The Secondary

All right, folks, to pass the time before the season starts, let's talk about the secondary. Problem area the past two years -- how to fix it?

The Personnel

Williams, Seth 	CB 	Import 	5.11 	185 	1986-10-24 	Richmond

24 Milton, Lance CB Non-Import 5.11 175 1987-03-04 UBC
Parker, Keynan CB Non-Import 6.00 183 1989-11-17 Simon Fraser
2 Tisdale, Geoff CB Import 6.01 185 1986-02-21 Pittsburg State University
22 Burney, Kendric CB Import 5.09 190 1988-02-14 North Carolina
20 Parker, Byron CB Import 6.00 220 1981-03-07 Tulane
26 Carter, Michael CB Non-Import 5.10 175 1986-04-28 Maryland
25 Mabin, Jordan CB Import 5.11 180 1988-10-31 Northwestern
17 Parker, Billy CB Import 6.00 195 1981-05-17 William & Mary
35 Scott, Christian DB Import 6.00 220 1989-09-01 Texas
0 Elder, Eddie DB Import 5.10 186 1989-02-14 Arizona
1 Wells, Ben DB Import 6.00 194 1989-01-01 Stephen Austin
29 Gainey, Ed DB Import 5.11 195 1990-06-06 Appalachian State
39 Brown, Jerald DB Import 5.11 185 1980-12-03 Glenville State
36 Townsend, Daryl S Non-Import 6.01 198 1985-09-25 Windsor
34 Hebert, Kyries S Import 6.03 222 1980-10-09 Louisiana-Lafayette

The Positions

Corner (boundary)
Half (boundary)
Safety
Half (field)
Corner (field)
Dimebacks /Injury Substitutes (2x)

How would you fill the secondary spots?

Add Edem and Brouillette to that list.

J'ai toujours trouvé particulier qu'en anglais, on appelle cette brigade "secondary" et qu'on l'appelle "tertiaire" en français. Comme quoi chaque langue a ses charmes, quoique je ne connaisse que les féminines. :wink:

Pour ma part, je crois que ceux qui ont présentement le poste à perdre sont :

Byron Parker, DC
Geoff Tisdale, DC
Jerald Brown, DD
Billy Parker, DD
Kyries Hebert, S

Je dirais que le poste le plus à risque est celui de maraudeur. Hebert est un très bon joueur de football et c'est parce qu'il est si bon qu'il a pu faire un travail correct comme maraudeur. Mais il n'est pas un vrai maraudeur en ce qu'il n'est pas vraiment une menace contre la passe. Cela dit, Hebert demeure un très bon joueur et les Alouettes ne devraient pas chercher à s'en passer.

L'autre poste le plus à risque est celui de Jerald Brown. Brown n'est plus le même depuis sa blessure. Il a fait du bon boulot la saison dernière, mais il n'a pas eu une saison à la hauteur de ce qu'on attendait de lui. À sa décharge, on pourrait dire ça de presque toute la défensive. Mais on ne pourrait surtout pas le dire de Billy Parker. Brown devra vraiment gagner son poste cette saison, à mon avis.

Du reste, ce n'est pas tant les partantes qui me laissent songeur dans cette unité. C'est l'apparente absence de profondeur des substituts. Williams (en santé) est un substitut correct, mais pas extraordinaire. Il est un peu un autre DeAudra Dix. Carter a montré des choses intéressantes, mais pas au point d'impressionner. Il faudra donc voir son évloution. Il faut donc espérer que cette fois-ci, les substituts des Alouettes auront suffisamment progressé pour que chaque blessure à un partant de la tertiaire ne soit pas un gage de défaites assuré. Au moins, nous n'avons plus Osaisai. Bien sympathique, mais coûteux à garder sur un terrain de football.

I was going to create a thread asking what our biggest concern was going into the season. Mine would be the secondary.

The biggest concern is depth, not knowing any of the rookies. We had Gainey around last season, yet played Osaisai ahead of him. That does not inspire confidence.

