Many here have been critical of the quality of play so far this season.
I don't agree with those who only think high scoring games are worth watching. Personally I prefer watching a stout defence to watching a high powered offence. That's just me, and I concede that I am in the minority on that.
However, I do agree that the quality of the games, from an entertainment aspect, have been relatively poor this season compared to seasons' past. From the high number of penalties (and that's not the fault of the officials in the vast majority of cases; it's just that players are committing more penalties this season), to fumbles, interceptions, poor line play, poor defensive coverages, poor offensive play calling, etc etc.
Why is that?
There are probably a myriad of reasons. But I think one of the more important reasons is expansion.
We have added a 9th team this year. The talent pool, from coaching staffs to import players and (especially) non-import players, has been significantly diluted. More so than I personally expected, frankly.
I do believe that this is a major cause of the increase in penalties and relatively poor play. Certain players who in seasons' past would have been special teamers only, or depth guys, or injury replacements, are now playing first string.
It may take a year or two to see things back up to the quality that we had become used to.
Should give pause to those who want to add a tenth team as soon as possible.
I agree, we have a dwindling Canadian talent base now. In the past we had 8 teams trying to fill the Canadian spots now we have 9 teams trying to fill the same ratio.
I've never seen so many games with penalties, I think the new rules about penalizing players for complaining or signalling for a penalty or the taunting thing is way over the top. Last nights game was another penalty filled frustrating game.
The quality of games so far is terrible, penalties are ruining the quality. The offense and TDs are way down this year, defenses may be strong but it's offense that entertains people.
I think Ottawa will get better and they have a lot of incentive since they are tied with Mtl and Ham at 1 - 5, they have a lot of potential.
.....Definitely the addition of a ninth team has seen a 'watering down' of players and coaches...There's going to be growing pains this year and it has affected the quality of play...Couple that with rule changes and what seems to be flag 'happy' officials ,the game has slowed considerably...My concern is the lop sided divisions, with the east really taking a hit...You could expect Ottawa to be a struggling team in it's inception BUT how do you explain the dismal performances by the other three clubs in the east...I have added T.O. because they haven't exactly been lighting it up, but appear to be the best of a bad lot....It's still a fairly young season and things can change rapidly in this league...I hope the east can close the gap standing wise and make it more interesting...Time will tell I guess and there's lots of that left :roll:
A low scoring game can be worth watching if there's good execution. What's not fun to watch is offenses that couldn't score on a peewee team. We've been seeing slapstick comedy level stuff out of some teams this season.
(Athough there's a reason the saying is "offense sells tickets, defense wins championships". People generally don't show up to see the punters.)
As for the rest.. I agree. This season has had far more bad games than usual. It sucks. Expansion is a factor. It'll probably get better later.
You may be correct that the perceived drop in quality could be the effect of the extra team, with players who would previously been backups on the cusp now starting, and practice roster players now being backups. If so, I think you are also correct that this situation with self-correct by next year, possibly even later this year.
So definitely some thought needs to go into how to minimize the impact of a tenth team before that team enters the league. Basically, the league needs to prepare an extra 20 national players before they enter the league. For starters, they could increase the size of the practice roster, adding a few more spots for national players, during the run-up to the new team entering, dropping it again when they do. That would provide a few more national players some exposure to the speed of the professional game. Maybe also add one or two more national spots to the active roster for that same period, giving them actual game experience.
On the other hand, there are a lot of injuries to starters this year. Hamilton and Toronto seem to be particularly affected by this. Can something be done to reduce injuries?
I too think the quality is down or at least the perception that it is down at least.
I actually think it has been dropping for while but this year it is very noticible.
No doubt expansion has had an impact. The firing of coaching staffs and consequent raiding of other staff have had the greatest impact imo. Outside of Calgary no team has had a staff with any continuity. Three years tenure as a HC is the highest we have now, outside of Hufnagel. plus a revolving door of coordinators. Four first year HC as well in that mix.
I think the officiating is trying to be too precise.
Too much replay is death. Slowdown. ( I think ONLY scoring plays re goal line should be reviewed)
Increased TV revenue means more ads. Slowdown
All these slowdowns are deflating.
And I do think we blew a lot of fan energy off with the CBA nonsense.
IMO the NFL has suffered in many of these areas as well.
Based on the standings at the end of Week 7, the Commissioner's Office should immediately announce that post-season play this year will be restricted to the West Division. That way the East Division teams can pack up their stuff, break out the golf clubs and most assuredly look forward to a not possibly worse season in 2015. It would also stop the bleeding er..I mean embarrassment.
I think Hamilton at least might have an issue with that. Five games against western teams, four on the road, and four decided by one score or less (4, 3, 1, 7) and coming down to the last drive or two. Maybe wait until we have a few home games (and some of their dozen starters to come back from injury?) before writing them off.
With regard to Quality of Play, I have two areas/comments.
First, there seems to be a large number of penalties, irregardless of which teams are playing. Most of which are sloppy play but many appear to be Official choice. Sloppy play can be reduced with proper/stronger coaching but it may be difficult to reduce the desire for the Officials to throwing their Red Flags in the air.
Second, when it is Second and three /four it seems the Q-back still wants to throw 40 yards instead of short four/five yards to get the First Down. Just me maybe?
No, it's not just you challenger. The other side of the coin are the reverse situations; like it's 2nd and 10, and the qb throws a 5 yard pass. .. or worse, after a penalty and it's 2nd and 15 or 20, they call a running play up the middle that gets maybe 4 yards or so. In that latter case, if you're giving up and are going to punt on 3rd down, may as well quick kick on 2nd as opposed to running a useless running play; at least you might catch the opposition off guard.
And, please don't take this personally. . . I am well known here for harping on folks using "core" instead of "corps" or mixing up "then" and "than", using one when they mean the other. But you just hit my late father's pet peeve. . . "irregardless". It's either 'irrespective' or 'regardless'. "Irregardless" is a double negative and isn't a word. I can't count the number of times he pointed that out to me. . .
Low scoring or high scoring both can be entertaining. The flag-filled sloppy play we have seen so far is not regardless of the number of points scored.
I agree that the addition of Ottawa has watered down the talent pool, but that doesn't explain the abysmal performance by Toronto, Hamilton and Montreal. Yes they lost players, so did the western teams. All teams were left with a solid core to move forward with and the three east teams, despite this, look no better than the expansion Renegades. Blame management in the east for not putting together a decent coaching staff. Montreal is a train wreck and Popp is going to fix the problem by adding a car to the train every week? Hamilton let go a veteran QB going into a season they knew was going to see their bench (as with all teams) stretch due to Ottawa's entry to the league and replaced him with a young QB with a handful of starts and even greener meat as his backups? And the Argos staff lost the only two decent coaches they had and the cracks they were able to hide in Scott Milanovich are gaping open.
This is a management issue and the east had managed it incredibly poorly.
Almost appears that who ever is calling the plays is doing it as though they are four play series.
Madjack, I have no problem with your second paragraph. With me the use of the word is just an old bad habit. I doubt if anyone even knows where the "ir" came from.
Again, I put the blame squarely on the shoulders of management. I give Ottawa a pass because they are the expansion team and are where they should be, in truth doing fairly well. The only three should hang their heads in shame and refund season ticket holders.
Austin did not like Burris…at all…he had to go. Plus, you can’t carry his salary and sign Collaros…Collaros would have just looked to another team to start, or re-signed with the Argos to be a backup. Austin has been very vocal for years that he prefers a cerebral QB…sorry, but that is not Burris…at all
With the Argos, they lost ALL of their SBs to injury. That is Ray’s money / go-to. Something else on O he gets over, not that. The loss of Chad Kackert…you get over that…the others is what hurt them hard. That said, they still sit in first and still actually have the best points ratio in the East. If they can stay afloat and get 1-2 of them back, they should be fine.