Platoon

Last night was interesting

For anyone who's allowed themselves to fantasise about the days when Adrian McPherson starts to "phase in" as the Alouettes full-time starter...last night was in the nature of an appetite teaser.
Sure it's never great to see your quarterback go down...but I'm sure everyone on the Alouettes is sanguine about the fact that one of the ways the "transition" might go down....is if Calvillo starts to.
And let's face it
It's more and more likely every year

Although we all can be mystified by longevity and quinoa pies...no one lasts forever.
Unfortunately.

While it's possible to prepare for a stint backing up the legendary Anthony Calvillo
One can hardly be expected to fill his shoes...not right away
But for a bit more than a quarter...Adrian McPherson attempted to do that
And got exactly what one can expect:
He had pretty much the same success AC was having...that is...not much.

I'm sure the "blunted quivers" Adrian was handed as weapons didn't help his cause much
But Adrian's attempt to sit in the pocket and let the play come to him wasn't working.
An anaemic combination of dunk-passes and last minute escape-attempts played right into the Riders game plan...and got the Alouettes exactly nowhere.

So on the second drive of the fourth quarter...AD decided he'd had enough.
I wish I'd recorded his post-game interview...but according to AD he went up to Milanovich and basically stated his intention to "react and play my game. We'll watch the game film later."

As the TSN guys were droned about how he had "way less reps in practise" etc, Mcpherson decide to take matters into his own hands...or rather...legs.
On second and medium McPherson simply dropped a few and then took off.
Damn the torpedos!
He got the 1st down with 3 yards to spare.

Again TSN:
"He'll go to his 1st read...and if it's not there he'll take off. Which is often what young athletic quarterbacks will do"

But suddenly the Riders manic pass-rush sees them stopped in their tracks...looking confused and worried about contain. And Adrian has all the time he needs to make his reads and hit his receivers...down the field for a TD.
So much for their game plan.

So I don't want to boast about my age (that would be cock-eyed)
But I am long-toothed enough to remember some of the great running quarterbacks in the CFL.
And while people may moan about McPherson taking a couple glimpses downfield and then taking off...
I might like to point out that we got beat last night by a quarterback who has in his playbook a number of plays designed to do just that....or to give the appearance of doing so when Durant's feet were essentially the primary receiver.

Holloway, Clements, Flutie, Dunnigan, Moon, Ham, Allen, Barnes...the CFL list goes on and on. I don't think it's unfair to put AD in that list...seeing as how in his first "real" start (against Hamilton) he came close to breaking Barnes' single game Alouettes QB rushing record.

So while it may be difficult for some to imagine...there are games when a combination of strategy...intensity and intangibles like luck (and/or biased refereeing) will shut down the Calvillo style drop-back passing offence.
And I can see a time down the road when a complete McPherson offence can be implemented to break down opposing schemes in just such an event.

This is the beauty of an Adrian McPherson. He's learning to sit tight in the pocket...make his reads and make the right read. In the end...this learning process will serve us all well.
But the upside of Adrian McPherson is that when all else fails...you can still turn him loose...and just try to stop him.

I still remember the pundits talking about forcing Allen to sit in the pocket...and what they got was the world's leading gridiron passer. They also got the CFL's all time leading rusher...a quarterback!!!

Obviously it's too early to expect anything near that kind of production from McPherson
But it's also obvious that this early in his career...the Alouettes are going to have to take stock of the young QB and his talents. If they want AD to go out there and win a game for them they're going to have to trust the young man enough to throw the ball down-field...and to be a little less rigid about his "career path".
There's no question he needs seasoning and experience...time for the game to slow down and make his reads...decisively and authoritatively. But to under-use his innate talents simply because you want him to develop in other areas is a crime.

Think of it as a "mod" or an add-on pack. You have this great running QB with a cannon arm...you need to tack on some patience and vision in the pocket and you have perfection (ideally).
But until this fusion is complete...cut the young guy loose and watch him rip defences apart.
We saw a good example last night...unfortunately too little too late.
Hopefully the Alouettes won't make the same mistake twice.

Somewhere down that road...AD stepping in for AC might not be such a shock.
It'll be a distinct pleasure.

Well, Senior, I have been advocating a platoon system for at least two seasons.