You play your best DBs on the boundary side so I would go with:

Boundary Corner - Byron Parker
" DB - Billy Parker
Safety - Hebert
Field DB - Jerald Brown
" CB - Tisdale

Seth Williams showed some flashes last season but not enough. And he is not able to start the season.
But I do expect positive things from Canadian Michael Carter.

At this time,I expect the Als to keep 5 or 6 import DBs on its active roster; most of these players should be veterans. 1 to 3 rookies should be on the practice roster.

The 4 or 5 import starters in the secondary/defensive backfield should/will be amongst these veterans: Jerald Brown,Ed Gainey,Kyries Hebert,Billy Parker,Byron Parker,Geof Tisdale and Seth Williams. The most vulnerable amongst these are: Jerald Brown and Seth Williams.-injured- Kyries Hebert could move to LB. Winston Venable-LB- could/should be tried as S. If he is on the active roster, I say that Hebert will be out.

The non-import DBs should be: Michael Carter,Lance Milton and Daryl Townsend. Marc -Olivier Brouillette and Mike Edem could be tried as S.

Difficult to predict which rookies will emerge/be kept.

Richard

I think it will depend on how the ratio plays out. I think there are two scenarios the Als are looking at. Do they go import at the safety position. WLL position or running back position. They may even elect to go NI at two of these positions. I have a feeling we will see a lot of two back sets with one of the backs used as a "Joker". There is a reason why we have this many running backs with different skill sets.

As for Hebert I don't see him going anywhere, he's our best special team player and is versatile and can come in at safety or LB

The thing with Gainey that I didn't realize is that he's super-young (23). So it may have been best for him to apprentice the past two seasons. I'd like to see him win a starting spot ahead of Jerald Brown, who as Richard noted, did not have a good season last year and had to accept a reduced salary to stay with the team. One factor that may help Tisdale is his size; at 6'1'', he's our tallest DB, which might help him in one-on-one coverage battles at field corner (I think Byron Parker has the inside track on the boundary corner spot).

Kyries Hebert, whom I would rank as the Als top defensive player last season, has to be in the mix this coming season provided he retains this skill ( he is one of the older guys on the team ). I would like to see Mike Carter get additional play this year. Last season he did demonstrate good chase and tackle ability although, I can't say the same for his defense against the pass. Should he demonstrate a growing ability to defend against receivers running down field he might attain productive abilities and, he is a NI to boot.

Another bonus: our new DB coach was our successful DB coach here from 2002-2007. You can legitimately be concerned by Thorpe's lack of pro DC experience, but you can't question his credentials as a DB coach in the CFL. Cox has described him as a very precise guy who communicated what he wanted clearly without yelling or screaming. I think our defense needs that calm and stability after the Reinebold Gong Show.

My overall feeling is that the boundary positions are pretty set. I can't really see anyone displacing Byron Parker (can't even write B. Parker as an abbreviation! :wink:) and Billy Parker at boundary corner and boundary half, respectively. I also think field corner is probably Tisdale's job to lose with Seth Williams on the LTIR, given his experience and size, though it's not inconceivable that someone else beats him out with a really good camp.

The two interesting spots are field half and safety. At field half, Jerald Brown is the incumbent, but his position is by no means secure given his age and declining performance. Ed Gainey will be his biggest competition. I think the odds are 50-50 that Brown loses his starter's job. I see him as a prototypical "quick" DB who's used to making up for his gambling, peek-in-the-backfield style with good recovery speed, but since his ankle injury a few years ago, that recovery speed just isn't there. He was awful in red zone coverage last year, frequently getting caught looking at the QB or jumping an underneath route instead of staying with his man. He's starting from scratch with Thorpe, and will have to work hard to keep his spot.

At safety, the issue, as Hfx noted, is our ratio. If we go import, Hebert wins the spot. If we go non-import, I can see them starting Edem with Townsend and even Brouillette backing Edem up. But Edem at safety virtually guarantees Hebert drops down to WILL -- Kyries is too good at the line and on special teams to cut.

