time...much like Anthony Calvillo. After talking to people at the stadium in his college town (Montana State) in Bozeman, Montana this past July, Lulay is the real deal that people had a lot of faith in. With his keen eye to always try and keep a play alive, look down field for open receivers to the bitter end, and take off as a last resort if need be, one can see why they've dedicated an entire 4-sided 20 foot high pillar to Travis in the concourse of Montana State's stadium. At the expense of seeming like I'm trying to inspire a Canadian holiday in Travis' honour, I'm actually going somewhere with this and it specifically relates to Friday's game, last play (virtually), then working backwards to previous weeks...

Obviously, to anyone that watched Friday's game, Jeff Reinebold did a solid job to note that the BC Lions offensive line is banged-up right now and is not exactly very fleet of foot and athletic. This is proven that he blitzed, stunted, pulled, etc. most of the game and the Lions had little answer for it. I know that Coach Dan Dorazio is already working on this as I type this post. So, knowing that Travis was running for his life MOST of the game, why-oh-why would Coach Chapdelaine put Travis is a drop-back position, right in the line of fire, who predictably went to Arland Bruce (who amazingly, like Geroy, always seems to be able to still get open in double and triple coverage). That is, why wouldn't Jacques have had Lulay sprint out left or right to by himself more time. The Lions have countless weapons he could then use. But, with the play called, all eggs were put in one basket. Even if Travis DOES get time, he's banking on Bruce to make a tough catch at the front corner of the endzone on probably a pass that would be thrown like a bullet. Bruce, with Geroy on the sidelines, was the "money" guy on the play but he's also the PREDICTABLE guy. Unless...does Jacques not have faith in...Paris, Shawn Gore, Akeem Foster, Ernest Jackson or what about Andrew Harris. Isn't he a "money" guy too??

This Friday problem, as the other post suggested, is a small microcosm of a problem that's been here since the season began. Offense this season has been in spurts and is highly unreliable. It was great in Winnipeg during the last 27 seconds or even 2 minutes, but it took some miraculous catches like the one Geroy made. What about the rest of the time? I thought we were supposed to have one of the best if not THE best (along with Montreal) receiving corps in the league. Has the absence of Kierrie Johnson been that big of a blow (as was suggested on the post-game show on 1410 AM). And if losing ONE guy affects the offense that much, what does the short-term loss of Geroy mean? I would honestly like Jacques Chapdelaine (if he even reads these forum posts) to put a post on this forum about how much creative and well thought out planning he really does for games. I'm not kidding. I know he's famous around the league for all of the hand gestures he sends out to the QB's in getting a play in. He'd be mistaken for a base coach giving the "sacrifice bunt" signal most of the time, but what do all those gestures mean? Towards the end of last season I thought he started getting creative and had turned a new page. Yet, Friday's game, especially the last play, shows he's as predictable as Vancouver Rain in the fall. Another example that I question offensive "common sense" from Friday is that why, if Montreal was going to blitz-blitz-blitz most of the time, wouldn't BC go to "hot routes" and simple "quick slants" and "quick ins" to slow the pass rush down. Jacques seems to like the Wildcat to stall blitzes but, let's face it, it's getting much too predictable now and, if it weren't for Tim Brown's and Andrew Harris' innate running abilities, those plays would be stuffed for big losses. Simply put, BC didn't adjust to Montreal's well thought out game plan to pray on the BC offensive line. So...

How is BC going to prepare for the same team on Saturday?? You know that Reinebold will be sure to give a healthy dose of what worked so well on Friday. Who will be put in Geroy's position? Can the BC offensive line get any more active, healthy and, especially, mobile than they currently are (How long can Angus Reid play on a broken foot) ?? Finally, can Jacques (and I hope he's reading this...but probably not) perhaps get a little more creative in his calls and be a little more adaptive when Montreal throws a new "wrinkle" in to his plans. Have a Plan A, Plan B, etc. Remember, this team, defense (which has been keeping us in these games this season) AND offense was supposed to have countless weapons on it. It's time to start using them in creative ways. I might suggest Jacques to start watching some old film of Doug Flutie...the absolute master of improvisation on EVERY play. Who else has drop kicked a ball for a field goal on a broken one. Now...where's that old film of Doug??

Sorry for the length of this guys and gals but I had to get this all out. It's been stirring up in my mind since about Game 3 or 4. Has it been bothering anyone else?

Great post Voice of Reason.

Here is what I don’t understand about that last series from the 8 yard line:

Harris is a ferocious rusher, especially on the sweep to either side. I’m confident he would have made a TD or taken it to the one yard line. The options then become many. But putting the options aside, if you’re going to throw it into the end zone why not throw it to Foster? This guy has almost a 1/2 foot on Bruce and as much on the opposing defensive backs. Add in Foster’s vertical jump and a defensive back would have no chance at the ball. I’ve seen defensive backs in front of Foster just waiting to intercept the ball and Foster has reached over the guy’s head and shoulders and gathered it in. This is the second time they did not utilize Foster. It happened in another game too.

It was obvious that the Als were going to blitz on every play and rush Lulay’s throw. I worked masterfully in that last attempt to Bruce. They did on the earlier two plays. Why not a screen over the middle.

To me when you’re 8 yards from pay dirt it’s going for the 2 point conversion. On in this case you get 3 chances!

Great posts, and the only thing I'd hypothesize, as an Als fan, is that the timing and look of the blitzes may have prevented Chap / Lulay from going to those screens or sweeps. Not all blitzes open up the same spaces behind the front. As players have bought into Reinebold's system, we're doing more and more weird stuff up front that is confusing QBs and hampering their ability to make the right hot read and execute. Lulay had masterfully converted third down twice already on that drive. This time, the Als came up with the stop.

I don't follow the Lions too closely, because their home games are usually too late for me to watch, but from what I've seen of them on the road, I don't see any deep-seated problems with the offense. The Lions are currently doing what all championship teams do: finding ways to win even if the win isn't pretty. You have to credit Lulay and Chap for getting into the red zone despite Geroy's absence.

As an Als fan, with the ball on the 8 yard line, I too thought the ball was going to be put in Harris's hands and let him power his way but was glad they chose otherwise.
A great game overall and look forward to the rematch.

Voice of Reason’s writing style reminds me of a couple of media talking heads here in town. My guess is it’s either Matt Sekeres or Lowell Ullrich. Will the real Vice of Reason please stand up!

Dooger in Surrey :cowboy: