This season it seems that montreal receivers, particularly richardson, have short arms when it comes to getting hit and catching the ball.
Historically I’ve always admired their inside passing game with receivers going all out. this season seems altered in that. anticipating the hit and slowing up.
could be a number of reasons but I sure see it. anyone else?

Rank Name/Team Receptions Yards
1` Matthews/WPEG 21 366
6 Fantuz/Hamilton 21 298
7 Owens/ Toronto 21 295
9 Green/Montreal 17 286
10 London '' 15 260
15 Richardson '' 15 225
18 Whitaker 24 220

Yes Flag, the production of Alouette receivers has diminished this year as indicated above. Green is most productive of the Als but his rating is ninth as compared to others teams receivers ( see CFLstats for complete chart ). Unfortunately there is no ranking to be found re dropped passes but, there have been lots of drops by our receivers to date. On the other hand, Cavillo leads the CFL QB ranking with most yards passing (1,316), and is second re most TD passes. AC's rating is 106.9 just below Burris' of 113.9. In comparison Ray has 1116 yards with 6 TDs.

In the games to date we have observed that our receivers are dropping an unusual number of passes. The above chart reveals that Matthews of BC is leading in the official ranking of receivers. Other teams receivers represent the best 8 performers as compared to the Als- whose best receiver( Green ) is 9th in rank. Yet Calvillo remaims as the top rated QB in the CFL. This would give some substance to the many remarks on our Forum that the receivers are performing at a below level grade.

interesting stats. But what I would like to see is how many dropped passes led to drives being stalled?

example ; with the Als in a 3rd down and 2 situation, approximately two minutes to go in the game, Green drops the ball which really had no business hitting the turf and ultimately turning the ball over to the Cats and end of game for the Als.

It's great that Green is ranked 9th and Richardson has 225 yards, but how many times have they dropped passes resulting in turning the ball over?
Of the Als receivers on the list above, London from my memory has been the best bang for buck so to speak so far this season.

Certainly Montreal receivers are great but something looks different with them to me. It seems that, especially Richardson, some are a bit gunshy when it comes to contact. Shortarming.

The last two years I noticed the same thing in Edmonton along with a string of injuries to the receivers. Then I looked at Ray more closely and I believe that he was soft tossing a lot leaving his guys vulnerable even though the passes were accurate. Just slow. Milanovich has gotten him to pick up his tempo. I don’t think its that way with Calvillo now but perhaps given his injury. In years past the ball and receiver were always a step ahead of the defender. Now it looks more simultaneous. Certainly teams are using more physical and fast defenders than in the past.Montreal receivers look slower in comparison overall than in previous years Defense has improved league wide for most teams.

Actually when you look at it there have been more contested drops league wide it seems. Stamps, Dressler, Simon etc. I’ve seen some in every game.

no problems for me in this area!!

Once again, one of the areas of concern I have is the lack of competent NI receivers in our lineup. Eric Deslauriers has been the concern of many posters, including mine, who rate him poorly when we examine the receiver position of the Als. However, just when his poor receiving performance is found wanting by most of us, he pulls an outstanding play. Against WPEG, at the most appropriate moment, he raced down the field completely uncovered and, a hurried Calvillo , who was on the run, spotted him and a long reception took place.This play was the one that put the win on ice for our team. Last year he was on the receving end of Calvillo's pass which made Calvillo the leading passing QB in the history of the CFL. In our first Grey Cup game against SASK, while in a blocking position, he received a direct snap and took the ball 10 yards for a timely first down which was a significant play in that victory.

However, as the lone NI receiver on the team, he has been found wanting. In the recent postings within this group I have noted criticism of Jim Popp. This is interesting, as Popp seems to be worshiped by certain respondents and, when some criticism has been made of him, the retorts have been many. Personally I do believe that Popp has failed to deliver in several areas. His refusal to meet Chad Owens monetary demands was a costly failure. AS noted in recent games, Owens is not only an outstanding kick/punt returner but, the experts are rating him as an excellent receiver as well. Popp has not to date filled the need of a competent kick/punt specialist for the team. It is perceived that he limits his scouting to the south eastern area of the USA which is located close to his home. I can't remember any universities in California sending us players. Another perception was that he is resting on his laurels as contrasted with past years. My main criticism of Popp ( and Trestman ) is that he has not delivered any CIS receivers to a team that is very deficit in such. Other teams in the CFL play a host of them. The Alouettes have none. B.C. has Shawn Gore and Ianuzzi, Hamiltom has Giguere and Charbonneau, Calgary has Anthony Parker and others, the ESKS have Matt Carter etc, etc, etc. There are tons of very good CIS receivers in the CFL except the Alouettes , who have only Deslauriers.

