Only a few hours to go!

With Milanovich in the stands. I'm glad we didn't show anything. We can't fix our special teams till we get a punter. Pay Medlock and get him up here asap.

Yeah, I too would make a call to Medlock. Whyte is not a pro punter and he's not reliable on any FG attempt beyond 45 yards. It shouldn't be unworkable with respect to the ratio to go back to an American kicker.

HfxTC,

Where is Medlock? Is he available?

I don't doubt our starters are better, but it's been a few years now that our backups don't match the opposition.

Medlock was cut by the Panthers in November 2012. He's a free agent.

This is precisely the issue, Phil. You hit the nail on the head. Nobody expects a preseason game to show our playbook or make every unit look smooth, but when your scrubs get destroyed by the other team's scrubs, it speaks to a problem with talent depth. More and more, I question whether Jim Popp still has the drive and desire to bring in the absolute best talent he can, as opposed to just canvassing around his home state and inviting players up through connections or word of mouth. Our depth used to be elite; now it's subpar.

I don't agree with you guys. Gainey, Carrier, Rhodes, Stafford looked great. Our four draft picks executed well in their first Pro game. That is unheard of to have four draft who aren't Olinesmen play this well. Klassen was dynamic. Lumbala moved the ball on the carry they gave him. Edem and Boulay looked sound.

Okay, so why were we unable to stop Hamilton's second and third-stringers on offense? I agree with you that certain players stepped up and showed something but in a battle of scrubs, the game should have been more even than it was.

I was surprised to see the ST in an unsure state. This isn’t any better than reinbolt’s last year.Our return men are going east/west, because we seem not to have a blocking scheme that give a window north/south. This is not players, but coaching.

I think that Edem has a real shot at starting some time this year. Made all the right reads, and didn’t drop coverage when things got messed up with miss played calls.

They definitely see him as a starter and I can see why. Kid has talent and desire and could have a nice productive career in this league.

As HfxTC, I don't agree with some of you who write that the Als don't have depth/not good new talent.

Players such as Gainey,Carrier,Stafford,Devine and Stewart are all good and young talent. Older players such as Rhodes and Wright are good additions; furthermore, as many as four 2013 Als draft choices should be on the active roster,once the regular 2013 season begins.

No excuse, but in last night game the Tiger-Cats played many more veterans than the Als did. After the first offensive and defensive series, almost all Als players were rookies and second or third year players.

Throughout the years, one thing that I have observed in the CFL is once the pre-season games are done many teams become worse. Why? The Non-Import and Import ratio. During the pre-season games, you can play as many Imports as you want but not so once the regular season begins. Teams with better Non-Import talent will/do excel once the regular season begins. The Als have above average Non-Import talent and it is why they will still be amongst the best teams.

Richard

That's an interesting point about ratio, Richard, and one I hadn't considered. I was very upset with how most of the game went, but the Porter-led late surge reassured me a bit. I do think we have a LOT of work to do on defense and ST, both of which were poor last night.

Individual players who stood out to me were Carrier, Lockley, Devine, and Gainey.

Just my opinion but this is how I see it.

1- Lost the battle of field position, its pretty bad when it get's to the point where your starting inside your10 yard line and your opponent can afford to take a time count to punt from further back. (We need a punter).

2- Hamilton showed what their offense is going to be. Read option and we did not "choose" to change our D scheme, having said that Hamilton is only in first stage of installing their offense. You can expect Burris to throw from outside of the pocket and add a second and third layer. We didn't release Rhodes out of the backfield, we showed zero of our motion or ground game. In fact the only time we moved the chains was when Porter improvised because he refused to get setup.

3- Breakdowns on Cover and Kicking teams.( Will be the biggest determination on guys getting cut).

My worry is field position both kicking game and commitment to ST assignments. The rest we'll be ok.

I hope Thorpe has a plan for stopping read option / zone read and those lateral passes to the flat because we got killed last year seven ways til Sunday by that same type of attack (remember the two massacre games against Hamilton?). Hamilton can add second and third layers to their attack, but at the end of the day, if you take away the zone read and play tight D on the short passing game, you stand a good chance of shutting Burris down.

I agree with you about special teams. Given how awful we've been on that front the past three years, last night did nothing to reassure me. Guys can and should be cut based on their ability to execute cover and blocking assignments on teams. The punting situation is dire and I sincerely hope we see 1-2 American kickers in camp within the next few days. Whyte may be the worst pro punter I've ever seen. No leg, no hangtime, no directional ability, and he's not a good / consistent enough FG kicker to justify the awful punting.

It was the first pre-season game, no more no less. Hard to guage without the veterans and not knowing how much playbook is being shown.

Dont know why we didnt see the Als run more, perhaps they wanted to test the QBs and receivers. And our second team o-line was terrible.

Biggest concern though is Whyte as a punter. He is inconsistent and this will be an ongoing concern all season if not solved. I posted in the off-season we should look at Medlock, and if he is not available than somebody comparable if only just to punt.

Positives on defense : Klassen, Adebayo, Boulay, Ben Wells, Venable (doubt if we can we play an import at safety), Bear Woods (tough to beat out Emry but possible designated import). I saw good things from Edem and Michael Carter, but also mistakes.

Positives on offense: Millington (biggest revelation to me), Wright, Carrier, Porter, Rhodes` blocking. I liked the little we saw of QB Tanner Marsh, he was more impressive than Neiswander who was a disappointment. And I somehow expected more from Noel Devine.

Popp on RDS praised Stafford, Millington, Boulay, Verdone for having good camps. Verdone had 2 special team tackles last night.

And hopefully nothing serious for Clowney.

If Millington gets cut and Deslauriers stays, I don't know how evaluations are made TBH. Millington showed more in preseason action than Deslauriers has shown in years.

I don't think we'll start an import at safety (Venable), but since we seem to be starting 8 Canadians (5 O-line, 1 FB/TE, 1 MLB, and 1 safety) we can afford to have an import backing up Edem. Emry's position is safe, no one is taking that away from him (much to MJ's chagrin :wink:). Venable is either a backup safety, a DI, or else on the PR I think...

Sean is a crapshoot outside 45 yards. his 50 yard attempt in less than 10km wind yesterday went 48 yards.
Also if you look at the way he covers he purposely runs to the sideline to avoid having to make a tackle. I don't expect him to cover like Hebert but he's useless if the ball comes his way.

I am pretty convinced that if we go with him this year, we have no chance.

Another guy that didn't get the recognition for his play yesterday is Millington. the kid flat out plays with no fear and what a grab extending his hands and reaching for that overhead ball ! Compare that to 6.4 Deslaurier who instead of going up to make the grab, launched himself forward to try and catch the ball low. I'd give Deslaurier's job to Millington and put Deslaurier as his backup.

I know, Millington had a great game! If there's any justice, he should earn the NI receiver spot with Deslauriers as the backup. No point having a 6'4'' receiver who plays like he's 5'1''...

As for Whyte, yes, I noted the same thing. More than a 45-yard kick and it's absolutely a crapshoot. He has no leg for distance on either punts or field goals. Get Medlock up here now.

If they go with Whyte this year, not only do we have no chance, but it would cast serious doubt on the ability of Rychleski and Hawkins to evaluate ST talent. If they can't see that Whyte isn't the answer after last night, we have problems.

If you go with Whyte might as well fire Coach Ray now. Cause there is nothing a ST coach can do when his kicker is that erratic because Whyte is trying to put more into his kicks you have no idea where it will land. So just show the guys scenes from the movie Braveheart and save the money.

Clowney released from hospital. Out a week with a stinger.