I just finished watching the game on my PVR, and to be honest, the Cats looked much better on TV than they did live. I still don't see how Van was awarded a first down on that second and short in the final drive. Didn't make the line of scrimmage in my opinion, and if that wasn't an illegal block on the actual TD play by #80, then I guess I am not sure what does constitute an illegal block. However, water under the bridge.
On defence: I agree about Leonard - a nose for the ball, always around the carrier/receiver. I love Hill's intensity, although I am even more convinced that his UR penalty on the Eskie second quarter drive was not only deserved, it was probably responsible for sustaining that drive and resulted in the TD rather than a FG. In the end, those four points were huge. Laurent and Dean are rounding into shape and Colman is a find. Another guy with a nose for the ball. Still, some weird things going on though. Lawrence dropping into coverage? Nothing from Chick or Stevens? Unsuccessful 3 man pressure, so why keep using it? No blitzes on second and 20+s? Can't blame the players, I suppose. See good things possible with a bit of tweaking and consistency.
On offence: Jones and Collins are improving as they are used more, and Schuerman is a keeper. Saunders is a burner, and plays with intensity. Tasker has to improve his routes, especially on 2nd down. He could be our go-to guy, but he has to start looking for the first down marker. He always seems to make his cuts 2 yards short, and 3 yards when you need 5 is useless. The run game is improving, making the O-line protection better. Better O-line protection also opens up more options and lets Zach air it out a bit, not to mention keeping him upright and intact. Zach is starting to show a bit of improvement as well, but his timing and accuracy are still suspect. Too many over, under and wide throws, and holding on too long. But looked better in the Edmonton game, against a top line defence. Play selection is still wonky, but improving. More balanced play selection to open, but as the game progresses, skews to Kent's pass only mentality. Still, BC and Edmonton are elite teams and we showed reasonably well in both.
Special teams: A bright light, other than blocking assignments, penalities and, I hate to say it, Speedy B. Maybe it is all part and parcel. Castillo has shone to date, hopefully not just weather related, as have kick blocking, downfield tackling, bottling up returners, with very few no-yard penalties. Receiving, not so good. Speedy B is off his game, blocking schemes are shaky and way too many illegal block and holding calls. Saunders looks steady on his returns, can maybe deflect some of the keying on Speedy B?
So I have to say that over-all, I am feeling better about the team, but realistically, Alberta could be a killer. Stamps a cut above us at this point, and Edmonton at home will be a tougher game. Also, Reilly gave the impression that he knew the game score and time of the game, and knew when he had to disconnect cruise control and step on the gas. Pretty well scored whenever he needed to? As a kicker, both Alberta start at 9:30 Eastern, meaning a midnight finish, always a tough day for the Eastern teams.