AC no doubt wants to atone for the - let's face it - lousy GC performances. We can take nothing away from him, leading his team to the Big Dance many times, but only a few GCs to show for it. So, I think that he would like to go out on a bang, with a load of records under his belt and at least an even GC W-L record. For that matter, and depending upon hIs health, he might even want to come back for another season.

However, I would like to see a platoon system here. I know these are controversial and there are pros and cons to such a system. There can be no doubt, despite what AC has shown us in the first 3 games, that he is in the twlight of his career. I don't know what the coaching staff, Trestman in particular, plans in the near and distant future. But the Als must look to the future, which is AD at present. Even Anthony benefited under Ham; let's at least extend the same courtesy to AD. Under the circumstances of a lousy Als showing against Sask, AD was the bright light. Had there been a little better execution when AD first came in, we might even have pulled off a W!

There's no question about it

One cannot acknowledge that Trestman revitalised a sagging Calvillo career with his west coast offence without in the same sentence realising that such a "form-fitted" scheme might not suit a quarterback with an entirely different skillset.

That being said, it's obvious that within the parameters of the abilities of those we now have on the roster...modifying the playbook to increasingly accommodate the unique abilities of an Adrian McPherson (rollouts, bootlegs, moving pocket, option plays etc) would be a chore.
Nor am I certain, after having listened to my share of his interviews, that Mark Trestman would ultimately be the offensive genius to implement such a plan. He might...but I doubt it.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Alouettes eventually employed someone specifically suited to the task. What's Warren Moon doing these days? Moon worked with Adrian a few years back...a pretty good fit maybe.

As things stand now...I'm pleasantly surprised at how well Adrian is adapting. It reminds me of how the knock on him was his accuracy just before he went to Arena Ball. He ended up winning rookie of the year:

ADRIAN MCPHERSON (6-3, 189, Florida State) was selected the 2004 Rookie of the Year as voted by the AFL head coaches, players, fans and Arena Football League Writers Association (AFLWA). McPherson earned All-Rookie honors last week.

McPherson led all rookie quarterbacks in passing attempts (397), yards (3,297), touchdowns (61), and passer rating (119.6). His passer rating ranked No. 4 among all AFL quarterbacks. The former Seminole also finished No. 3 in the AFL in rushing touchdowns (19) and yards (259) on 65 attempts. His 19 rushing touchdowns were the most ever in a season by a quarterback


With those 61 touchdowns he only threw 5 interceptions...and that in the confined space of a hockey rink!!!

All of which means that Adrian is a unique talent...and if the Alouettes are to integrate him...use him to his fullest potential (to our fullest benefit) the Alouettes may have to do some adapting of their own.

Another good McPherson story:

[url=http://htpreps.com/2011/07/03/the-100-greatest-no-5-adrian-mcpherson-southeast-graduated-in-2000/]http://htpreps.com/2011/07/03/the-100-g ... d-in-2000/[/url]


Check the photo gallery

As I noted in another post, one cannot expect McPherson to come in cold as, other than his third and three runs, he gets no game experience nor, does he get enough practice reps. Calvillo's game before the injury was horrible. He missed receivers by huge margins. I concur with the above opinions that McPherson needs to get game experience now. The team should focus on winning and, not focus on AC getting setting new pass records. Having an experienced, active and competent QB on hand at all times would be the best way to reach the GC.

AC played 3 perfect games, so what if he had a bad half of football, also saw Green drop a pass right in the numbers, Jourdain have one of his brain farts... the whole team came out flat with the exception of Anderson who I think was just trying to wake up his teammates.

I am really concerned when I read posts like these. If fans are prepared to pull AC after one bad half of football, it will be very difficult for Adrian to establish himself with a fan base like this. You likely will never see a QB as consistant as AC on the Als, possibly the CFL again in your lifetime.

I think Adrian can become a dominant QB in the CFL but it won't happen overnight, are fans going to want him bench when he has a bad half of football ?

Yeah, I'm not sold on platooning Adrian just because Calvillo has one bad half of football. And considering all that, we still could have won the game if if we'd done even one of the following:

Avoided huge breakdowns on defense
Gotten even minimally competent special teams play
Taken our heads out of our behinds by cutting out all those braindead UR penalties
Kicked a frackin field goal instead of gambling on 3rd and 2

To me, there's really no reason to swap in Adrian. Everybody has bad halves or even bad games.

