I think the comment was directed at the shuffle we have on the line:
Hage: all-star NCAA guard, now centre
Hudson: natural centre, playing guard now
Wayne Smith: guard with Ticats (entering 3rd year), tackle in college...
I think reshuffling the deck might help, but frankly we need a better deck. Losing Woodard (NFL) and Claridge (deceased) has really set us back.
I like Hudson, Cheron, and Smith -- Hage must pick it up. As for Randall, Powell, Donnelly, and Felice...I hope Craig Smith's road trip can yield some results as these guys in particular need to be pushed.
The line has functioned poorly in the running game and no runner in this league would have success with it -- Charles Roberts included.
Running plays out of a shotgun draw formation (QB and HB standing side-by-side) limits the HB in halting his acceleration until the handoff and effectively can cut the runner's options to half the line of scrimmage. Even a "pistol" set (the HB lining two yards behind the QB in the shotgun) allows the HB to attack either side of the line with forward acceleration. As well, a fake handoff and rollout from a pistol set allows a play-action game from the shotgun, which we haven't had...ever (not with RD Lancaster or Barressi as OC, for sure)?
Also understand just with that set, a fake handoff is WAY BETTER disguised than trying to fake a handoff to a back standing next to the QB. This was always something undervalued in Danny Mac's game -- he was/is a master play-faker (god of the naked bootleg, albeit it at 5 mph) and really helped us light it up in the 1998-2000 salad days of faking handoffs to Ronald Williams from the I-set and going up top to Flutie, Grigg, Morreale, et al. The way things go now, Maas is limited in what he can do in play action, so LBs are that much more able to concentrate on the run on first down and stuff it.
Without an effective play-action or rollout aspect to one's game, intermediate zones (15-25 yards) are extremely difficult to crack as linebackers and safeties up in the box are more confident in dropping deep. If the run isn't working, it becomes a hit-the-brick-wall scenario of chucking it deep (always an element of hit-and-miss) or having to dump it off short for those legendary 6 yard gains when we need 9 or 10.
Why does Cahoon get open like Houdini? Is he a burner? No. He is football smart and he has great chemistry with his signal caller. Watch what Calvillo does getting extra time in the pocket through play fakes and mini-rolls around the pocket. Is football such a difficult game to understand? I haven't seen any way Maas can get extra time with the kind of play selection and offensive line execution we've been having. Buying time in the CFL is an art, and in second-and-longs it is extremely difficult. We do not have good 1st down production. It points to Maas being our leading rusher. Nobody gets open in the intermediate areas because the window for extra time closes.
Who should be our slotbacks now? Morreale, Vaughn, and Holmes (Holmes occasionally coming in). I want my best go-to guys who have the experience to read and react to zones in there. Holmes is a gamebreaker from the slot. Rufus Crawford revisited! Why doesn't anyone get this???
Back to the running attack, although what I said re the passing game just now directly impacts on the run...
We ran the ball out of I-formation twice that I can recall during the game (I basically stopped focussing on the game midway through the third quarter as I have no painkillers. LOL). It makes our run game far too predictable and takes Julian Radlein, a very good lead blocker, out of the game too much.
Corey Holmes and Josh Ranek must start playing more on the field at the same time if both can remain healthy. Simply put, without causing the defence to have to adjust to Holmes coming out of the backfield in pre-snap motion, we are not causing the defence to adjust to us re linebacker and DB coverage to deal with Corey and are wasting possible counter and trapping possibilities from those mismatches. The running game is STATIC. It's that simple, and it reinforces all the shortcomings of our line as it is presently constituted because it is predictable.
Is Barrin Simpson fooled or challenged by what we do? Of course not. Oh boy, here comes the shovel pass, # 233, D.O.A.!
I'm just a fan -- and I see this.
Oski Wee Wee,