Playing possum?

An interesting article this morning by Herb Zurkowsky. Zurkowsky, quoting Terrence Edwards said that the weekend loss to the Bombers was due in no small part to the fact that the Als clinched first place three weeks ago.

Also, in the same article, Michael Bishop stated that he had no pass rush and had the time to find open receivers. To be sure, Montreal is nursing some injuries to key personnel in the secondary. However, that so many receivers were open in two successive games and that the Als gave up 79 points to the oppositions' offences is a cause for some concern. Bishop, when under pressure, has been known to throw numerous interceptions. He must be made vary uncomfortable again this coming weekend. Who knows? The Als may just be meeting them in the East Final.

While football is a very physical game, there is, like all other sports, a psychological aspect as well. Dickie Moore, referring the the Glory Days of the Canadiens has said that when opposing teams stepped onto the ice against the Habs, they hoped they'd win'; we KNEW we'd win. This is the attitude of winning teams. There is very little to gloat about from the Als' defensive performances in the last two games.

Are the Als "playing possum"? Maybe, but the opposition, allowed to freewheel offensively and rack up some major points looks at it differently - the Als can be scored on - bigtime! The Ticats, while losing against the Als, racked up 38 points. That is at least a "moral" victory.

I sincerely hope that the Als step onto the field next Sunday like the Class of the League that they have been reputed to be. This team cannot afford to lose its edge heading into a one-game, winner-takes-all East Final. A lousy performance in that one means no Grey Cup - again! It would certainly be nice to cap off this excellent season with a Grey Cup parade down Ste Catherine Street!

So, here's hoping that the Als will find that delicate balance of avoiding injuries to key players, while still playing to win. There is nothing further to achieve in the standings, but they must show the opposition that they are a team to be reckoned with. This is the psychological advantage they need.

Go Als Go!

Kevin

I don't think Montreal is playing possum but it would be stupid of them to show their strategies to teams they are likely to face in the coming weeks.

Obviously if you don't blitz you will put extra pressure on your defensive backfield and be able to see any weaknesses that may not be apparent if your pass rush is humming along.

IMO The strenght of Montreal's defense is the speed and the ferociousness of the linebackers, they are by far the fastest group in the league and right now the Als are playing with one third of their starting squad.

People need to keep in mind that this game meant nothing with the exception that we lost Eric Wilson for the remainder of the season :frowning:

The pseudo psycholgists in the group will say that we have given hope to our competitors blah blah blah. I don't buy that. It is how you play on the day of the game. I've got all the confidence in the world in our coaching staff and players.

I'm not sure if I would say that they were playing possum but the Als really need to lower the boom on the Bombers this weekend. Montreal had their week of rest and now needs to send a message going into the playoffs. Anything less than a blowout and I will be disappointed.

A blowout, Fox? Not sure I agree. Winnipeg isn't a pushover and their defense is on par with any team's defense league-wide.

Win or lose, I don't think we'll blow them out, particularly since Wilson is likely gone for the remainder of the regular season and there's no guarantee we'll have all our defensive starters back (Sanchez, Ferri, Emry).

Wilson will be missed, this was as far as I am concerned his best season ever.

Sanchez will be missed if he's out again, especially if Dix is his replacement again. . I'd give Woldu the start if Sanchez can't go.

I'd like one of Ferri or Emry to return. . . Guzman can fill in for one rather adequately, but using Spencer doesn't thrill me.

This weekend they are playing at home so they have a paying fan base to think about but even then you want to be smart about what you show and dont show.

Last game of the season in Toronto again I'd play Adrian for a half and Chris for a half. Sit Cobourne, Cahoon, Calvillo, Anwar, Flory, Sanchez. The 35 and up club... Let Hawkins, Woodruff, Jennings, Green, Desrivaux get some seat time.

Then you give the guys a week off while the coaching staff works on their scenarios for the two possible teams they will play and then everyone comes back fresh and ready to work.