While watching the WPEG game last week I recall that Cory Watson scored 1 TD with the play-by-guys noted that he was one of that teams go-to guys. Looking at a recent B.C. game, it was noted that Akim Foster in playing a very important role with the team. Lets go back to the 2010 Canadian draft. Cory Watson was taken by WPEG, Akim Foster by B.C. The Als, in the rank order of selection, could have drafted both these two receivers. Who did they select- K Matte who has yet to show active participation with the club! Charbonneau, Bama, Kouame and others are additional receivers the Als passed by in The Canadian draft. I believe that Popp and Trestman decided early that their receivers were to be imports and consequently CIS grads were ignored. The top imports are showing a propensity to drop the ball. Having a Chambers, Gore ,Innuzzi or a number of other Canadian receivers would have been very helpful. We require a good Canadian receiver in a future Alouette team and, I do hope that Popp and Trestman will attend to this!

The Deslauriers catch was no reflection on his ability. Winnipeg just let him go free down the field, assuming that we were going to run the ball. It was Calvillo who saw Deslauriers open, pulled the ball away from the running back, and found Deslauriers for the big gain. Any pro receiver should be able to make that catch and pile up yards after catch.

At least 50% of the time Deslauriers would drop that pass that’s how bad he is and thats why people were excited by it. As you said yourself, any pro receiver should be able to make that catch but its questionable how much the label of pro receiver applies to Deslauriers

Its not the catch that impressed me. It was how physical he was getting the YAC's. Sometimes it takes just one play to change a player's confidence level. In Deslaurier's case the problems are between the ears.

Meh. He's had five years to prove himself and has come up short every time he's been given a chance. Lavoie has been a pro for all of six weeks and he's already proven more in that time than Deslauriers has in five years. If Deslauriers is that much of a headcase, he's not a pro-caliber receiver.

I also question whether it's purely confidence. He's not a great route-runner -- how often do you see him get separation on a DB in man press coverage? And he's got hands of stone.

He'll never be a 1000 yard receiver but if he can at least make a couple plays a game defences will have to take him into account. Right now if I a am a defensive coordinator he does not even factor into my coverage schemes.

He's had five years to do that and hasn't succeeded. For real, he's had FIVE YEARS to crack 500 yards in a season and hasn't come close. His best season, yardage wise, was his rookie year in 2007 (325 yards). He's already 31 years old. Kerry Watkins retired in his early '30s after a long and productive career as an Alouette. Deslauriers hasn't even had a career yet.

Right now if I a am a defensive coordinator he does not even factor into my coverage schemes.
Agreed. If you're a DC and you're breaking down film on the Als' offense, you know that Deslauriers is just a decoy, nothing more. Unless coverage is completely blown and he's actually wide open, as he was last game, he's not getting a look from Anthony, and rightly so. He has shown no ability to make a contested catch at an important time. You can see how much more confidence Anthony has in a newcomer like Lavoie to find him on second and a mile for a big completion and a first down.

Few comments on what Niagara Als wrote and what some of you believe/perceive.

-Perception that Jim Popp "is sitting on his laurels and he limits his scouting to the south easter area".
I totally disagree with the ones who do think so/have this perception. He is working 7 days a week/52 weeks a year. I doubt that another CFL team spends as much as the Als on recruiting/scouting. Jim and his staff are presently visiting/scouting NFL training camps. The Imports on the Als roster come all over the States; yes, there are none from USC or UCLA but there are not all from Carolina or the south easter region. Some from South Dakota,Louisville,Oklahoma State, Stanford,West Virginia lAfayette,Kentucky,etc. I don't care where the player comes from,provided he is good.

