Poor red zone production

Okay, boys and girls, I'm not trying to be negative, but we're four weeks into the season and the offense is still having a hard time converting in the red zone. What can we do to improve our RZ production?

I, for one, don't want to see running plays up the gut from five yards out. For every time it works against a mediocre D, it fails against a good defense. Case in point being tonight. I don't understand why we don't challenge defenses with a few fade routes. Or maybe even try what Hamilton tried and almost pulled off: the ol' TE leak out of the backfield.

Calling a run up the gut from six yards out against a defense that had been doing nothing but stuffing the run all night is both arrogant and ill-advised. I'd rather put the ball in Calvillo's hands and let him find an open receiver. Granted, A.C. did throw that pick for which he has no one but himself to blame, but in general, let's be both more aggressive and more creative when we're in the red zone and we need a major.

I agree. The Cats have been stopping the run all night, so why try and run the ball twice into the endzone on repeated plays and fall short to kick a 3 pointer. And that AC turnover....I don't understand...he was close enough to run it in himself.

Does Trestman script the first 20 plays of the game? If so, it might be time to tweak them, because our first-quarter performance has been brutal the past two games. I'd like to see the running game involved sooner. Granted, the Cats were owning us against the run last night, but I feel like we go away from the run too quickly in situations where it makes sense (i.e. on first down).

Conversely, I don't want to see draw plays on second down if the yardage needed is 6 or more yards. Cobourne squeaked out a first down on a 2nd and 5 off the draw. Expecting more is unrealistic, unless your main goal is just to get into more favorable range for a field goal. Similarly, no more stupid swing passes to the flat or checkdowns to the RB when we're in second and long. That reminds me way too much of Paopao's Renegades offense where the receiver runs a 5-yard pattern on 2nd and 10 and we wonder why the offense can't convert. Suitor even said last night that checking down to the RB on 2nd and long is exactly what the enemy defense wants -- they allow the short catch, swarm to the football, and limit the gain. Too conservative. If you're not in field goal range, push the damn ball down the field. Or maybe try a screen. If it fails, so what? You weren't going to get the first down anyway on that swing pass, so why not take a shot and stretch the defense?

I was shocked when, after a good drive, Calvillo called an "interesting" play and forced a throw which resulted in an interception. With first down on the 10 yard line at least one run attempt would be appropriate. The play was the most poorly executed play to date. Glen then took the TiCats all the way down the field. This play could have cost the Als the game.

B Parker and G Brown's play remains effective. Anwar Stewart again demonstrated great skill coming from his defensive line post to knock the ball out of Hamilton's big receivers hands. Stewart intercepts passes, he sacks QBs and makes a great play like that described above- he has not lost a step.

Seems like Calvillo was forceing that particular play somewhat that resulted in the turnover. However, there was a flag on the play as Calvillo was over the line of scrimmage. I guess Anthony would have liked to have that one back.

Calvillo was the goat on that pick. He tried to force the ball into coverage instead of throwing it away and cost us 3 points minimum (since it was first down, I believe). However, I am really not crazy about our playcalling in the red zone -- underneath stuff isn't nearly as effective when the defense no longer has to worry about being beaten over top. With the large CFL end zone and our quality at receiver, why aren't we putting the ball up and letting guys like Richardson, Cahoon, and Watkins make plays?

I agree with most of what has been said already. the runs up the gut with 6+ yards will not work against the top defences in the league and should not be so heavily relied upon. Every now and then sure throw it in to keep defences off balance because cobourne then has a chance if they drop into a zone but if theyre all expecting the run because thats what we do the most then it won't go anywhere.

In the red zone the same deal applies we need t otake advantage of that big endzone and rely on hte sure hands of our receivers to make the plays. Crossing patterns still work as do digs and slants and our receivers can definitely make the catches.

In games where our opponents have been doing well against the run we need to use the passing game to open up the run opportunities and the underneath routes

So how else do you soften up Defensive Tackles? I think after the injury to Adams that was a good call by Coach. He had a matchup he liked there. Adams and Floyd out... I'd attack the middle as well.

Attacking the middle is one thing, but there's a limit to what you can expect to accomplish on 2nd and medium or 2nd and goal with a run up the middle. I don't mind it as a flavor in our offense but our repeated attempt to score using simple runs or short passes isn't yielding results, because we aren't making defenses worry about defending the corner and fade routes that would make them back off the line of scrimmage.

In the red zone, the defense no longer has to worry about being beaten deep, so they will be playing hard to the line. The way to get them to back off is to burn them over top with some outs, corners, fades, and curls where the receiver catches the ball IN the end zone, not five yards out from the end zone. Bratton made a great play to score his TD, but that kind of route is not going to yield a major most of the time as defenses will rally to the ball and stop the receiver short of the end zone.

We've got a sure-handed possession receiver like Cahoon who can get open in just about any situation. We have two big athletic receivers in Richardson and Green who can use their physical attributes to win contested catches. Why aren't we putting the fear of God into enemy defenses by hitting them in the end zone? Why do we always run dinky little run plays and short passes? We're making life too easy for other teams, and I think we can all agree that this team has the talent to score more TDs.

Make them run. A typical DT is a big heavy guy that can match up with an offensive lineman fairly well. Big guys have big arms and big reaches. If we have cobourne running near them sometimes he will be able to break through them with good blocking and his athletic ability but the more athletic ones will be able to grab him. their weakness is that very few of these guys are fast enough to keep up with a running back. We can wear them out more by doing stunts with our offensive line on running plays, have them pull to the side and do sweeping plays or cutbacks on the opposite side of the field once we have contain on the D line.

after softening up the interior like that then the runs up the middle become more of a possibility

Agreed. If the middle is strong, you string them out by running to the outside. When they start to contain on the outside, you hit them down the middle.

Sounds like a plan from both of you. Let's see it in action next week in Edmonton. :wink:

Guys, lighten up. It gets tougher to move the ball when in the red zone. Defences tend to clamp down. Happens in both CFL and NFL. On the positive side, when in the red zone, we have been on both sides of the ball..........stopping the opposing offence and getting stopped (we also have scored on more than one or two occasions).

Sure, it gets tougher to move the ball in the red zone. But top teams find a way to score and don't settle for field goals all the time. Calvillo himself has said publicly that the team needs to learn how to finish drives and take advantage of the opportunity to put points on the board.

Look, we're not talking about a bad team making strides towards becoming a decent team, or a decent team trying to prove it's a contender. We know we're a contender. We came within one game of winning the Grey Cup last year, and I for one am sick of being a bridesmaid and never a bride. With the talent we have on both sides of the ball, and the way this team can dominate a game when it is executing, anything short of a Grey Cup win in November will be a huge disappointment. Last season, the defense was the issue. This year, the defense has risen to the challenge in a big way. The offense, however, has declined after a hot start, and IMO has yet to really put together a consistent performance through 60 minutes.

Five Grey Cup appearances in 9 years, but just one Grey Cup to show for it. It's time to change that stat. :rockin: :rockin: :rockin:

Dude. We did not settle for field goals all the time. Cobourn has run a few in and so has Calvillo. There was also at least one passing play I recall that resulted in a TD from the red zone. As long as there is a balance and we come away with points and eat the clock then they are doing their job. My impression is that we have improved in our red zone play this year. Let's see how the season progresses.

Also Jamal Richardson was Calvillo go to guy in the red zone last season. Having him back will help a lot.

Well, here we are again, with no offense, not a single offensive TD against the worst team in the west, and lots of questions.

Is Calvillo the man to lead this offense? I've defended him all season long, but I'm starting to have my doubts. He simply can't throw the deep ball for anything. All his long passes have no air on them so the receiver has to break stride and wait for the ball. Most are dying ducks with no accuracy. He can't handle pocket pressure at all, and makes those stupid little checkdown passes on 2nd and long that do nothing because we don't even get into range for a field goal. I think it's time to see McPherson during prolonged periods when Calvillo is struggling. I really do. We need to know what we have at backup QB.

The refusal to run until the second half has reached new levels of silliness. We had two running plays in the first half, one of which was a botched handoff that led to a loss of yardage. And this facing a team that had been humiliated against the run in its previous game. What, exactly, makes Trestman and Milanovich think they can have Calvillo drop back every single play and expect to have success? Cobourne has proven that when he gets the rock, he will carry the mail. Waiting until the second half to establish the run is just retarded. There's no other way to describe it. It's beyond stupid now. If I'm a DC facing Montreal, I know I never have to respect the run in the first half. Ever.

We need to go back to the drawing board, because while other offenses around the league are improving, ours is getting worse. Which is not normal for offenses as the season progresses.

I know we got victimized by some shoddy officiating, but there is no excuse for the sad performance of this offensive unit through 60 minutes against the west's worst team. We couldn't score a single offensive major. Not one. Were it not for a BC special teams gaffe, we might not have broken double-digits on the scoresheet. THIS IS EMBARRASSING.

Watkins fumbled changed the dynamics of the game.

Again poor balance betwwen run and pass

Lost the whole left side of the Oline

Emry playing in front of his family showed his rookie nerves...

A desperate Lion team playing 7 and 1 team

Complete mess by officiating and time crew

No cause for alarm. The Als will set things straight next week.

One fumble doesn't change the entire dynamic of a game. If it does, the team has issues. I didn't like the fumble either, but turnovers happen, and there is no excuse for the team not responding.

What do you mean, 'lost the whole left side of the O-line'? IIRC, Lambert didn't get injured until the final minutes of the fourth quarter, and even then, that's not the 'whole left side.'

Emry playing in front of his family showed his rookie nerves...

A desperate Lion team playing 7 and 1 team

Complete mess by officiating and time crew

Agreed, especially on the officiating. I normally don't like to pin losses on the zebras, but last night was a goddamn gong show and embarrassing for the entire league. Not just the time clock fiasco, either -- the standard for PI was wildly disparate last night. Gerald Parker gets flagged for PI in a fight with Paris Jackson where he looks back to the football all the way. Why? Because he got one hand on Jackson's jersey. A few plays later, Ryan Philips rubs Jamel Richardson out on a long pass -- flat-out takes him out of the play, no attempt to look back to the football, and no PI. What the hell is the standard for PI these days? I feel like I honestly don't know, like any play at any time could be either PI or not PI, depending on the amount of crack the referee has smoked prior to kickoff. Absolute horse-manure.

You understimate the mental part of football. Had the Als taken a 7 point lead on their first posession instead of giving the ball back to the Lions. It wouls have instlled some doubt in the Lions team and allowed the Als to control the game and hopefuly set traps for the Lions. IMO it was massive.