Maybe you should try reading more than the headlines
You’ll end up being less “concerned”

No one is advocating “pulling” Calvillo after 2 1/2 perfect games
To be fair…BC shut AC down the second half of Week 1

The post was about:

  1. The necessity to adapt the offence to the different skillset that McPherson possesses
    For those times when McPherson has to come in for whatever reason
  2. The possibility that Trestman and Milanovich might eventually need some outside coaching help to design an offence built around a running/passing quarterback
  3. Despite the fact that the offence was “form-fitted” to AC…Adrian is adapting fairly well…and has proven in the past that this is one of the skills he brings to the table…the ability to adapt to a different game/system.
  4. Imploring the coaching staff not to be so conservative in their play calling…it puts a backup in a huge hole…and can only serve the opposition and lead to a loss.
  5. And the follow-up post was simply to expand upon the notion that somewhere down the line the Alouettes are going to have to adjust to playing Adrian’s game…that we might as well get started on the process now…and that in the meantime AD is learning “pocket-passing” which can only add to his already impressive arsenal of weapons

Apparently the Alouettes will be working on 2 game-plans this week
No one is certain…or willing to say if Calvillo will be out
This experience can only make the Alouettes a better team
As the hard work involved
May be a palliative for whatever complacency might be lurking in the dank corners of the dressing room.

Next time read the post
Otherwise why bother adding nonsense
To Good Sense.

And double ditto for this comment

Why do you think everything relates to you ? I wasn't even making reference to your post. LOL !

Yeah, really. :slight_smile:

I was responding to Niagara's (I think?) suggestion that we get Adrian more playing time now. To me, Calvillo gives us the best chance to win. We're not playing him so he can break records. We're playing him because he's at the peak of his game. One bad half of football doesn't change that.

I don't think that Senior or I were suggesting that AC be pulled and for AD to be put in on the basis of a poor showing. to be sure, it was not AC's finest hour, but for that matter, a whole raft of Als had brain farts in the Sask game. We need to put that one behind us and prepare for Hamilton, who will not be any slouches.

I think the point of this post is to prepare for an AD-led O. Under AD the whole offensive scheme will look and feel different. AD needs to be able to pocket-pass, but he is a threat on roll-outs, and we all know what he can do with his feet. These aspects alone make him different. But the entire O-line must be regeared at least to some extent. AD also needs to learn to make his reads quicker and to check down.

The platoon suggestion was not, unless I misread it, in reaction to the Sask game, but merely that the Als need to think of this sooner, not later.

I agree with the above. The team is only as effective as its units and, thought AC was having a great season, up to the last game. AS noted the west coast offense was built around AC and his big receivers which, prior to the last game, was going well. Everything went wrong against SASK. I have an expectation that this team will win big. Unfortunately, I was so frustrated with that game that I shut down the TV and, missed what appeared to be an exciting finish. Adrian is a part of this team at a time when our great QB is looking at " Father Time" and I do believe FT does catch up with all of us. I think we are approaching a time of transition and hopefully it will be smooth. This team needs to provide AM with needed experience so he will be up and be ready when called up.

HFxTC, I believe it is great that you have such a positive approach to life. This positive thinking is shown in every post you send our way.

You know I watched the game on pvr tonight. AC didn't even play a bad half of football. His first quarter was ok to good, he had 12 minutes of bad football. For all we know he probably would have had a great second half.

It's not really a West Coast offense anymore. There's that perception because we started off WC in 2008 and 2009 but really, Calvillo goes intermediate or deep just about as often as any QB in the league. At this stage in Trestman's tenure, the offense has matured into its own entity. Certainly, we rely on timing to run the offense, but it's not a dink-and-dunk operation anymore by any means.

Um...I started the thread
So I had the hubris to imagine you were referring to me
Maybe you should be clearer next time
And I won't jump to obvious conclusions
LOL

He finished 7-14 for 91 yards...0 TD and 1 interception
50% with no touchdowns is hardly stellar
Who knows if he could have made a comeback
But the start was pretty bad