Speculation on the secondary

OK, Als fans, we all know the secondary has taken a massive hit this year, three-fifths of it gone (Miles to B.C., Sanchez to Edmonton, Malveaux to the Arena League).

So how do you see the secondary shaping up this year? Personally, I don’t think the situation is as dire as it might seem on first glance.

corner - Curry
halfback - Durden
safety - Strickland
halfback - Sejour
corner - Crutchfield

I honestly think Strickland will be a great safety. He’s small and fast enough to read coverage and react in time. Sejour can be very effective if motivated, and I was never that crazy about Malveaux’s cover skills anyway. Crutchfield is certainly capable enough and should be motivated to prove himself with us. And there are a ton of new faces that should make training camp interesting.

The big question is who replaces Strickland at outside linebacker if he moves to safety. Thoughts? Botterill? Dorvelus?

I dont htink its as dire as it seemed initially either but I was thinking Durden at saftey though. If were going with strickland there Id put Boteril at LB

Botteril could be a goods choice at LB but he better start tackling properly(i.e. last year against Rpinters in BC).

Go ESKIMOS…GREY CUP all the WAy!!!

Botterill is a good tackler normally – he’s one of the better special teams players – but my feeling is that he still doesn’t quite have the savvy to fill the linebacker spot. He has to be able to make snap decisions about coverage or blitzing, while anticipating where the opposing running-back hits the gap. I’m not sure if Botterill is that guy. Bu they’ve also got Dorvelus and a few new imports, so we’ll see.

As for moving Durden to safety, I say keep him at halfback. A lot of our defensive schemes don’t even call for a safety and often substitute an extra lineman or linebacker in the formation. Durden’s our best cover guy and you want him on the field all the time.

Strickland will stay at backer. Look out for the rookies, Carroll and Corey Hall are two very good ones and should make their way into the starting line up. No way Botterill or Dorvelus are stater. I’m sure Popp wouldn’t allow to have special teams players starting. I like them on sp, but don’t make me hate them because of bad coverage.

Oops I always get the two guys messed up I was thinking of Loftus at saftey Durden is good at HB I agree

What about Jason Lamar? Remember him 2 years ao with Hamilton? He was amazing at MLB and then the Ti-Cats cut him cause of attitute. We picked him up on the Practice Roster and he never really played for us last year… but waht about htis year… is he still with us??

Anyhow, I doubt Strickland will be safety… he’s too good at OLB to be moved. It’s easier to put a RC at Saftey that at OLB!

Loftus will probably be our safetly, like he was before Matthews moved him.

Sanchez is not loss anybody including a blow up doll will cover better then this over rated DB. He got burnt everywhere he went including Calgary. Now he can watch the ball go over his head in Edmonton. The Al’s are much better with out him. Malveaux was good why did he go to the AFL? Was he too getting beat on that large field. Only one I would worry about is Crutchfield but he will be better than your losses in the DB area.

Take Care

Beat those Argo’s

I think that if Strickland is moved to safety, that Samuel should take his place at OLB; Botterill did nothing to impress me when he was pressed into duty during the few games that Butler was on the DL, and the defence sure wasn’t it’s usual self (more due to the absence of Butler admittedly but Botterill didn’t do much).

Now if that does or doesn’t happen, does anyone see the Als going to a 3-4 alignment a bit this year? Butler and Strickland/Samuel on the outside, and Lamar and Johnson in the middle; interesting thought.

3-4 are you CRAZY!!

Okay guys, we’re talkin D, let’s get some names out to help this out…

Here are the big name players we have on D… we should be playing a 5-2!! okay maybe not… but 4-3 FOR SURE:
DT: Phillion, Brown and backups are… get this… Simpson and Gibson!!!
DE: Megna and Stewart… they aint’ movin’ (I hope not!.. unless one of them goes to OLB to bring Teto Simpson to DE??)
LB: Strickland, Butler and KJ! Botterill is the back up and I think Lamar is gone as he’s not on the roster.
Possible Safetys: Loftus, Dorvellus, Fortin, or these new guys Caroll, Kelly and Hall at 215lbs each!
DBs: Curry, Crutchfeild, Durden, Sejour, Kirikari.

We look good on D, there are a few options for Safety (which was a main concern) but I think we have some good guys who can fight for that job.

Yeah, I wasn’t impressed with Botterill either when he replaced Butler. But the reason our defense wasn’t its usual self last year was Megna’s season-ending injury. I never realized how much Megna brought to the table on defense until he got injured. We just weren’t the same after that. I hope to God he stays healthy this year.