That's what I'd look at during the first pre-season they will have to make their ratio decisions quickly. Then injuries could mix a bunch of things.

Je crois qu'on oublie Emry un peu, ici...

No kidding. Emry had an absolutely stellar season.

A coverage request for Thorpe: no more vanilla "cowboy" surprise! Reinebold's predilection for man corner / zone inside left huge holes in the intermediate seams and out in the flats that every team read pre-snap and exploited for huge gains. I'm not opposed to zone per se, but you need to mix up the looks and be sharp on DBs reading their keys properly. Under Reinebold, our secondary never looked like it knew where to be on the field; they were always 5-10 yards off the play in chase position. That's not normal for a veteran group of defensive backs. I also suspect the plays were being sent in too late. Thorpe needs to stay on top of the playcalling and make sure the DBs have enough time to get the play, read their keys, and ensure they have proper technique as the ball is snapped (inside/outside leverage, backpeddle, etc.).

Our secondary hasn't been pro quality the past two years and it's high time we changed that.

Absolutely !

I see Herbert moving up to Will or a 13th starter like Lin J Shell in BC last year with him in diiferent schemes and playing all specials taking a DI spot.
Edem may not be ready to start at safety right away until he catches up with the speed of the CFL from CIS. Playing in the CIS is to his advantage knowing coverages in with the extra receiver, even hough he played LB, then if he made the move from the NCAA from LB.
He has played against some gunslingers in CANWEST Greene in 2012, Mueller over his career and practicing against his own QB but he will need to catch up to the likel of Lulay, Burris etc. not have to play in games against AC and practicing against him will be a nice big help.
I can see towsend starting off the season there as Edem gets worked in and plays specials and as time goes on he and Edem will slowly switch places.
I think Thorpe will go with the more standard center field CFL safety and that is not Herbert's game.
Marco B will have to keep the weight for a MLB to play behind Emery with the MLB being a Canadian spot.

Okay, so it seems like the Parkers (Byron and Billy), Tisdale, and Edem are fairly certain to be starters, leaving the vexed question of who fills the other DHB spot: the incumbent Jerald Brown, the third-year pro Ed Gainey, or the new guy Kendrick Burney. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Brown is done as a starter; he might stick around as a veteran backup / dimeback, but we've got younger guys who are better in man under coverage. The game tonight might be the final factor in determining who starts.

I agree with you and I say that Jerald Brown will be released in the next 2 days or so. I expect that he will be replaced by Ed Gainey and that Kendric Burney will also be on the active roster.

Richard

Je ne sais pas si je me débarrasserais de Brown immédiatement.

Burney a montré un belle énergie, mais il a perdu beaucoup de batailles à un contre un jeudi dernier. Gainey a été beaucoup plus impressionnant et s'il devait être blessé, je crois qu'on aurait une faiblesse dans la tertiaire avec Burney, non qu'il ne pourra pas remplir la commande éventuellement, mais plutôt qu'il n'est pas encore prêt.

La présence de Brown, qui pourrait partager ses présences sur le terrain avec Gainey, me rassurerait sur la profondeur de la tertiaire.

Mais effectivement, la partie de ce soir sera cruciale pour lui.

That is Awesome that Edem has earned a starting spot. When you have a rookie draft pick especially one that does come highly touted it creates a lot of excitement for the League. Especially when he is at a position like Safety where he is visible and be able to make big plays.
Lavoi was that guy last season for Montreal becoming a fav red zone target of AC. Something that his LB teammate has lost out on from last season, the chance to surprise and hit the league by storm

Yeah, I'm excited to see what Edem can do at safety. There will be growing pains, for sure -- I expect veteran QBs to burn him by looking him off and then slinging the ball for big gains. But I think he has the potential to be a top NI safety eventually.

LeStaf, if Gainey is hurt, I agree that Brown might stick around, but I've heard nothing (can someone update me?) to suggest Gainey is injured enough to be unavailable for the start of the regular season.