Thoughts on Game 1

This team had a lot of promise coming into the season, and they're laying a massive egg right now.

The defence is getting pressure on Printers, which is nice cause we didn't have that last season, but he's still escaping and finding receivers. Plus Robertson tore us apart in the first half. He had over 100 yards. Our guys couldn't tackle him for nothing.

It looks like there's a lot more motion with the offence, but we still can't get anything going. The first half was ugly. Ray overthrew a couple guys, and a couple times it didn't look like he and the receivers were on the same page. The O-Line isn't helping matters. The only bright spot is Whitlock. It looks like he's picking up where he left off last season.

Actually, Gordon isn't looking bad. He's made a few key plays, and he's keeping Simon in check. He only has 59 yards and no scores, which isn't bad considering he had over 300 yards and 4 scores against us last season.

This team needs a lot of work, and we've got Montreal next week. The coaches and coordinators better start making adjustments.

I figured we'd be 6-12 this season on account of Strasser but after seeing that mess I'm no longer so optimistic. Ricky Ray just doesn't work well under Strasser and his complete lack of intelligence/creativity/ability/whatever is required by a successful OC. This team has been such a remarkable disappointment for so long now I don't really get that upset by another loss, but I do feel bad for the player's who need to endure this continuing mediocrity (at best) by the coaching staff.

I know it's only Game 1, but this offence really can't seem to gain any traction under Strasser. The offence completely fell apart last season when he took over, and honestly, I didn't see any progression tonight. Aside from Ray doing his thing, and Whitlock racking up the yards, this offence was pretty bad.

Great assessment Chief. :thup:

Comments and questions below as this was the only game I could not see through the CFL Underground down here and had to resort to only our standard undercover ham radio and the CFL site operations.

A good start at a fix for us is allowing no more than one sack and committing no turnovers, but here is the rest. :frowning:

Ray overthrew a couple guys, and a couple times it didn't look like he and the receivers were on the same page.
With Ray's and the receiving corp's decent numbers with no interceptions, how were our yards after contact (not just after the catch at the pro level of play)? Was the BC defence just that good in the secondary as well? Or do our guys need more agility and strength training to boost the "shake and bake" after the initial contact after the catch?
Plus Robertson tore us apart in the first half. He had over 100 yards. Our guys couldn't tackle him for nothing.
Dire problems here, as with his total of 168 yards on 11 carries with one broken for 61 yards, that still leaves the rest with almost 10 yards per carry! :o Are they attempting to wrap when they tackle too or just going for the stick as usually ends up in a bounce and missed tackle? Inexcusable from professionals! With that stat alone it is alarming and we have to be thankful that BC managed only one touchdown, because a team that can run the ball like that will win most games.
The O-Line isn't helping matters.
5 Sacks Allowed. And we thought Hamilton had issues with pass protection? :roll:
The only bright spot is Whitlock. It looks like he's picking up where he left off last season.
Strangely they blocked very well for the run, but why not for the pass?! And right Whitlock's doing his part and then some except when throwing to him it looks like he needs better protection and better plays.

I'm just learning now as a new fan how much more of a downer for an offence a sack is in the CFL compared to in the NFL with four downs, and you tell me how many teams allowing five sacks in the CFL are even going to come close to winning a game lest they can match it defence and force turnovers?

3 fumbles with 2 on offence by Ray including 1 near the goal line when easily we could have scored a TD. With no turnovers by BC, it's rather tough to overcome that many mistakes and win a game for that matter.

Dare I say it to go with the next comment, and I can hear the howls coming already from a few fans, geez the way that game ran for both teams for sake of field possession and field goals you would think the teams were running ball control/game management offences like in the NFL and both with solid defences than what I would expect more in CFL ball! :o

Good thing that was not the game chosen to be on the NFL Network either or we'd have to hear it from too many new fans down here who would not know better as we saw on Thursday night and on Friday night for which highlights made the Top 10 plays on ESPN Sportscenter.