As for going to a 3-4, I’m not in favour. 4-3 works fine for our defensive package. With rush ends like Stewart and Megna we’ve got the size of a 4-3 with the speed and versatility of a 3-4. Lamar isn’t even with us anyway; he was cut last year. Our linebacking corp is one of the best in the league so no need to mess with it. And the secondary looks to be shaping up nicely. Karikari is going to have to step it up if he wants a starting job, though. I remember him getting burned for a TD late last year on a play where he just made the worst tackle in the world and let the receiver go down the field. That’s not going to cut it if he wants to fill Barron Miles’s shoes.

Hate to burst your bubble here guys, but Jason Lamar is in Edmonton. He signed with the Eskimos a couple weeks ago.

Should fill in nicely here…and as I said in another post I would take Sanchez over Crutchfield any day. He’s Canadian for starters and Crutchfield is as much a team player as Lawrence Phillips was. We released him, period. No draft picks or even used kicking tees were required to get his ass out of Edmonton. We discarded him.

Lamar is not a solution since he is a MLB, and as for Botteril, he is up and coming and will strart a few next season, the blame for the missed tackle on Printers, well lets be realistic here, he made AJ Gass look like a fool in a BC game, lets face it Printers was one of the thoughest SOB to bring down, eel like hard to mnail properly.
So Botteril will be good, the coaches think so, and he was the top tackle on ST last year.

All right, Als fans, we’re three games into the season and it’s time to rate the secondary.

Malveaux (wide-side corner): Very impressive. I didn’t he could perform at the position but his speed and cover skills are really shining at this spot. He made some great knockdowns in the game against Edmonton and looks to be much improved from last year. He completely shut down Tucker during that game, a nice accomplishment for any cornerback.

Durden (halfback): Reliable cover guy. You don’t hear his name called much which is a good thing for a DB. I’d like to see him assume a leadership role in the secondary since he’s the veteran of the group.

Karikari (safety): Had his breakout game against Edmonton with two INTs, both of which were positional plays that showed his developing ball sense and ability to read a quarterback’s eyes. With his speed, if he continues to mature in his coverage, he’ll be a great Canadian starter in our secondary for years to come.

Whitley (halfback): Uneven. He’s shown good cover skills on some plays but still has to shake off some rust and really play those slotbacks tight. And he needs to discipline himself on blitzes – that helmet shot to Ray was cheap and it cost us big time on the play.

Crutchfield (short-side corner). The jury’s still out as far as I’m concerned. He ran his mouth a lot before the Edmonton game but then Hervey just schooled him the entire first half. I think he can be effective at the position but only if he stops trash-talking and starts giving 100%. Hopefully a returning Almondo Curry will give him some much-needed competition at the position.

Speaking of the secondary, when is Almondo Curry coming back?

I am pretty disappointed in Crutchfield so far, and wish Curry gets his job asap. Crutchfield would be an appropriate back-up. But you can’t start him if you have someone better on the bench. Curry is better.

I must admit I also am impressed with Malveaux. So far, he made only one mistake (well, only one that I noticed), which happened to be on the first drive of the first game (which is acceptable when season starts and players get back in the game).

Durden is the kind of guy I never noticed on the field all these years. In my mind, he’s a guy who get the job done. Nothing more, nothing less. He’s never spectacular, and he never looks like a goof. A good reliable back.

As far as Karikari goes… MAN, is he ever fast! This guy must be the fastest runner of the whole team. I’d like to see him head to head with Jenkins, Girard and Landry. He’s a lightening. So far, I don’t mind the few mistakes he makes here and there because it’s his first season as a starter. If he becomes just a bit more comfortable (well, if he just plays like he did against Edmonton), Matthieu Proulx will have to wait for quite a good moment. And, he looks like a guy with a great attitude. He smiles, he congratulates teammates and he never seem to put the emphasis on himself. I like him.

Yeah, Karikari has got tremendous speed. Which is why it’s so exciting to see him mature at safety. With the mental quickness to go with his physical skills, he will be a cornerstone of our secondary for years to come. Barron Miles was an outstanding veteran player but he’d lost a step and thus didn’t have the range that Karikari has.

As for Curry, he’s listed with an injury on the Als’ official site. Don’t know if that’s legitimate or if they’re just hiding him on the injury reserve because of ratio issues. I hope he comes back soon and takes over from Crutchfield, whom I’m also disappointed with.