That's how I'd do it but I'm not a coach :slight_smile:

......WE DID EXACTLY THAT......and i thought it was a mistake by Ritchie...We rested Khari ...Bolden and a few others as i recall, on offence and defence and watched our 14-4 club lose the Cup to the stumps...something to ponder :wink:

Trestman said you don't control injuries well that's not exactly true. If the guy is not playing he can't get injured.

As far as "rust" and "timing" being affected well that's how you prepare. Look how the Als came out of the gate when the season started. Trestman has shown he can prepare his team.

Have you seen Belli and Toronto play this year ? They are dirty and undisciplined how do you explain to the fans that you've lost Calvillo or Cobourne in Toronto in a meaningless game ???

You have to pick your poison. I'd rather have to get my guys up in the week prior to the game than have to spend my time in the film room tll 1am with a rookie QB cause my starting QB's carreer was ended by a fat salami eating porker rolling on his legs. :?

....with that very apt description, i thought you would have worked 'belly' in there somewhere :lol: :lol: :lol:

Sure...but if you are able to get to Bishop and force him to hurry his throws....well.... :wink:

Too bad for Wilson. With Seagraves out for the season we are down two tackles!

:)

Still no guarantee of a blowout, and particularly not with Winnipeg fighting for its playoff life.

Don't get me wrong. I'd love a blowout. But I won't expect it at this point in the season. There's too much parity in this league (well, except for Toronto) and I have too much respect for our opposition to expect our Als to blow out anyone.

A blowout would be nice, though, and send a definite message to all the other contending teams, wouldn't it?

Exactly. Not a guarantee but it would be nice and would make me feel a whole lot more confident going in the playoffs. I'm a little tired of the same old 'start strong, limp into the playoffs, and lose the Grey Cup' scenario.

The Als have been a very classy team for the last 10 years or so. However, they have not been strong finishers. They have won several division titles, but seem to fall short with lacklustre play in the big game.

Joe Barnes and Sonny Wade were criticized in their day, but to their credit, they seemed to come up big in the Grey Cup. There is no doubt that Anthony Calvillo is a cinch for a Hall of Fame berth; his stats cannot be denied. Both on and off the field, Calvillo is a class act. The one possible knock against him, however, is the Big Game. At 37, I don't know how much future he has, but if indeed he decided to call it quits at the end of the season, I would like to see him do so hoisting the Grey Cup over his head.

That's why I voice concern over the "letdown" I saw in the last two games. With two more games to do, the Als have to draw some balance between playing their second and third stringers, while remaining sharp.

I think as long as Trestman is in town and Calvillo is healthy he will keep playing. His family is based in Montreal he's making a cool 300 to 400k a year. I don't see why he should stop playing. He's still the top guy in the league at his position, he still has things he wants to accomplish (you named one) so the situation is good and he still likes to come out every morning and bust his arz. I say more power to him. Your seeing today with science, nutrition, supplementation that an athlete who takes care of himself can extend himself much further than he could a decade or two ago. Lance Armstrong, Chris Chelios Damon Allen, there are others. I don't see why guys like Calvillo and Cahoon for that matter can't play football until they are in the 40 club.

We all know if they win the GC , they'll want to repeat anyway :wink:

Can't argue with that. Even at his age, AC is still the best in the game. Cahoon is no slouch either. What amazes me with the latter is that he gets all those yards playing in the middle and consequently taking hit after hit.

Ben is the toughest minded player in the league IMO and has amazing self-discipline. Did you see how he went after Adrian's fumble...That's not a guy who is ready to hang it up.

I love Ben, He is such a clutch player! as for A.c's age...look at favre in the NFL he's 40 and having the season of his career thus far! 40 is the new 30:P

Just saw coach Trestman on CTV news. It appears as if the injured defensive personnel will be back on Sunday. Maybe they have been hearing "echos" from disgruntled fans? AC, Stewart, and others were saying that they were embarassed last week (no kidding!) and that they want to atone for that at home. Well, they seem to have their dander up. Let's see what happens on Sunday.

Go Als go!!!!