And Paul McCallum at age 40 years old 6/6 with a 50-yarder? Are you kidding me there is hardly a kicker in ANY league who could match that feat, as other than a 44-yarder and though the others were short, usually someone botches a snap or hold or there is a block after that many attempts! :o Heck after he kicked a 50-yarder to make it 6-0 early in the 2nd quarter I had to go out to work out and kick some balls myself but no I did not even come close to matching that feat at my of age 38! Note there are almost always a few kickers and punters also in the NFL who are quadrennials too for those of you who think 40 is "old" for a kicker or punter (or in general :lol: ).

The offence was too inconsistent. There were times when Ray was hitting his guys, and then there were times when it looked like no one knew what they were supposed to do. Ray was overthrowing guys, receivers weren't in the right spots. I'll give BC credit, there were times when they were able to impede our guys, but overall, our offence just laid an egg. As for the fumbles, I missed the first one by Ray, but the second one wasn't his fault. The O-Line was so bad, they might as well have not even been on the field.

The tackling was poor. Guys were getting deked out, they were getting out-hustled, and when they did attempt to tackle someone... it was just a bunch of guys flailing around on the field.

"Our overall play wasn't consistent enough," he (Hall) said. "As a team, we weren't good enough to win a football game."

REALLY?!?!?! :o :lol:

Really bad play calling 2nd and 11 and were trying a simple draw play . We didn't even attempt 1 screen play . with the talent on the rec core we also should have been throwing the deep ball. I thought the D played fairly well outside of a few missed tackels .but the O looked out of sorts when in the Red zone.

This was the only game I missed on video as I stated below and had to resort to radio and this site to track. So I ask are you sure about this for the screen plays, as I see Whitlock had two receptions for losses and those usually are on screen passes for a RB?

All the same, the O-line need be in form for such plays that require excellent timing by all parties, and given its poor pass-blocking I would be doubtful it was in form solid enough overall for such plays though it was in form apparently for run-blocking for Whitlock otherwise.

Otherwise I do agree a screen or other short pass would be a great call especially if the secondary/defence are any one or more of the following as Ray reads/does any of the following BEFORE the snap:

  1. Secondary playing soft on the receivers expecting the long ball on usually 2nd and long
  2. Secondary man-to-man coverage on either down and long -- delay screen to the RB in the flat after he chips any pass-rusher
  3. Read blitz, audible, and manoeuvre to the flat on either side with a receiver ready for the ball.
with the talent on the rec core we also should have been throwing the deep ball. I thought the D played fairly well outside of a few missed tackels .but the O looked out of sorts when in the Red zone.
With five sacks allowed it sounds to me the O-line looked out of sorts more than just the red zone? And then Chief said one of the fumbles was not Ray's fault too so?

Any defence that allows a running back, Robertson in this case, to run for over 100 yards on almost 10 yards per carry, even taking out the run broken for 61 yards, cannot be playing "fairly well" no way. It sounds to me like our defence quite plainly was crushed on the line and missing tackles right and left.

With regard to the deep ball it sounds to me from Chief's account that the coverage was just that good as well as some key passes with poor timing or overthrown by Ray, but I would be interested to find out how the route running was too even with our talent at receiver? If they were off on the routes it is not all Ray's fault for some of those incompletions too.

It would seem to me in CFL ball that stretching the field with deep pass routes is even more part of the game anyway compared to NFL ball, but for such plays Ray ought have more options to throw a screen or short with crisp timing routes instead of having to resort to running or chucking it to try to avoid sacks. For example even if they sent four guys deep they would still have two options in that regard for the short pass.

In your opinion, is Strasser comparable to Mike Kelly was as OC? Is your O line missing some key components, or has there been a major overhaul of your O line? Montreal is coming this weekend, and if those issues aren't rectified, Ricky could be carted off on a stretcher. For the Esk's and the league's sake, I hope not!!

Strasser is a much better OC than Kelly. Our starting centre Fiaconni was out which forced a few guys to shuffle around, and we had Koch playing centre even though I don't think he ever had before. The o-line was obviously horrendous, but maybe Fiaconni back next game could help things out?

Mike Kelly was the receivers coach.

I'm not comparing those two, let's just say in my opinion neither is any good. By the way I think we did try a screen, it was 2nd and 18 after a sack and we screened for a 7 yard loss. It's pretty early for me to judge the team so harshly, I better not post right after the games anymore :oops:

There was a screen play at the very end of the game (last Eskimo drive) on second and long that went for about 3-4 yards.

Speaking of the end of the game, anyone know why we kept Ray in? Would've been a good time to bring in Zabransky and let him get some reps.

Game one was hard to read last night. It is very hard to tell if BC is very good, or do we just suck? Yes there were some bright spots in the game, but some major adjustments need to be made for next game. Teams are going to start noticing that we can’t defend the run, or hold off an all out blitz.

Just my opinion, Danny Maciocia is a horrible GM. We had outstanding team who were favorites to win the Grey Cup every year, then he takes charge, has one maybe two good years, then turns the proud franchise into the leagues laughing stock. His lack of Judement on player moves is very surprising. (signings of Josh Ranek, who never played a game with us, and injury prone Jesse Lumsden who only played less than a quarter for us before he got hurt… big surprise, to name a few)

But to get back onto topic, We will have to make some major adjustments if we even want to be be in the game against a sharp shooter like Montreal. I for one wouldn’t be surprised to see us start the season 0-2.

I've seen Ricky Ray play far better. In my opinion he is one the cleverest skilled players in the CFL. I was blown away when the Esks ended up on B.C.'s one yard line very early in the game. I figured. Oh, we go again. But then back to back penalties and a fumble did the Esks in on that the series.

As a B.C. fan it was good to see the Lions win of course but the game was much closer defensively than the score would indicate. The Esks were not exactly blown out and B.C. was able to only score one major. McCallum was a surprise. With the backup kicker Shawn White chomping at the bit to play it appears McCallum took notice. Bottom line though is that field goals are missed opportunities to score majors. B.C. had 6 of those opportunities. The Esks denied them majors on every one of them.

Whitlock will be a formidable contender and Stamps is so slippery.
Don't know how the Esks will do against Montreal. Unless Montreal is having a bad day they are in a league of their own. They just have to much darn talent and depth.

The Lions must be worried stiff. A 56-18 whitewash in post-season last year isn't easy to forget.
All in all, I think the Esks will do better that the season opener suggested.

Good write-up beaglehound. :thup: One positive you wrote that stuck out in my eyes as well is; The Eskies did stop em 6 times that resulted in field goals for the Lions. Ray being sacked 5 times, perhaps sticking to the running game more could have helped? We got out coached bigtime. Thinking about changeing my pick to Montreal but...but... I'm going to stick with Edmonton. All in all I have faith or is it hope. :expressionless:

I am sure glad someone else besides myself noticed that the Eskimos were not blown out of the water by B.C.
This game could of, should of been 50-10 with the way the offence played. If this was the defence of last year, it would of been. I, like everyone else, was very disappointed in the offence. Why didnt Barnes play, when he was obviously our best receiver coming out of training and Campbell missed most of camp with injuries.
1st and goal on the 1, if you cant score a TD from there, you are in for a lonngggggg day.

Although Roberson ran for almost 200yds, most of his yards came on 3-4 runs. After that, B.C. was held in check most of the evening. B.C. was forced to kick 6 FGs. Defence stepped up when they needed to. Losing Peach early in the game hurt and not having Romero in there was a huge factor against the run. Once Romero is back, I believe the run stopper machine will be in full force. I am happy with how the D played. Satisfied with the special teams. Unhappy and concerned about how the offence played. Oh yeah, Mass should have gotten a series or two, just to shake things up a bit.

Montreal this week. Not the best opponent for a bounce back win. I still pick Edmonton over Montreal. They are both 0-1. lol... Looks like a toss up.


Sorry to rain on everyones parade but I perdict a Montreal Victory big time this week not even close this is the same garbage we were fed last year. coaching on this team is the worst in the CFL . :x :x :x

We are going to get worked big time by Montreal and Sask. the next two weeks, and I'm basically expecting us to start out 0-3. Maybe some players (and coaches?) will be on the hot seat?