Okay, bear with me:
Barring a miracle finish in the East by Hamilton, Toronto or Montreal, the Ti-Cats will finish in second place and host the Eastern Semi on November 13. That gives us about 4 solid weeks to prepare for the game, what can be basically a whole new training camp, including what are virtually three pre-season type games, as the outcome of those games is immaterial. They are now ideal practice opportunities.
We have ample time to install some man-to-man coverage schemes, blitz and pressure packages, and shut-down defences on the D side. Plus, guys like Vaughan, Davis and Dean can work on their tackling technique, maybe even putting on the shoulder pads and going back to basics on wrapping up the runner and taking him down. The CBs can work also work on coverage schemes, shutting down some of those sideliners to the wide outs that Ottawa loves.
The new guys can be brought up to speed with the play books, and we can install some hitches, screens, shovel, end arounds, or whatever to widen the opposition D and open up inside running and passing lanes. The O line can work on blocking technique and assignments, both pass protection and run blocking.
Special teams seems to be coming around a little lately in terms of receiving, but the special teams as a whole can use some work on tackling, closing inside lanes and forcing runners out-of-bounds. We now have the time to do that.
Lastly, the guys out with the nagging injuries that need time to heal have now got it. Let's get them in physio and rehab work, so they are ready and rested come November.
We are going to see both Ottawa and Edmonton yet this year. We will probably face both in the play-offs, assuming we win the semi, so we have the opportunity to test out some things and get a feel for what might work. Montreal will be the tune-up. Plus Edmonton will be playing the semi at what would be around 9:00 or 10:00 their time, so the time zones will actually work in our favour for a change.
It's a long shot, I know, but as long as we're playing, we have a chance. Let's make the most of it!