-Refused to meet Chad Owens monetary demands.
Chad Owens wanted to be paid as a regular WR +KR; Jim Popp refused and felt that he should be paid as a KR. At that time, the Als had S.J. Green,Jamel Richardson and Kerry Watkins as regular/top WRs/SBs; Brian Bratton and Brandon London were the depth. Jim Popp felt that Chad Owens was not worth what he was asking. I still feel that Bratton,Green,London and Richardson are better receivers than Owens.

-Lack of competent NI receivers.
During the past years, particularly in 2010, I felt/hoped that Jim Popp would draft a NI receiver; I did not/still don't understand why Kristian Matte was selected in round 1, when receivers such as Jordan Sisco,Shan Gore and Cory Watson were available.
Contrary to many of you, I feel that Eric Deslauriers is a good receiver; difficult to compare/look at his stats when he hardly plays.
Having a non-import offensive line, I understand why more emphasis is put/given to NI offensive linemen; of all the CFL teams,only the Als have exclusively non-import offensive linemen only drafted by them. In order to make sure that there always be depth at these positions, the Als draft OL before WRs; furthermore, most CFL teams play 2 Imports on their offensive line,so they have to play NI WRs/make sure that some are drafted. Any of the 7 other CFL teams would glady replace 1 of their NI receiver by a Ryan Bomber or a Josh Bourke or a Jeff Perrett or an Andrew Woodruff.

-Jim Popp has not to date filled the needs of a competent kick returner.
The best KRs of the past 5 to 7 years have all been introduced /signed to the CFL by Jim Popp; the ones more known are: Chad Owens,Larry Taylor,Ian Smart and Winston October. I am confident that Jim Popp will find a competent KR; to me, Trent Guy is competent.

Thank you


I usually agree with your insightful remarks, Richard, but I must take issue with you on the subject of Eric Deslauriers.

Yes, it is nice to have French-speaking player on the team who can be interviewed and give useful comments for the French sports media. He has also made some spectacular catches for us; I think back to the ESF game last season and his catch for a long gain (almost a TD!) against Winnipeg.

We have all been puzzling over why SJ and even Jamel have been dropping very catchable passes this season; that is very out of character for both of them. However, this has been the case with Eric almost from the get-go. On one series, he makes a great catch, but on the next attempt he drops the ball. We can't always excuse this type of performance by saying -poor widda baby - he doesn't play that much. I think that any player only has so many chances to impress the coaching staff. The only way to stay on the starting team is by making plays! This, sadly, has not been the case in his career.

I would like nothing better than to see him take that next step, perhaps even to be a great receiver in the league.
His one big drawback? Simply put - a lack of consistency. I sincerely hope for his sake that he can keep doing what he did for us in Winnipeg. Otherwise, he will continue to be a blocker and an occasional - and "surprise" - receiver, who will fool the D once in a while and get us some yards. For Eric, if you want to be on the receiving end more often - hang on to the ball!

I have a question for all of you Als fans. A you know in the WPEG game Whitaker was a huge force until he got injured. He was so effective that the WPEG defence made some adjustment and, they were looking for Whitaker for the rest of the game. Looking at this I wondered why the Als do not use play play-action? I remember when Damon Allen was with BC (later the Argos) and he used play action to perfection. He would first set this up by establishing the run and, later when the defenders were looking for the run,Allen would, using play action, fake the run and throw a pass. Consequently defenders would be left to guessing- is it going to be a run or pass. Allen was so good at this that I, as an onlooker often made the wrong guess. Many times play action was really effective with screens to the sideline. Do any of you think play action with AC and Whitaker would be effective?

Two reasons:

AC has never been able to run play action consistently well.

Exposes the QB to dangerous hits

We use play action all the time, not sure why you think we don't. You have to have established the run for play action to work, though, and Trestman is very quick to get away from the run if it's not working early.

Pas tout à fait. Deslauriers a fait l’attrapé de la 395ième passe de touché de Calvillo. Brandon London a capté la passe qui a donné à Calvillo le record pour le nombre de passes complétées et c’est Richardson qui a capté le ballon historique du plus grand nombre de verges gagnées par la passe.

I remember Keith Stokes & Ezra Laundry. They were my favorites!

Itty Bitty .... :smiley: