Toronto at Montreal

As per the CFL transactions of July 26,2014, the Als have:

Transferred Int. RB Brandon Rutley from the active roster to the practice roster.

Released Int. DE Chris Wilson from the active roster/the team.

I definitely agree with the release of Wilson. I wonder which players will be added to the active roster. With the return of Int.WR Duron Carter, could the Als dress 5 Int. WRs? Will Int. LB Bear Woods come off the 6 game injury list,if he's ready?

A few moves coming before next game.

Richard

I also agree with the release of Chris Wilson. Another ex-NFLer who failed to live up to the hype. Knapton has outperformed him at DE and Wilson was just a penalty machine anyway.

Interesting to see Rutley PRed. Does that mean Sutton is ready to come off the 6-game? If I were in charge, I would sit Chad Johnson to make room for Carter returning, but I guess we can't sit the social media star. :roll:

Always difficult to speculate on possible moves this coming week,since we don’t know the status of some players on injured lists; this being said,here are some moves that could/will occur.-some have already occurred-

  • Int WR Duron Carter. From 1 game injured list to active roster.
  • Int RB Brandon Rutley. From active roster to practice roster. Already occurred.
  • Int LB Bear Woods. From 6 game injured list to active roster; or Int LB Kyler Elsworth from practice roster to active roster; or Int DE Brian Brikowski from practice roster to active roster.
  • Int DE Chris Wilson released. Already occurred.
  • Nat RB Steven Lumbala. From 1 game injured list to active roster.
  • Nat FB/LS Jerod Zaleski. From active roster to practice roster or to 1 game injured list.
  • Nat FB Dahrran Diedrick. From practice roster to active roster.
  • Nat WR Kyle Graves. From active roster to practice roster or 1 game injured list.

While I definitely expect 5 Int WRs to be on active roster-unless S.J. Green is not ready to play-, I expect that only 4 will dress. Who will be the healthy scratch? Common sense says Chad Johnson but I don’t know.If 5 Int WRs were to dress, it would mean that Int DB Dominique Ellis would be the healthy scratch again. The Als need this player on special teams; he was sratched last game, in order to dress Int RB Brandon Rutley. Was easier to understand,since with Lumbala on 1 game injured list, there was only 1 RB available.

The Als as the Argos need to win the next game; I hope that the Als will prevail.

Richard

This is a home game that we absolutely have to win. We've already dropped one home game we should have won (against Winnipeg). Given how badly we have played on the road so far, winning as many homes games as possible is going to be crucial if we want to make the playoffs. The Argos are without two of their playmakers (Owens and Durie) and they're vulnerable.

One thing I want to see (apart from a better offensive showing, obviously): better defence on second and long.

I agree that his game is crucial for the Als. Could well set the tone for the rest of the season.

I expect them to play very well. I just hope Smith is relaxed enough after all this to go out and play.

I would pound the ball on the ground early and impose some sort of will. Set up some play action capability.

Simple is good here.

Agreed. Simple is good. That said, we've had a bye week to prepare, so I also want to see some sign that Dinwiddie is expanding on the playbook -- whether that's adding an extension or option to a play, installing a situational play, or showing a different formation for something we already run. We won't survive the season with a playbook that's a quarter of the size of other teams' playbooks. At some point, Smith has to show he's capable of handling the whole range of plays we have at our disposal.

Yup that would be good.
By simple I mean to play well fundamentally. Clean focused execution. Ball security. Beat the man opposite you. Be fast. Limit the silly UR penalties which are soul destroying. Simple tough-minded football.

Agreed with all of that, especially limiting the UR penalties. Cutting Chris Wilson is a step in that direction.

I would avoid using the "freebie" removals from the 6-game IR on players who are only slightly better than the other option(s).

I hope Dinwiddie watched the TiCat game last evening. He would have seen the importance of having the QB do some planned game running. Our Heisman winner Troy Smith has, to date not excelled in pro ball with the NFL nor the Arena League. With our Alouettes, its time for the OC to take the wraps off Smith and have him run when he has the opportunity. He has most always been a 50% passer and, we really can't accept more but, Smith should be encouraged to use his feet when the opportunity arrives. This might improve his productivity to the team and, not permit the Argos defense to key on Whitaker. Our running game needs focus ( for our 50% inaccurate passer) and Smith should be encouraged to run. We do have a good OL and, lets utilize our strength and place more focus on the run.
Smith won the Heisman in 2006, a time when there was acceptance, by the NFL, that this was a poor year for QB prospects and, other QB graduates sustained this NFL perception also. Smith has demonstrated he is not the messiah of the passing world so, hopefully Dinwiddie will take his wraps off. If anyone wants to get a noted history of Smith's inadequacy as a passer, a trip to Google will attest to this as. Whitaker, who has a tendency to injury, can't carry the running load alone. He does not have the strength nor durability of a Mike Pringle. Smith is a strong durable QB, hopefully he could contribute more by using his feet. I do expect Widdie and, the other coaches, will have used the time out period to show us an improved all around offense.

Niagara, I think you are right on. Why we didn't build a playbook to emphasize creativity in the ground game when all our QBs (Smith, Marsh, Brink) are scramblers is beyond me. The problem right now is that Troy Smith appears to have a recurring knee injury that is limiting his mobility. To compensate, I'd try to run more two-back sets with Whitaker and Larry Taylor (or Sutton when he's healthy) to confuse the D and attack the field on the ground from different angles. Some shovels, options, combined with some double TE formations (use White and Lumbala as the TEs). Really just pound teams on the ground every which way. But at the end of the day, Smith still has to be much better. If he can't do better than that awful showing in BC, it won't matter what kind of playbook we have or what plays we're running.

[url=http://www.rds.ca/football/alouettes/smith-sur-la-corde-raide-1.1325534]http://www.rds.ca/football/alouettes/sm ... -1.1325534[/url]

Very interesting tidbit in this piece: Si Smith connaît un mauvais début de match vendredi, les Alouettes effectueront un changement au poste de quart. Le vétéran Alex Brink, et non Tanner Marsh, serait le joueur envoyé dans la mêlée.

So not only are they prepared to hook Smith if he isn't playing well on Friday, but they are going to send Alex Brink to replace him, not Tanner Marsh. On paper, I agree with this move. Marsh is not ready and it would just be throwing him to the wolves. Brink has more experience and he looked the best of the three in preseason. He may not win a game for you, but he's less likely to lose it for you than the other two.

I just hope that if Smith messes the bed again, the hook is quickly followed by his release before the next game. No point keeping him around once you know that he can't get it done...

I agree with the selection of Brink at QB should Smith again falter and, Disciplines suggestion re a renewed focus on our ground game is very appropriate. Now that Popp appears to have committed to our team, his focus has to be on scouting the NCAA this Fall for a future QB for our team. There are still a few NFL QB castoffs playing in the CFL- DeMarko of Ottawa, Pat White Edmonton, Portis Winnipeg and, of course Smith. However, I do believe these NFL rejects generally don't produce in our CFL. Our great QB's are NCAA recruited- Etcheverry, Wade and Calvillo. We require a great reruitment crusade now to find our fourth great QB.I trust Popp and scouts will be active in the Fall looking through all NCAA divisions.
One of the better receivers to have played for the Als was Terry Evanshan, who showed up at a tryout camp back in the early sixties. The coaches perceived him to be very skilled but, a rather green candidate. They sent him to a semi pro team in the USA for seasoning and, the next year he made the team and, became super productive. I would put Marsh into this category. The team might send Marsh out for a seasoning as they did with Evanshen. I like Marsh's strength and abilities but, he, like Evanshen requires more game experience.

[url=http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/football/montreal-alouettes/Zurkowsky+Dinwiddie+delivers+wake/10070546/story.html]http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/f ... story.html[/url]

So now the kid gloves are off. Dinwiddie apparently cursed the hell out of the offensive group at practice yesterday:

[i]“We keep talking a big game. We’re coming out here and messing up plays that we’ve been doing since (mini-camp in April),? he continued, the team returning to practice indoors on Monday at the Bell Sports Complex following a bye week in the schedule. “If that’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to have to replace some guys.

“It’s not hard stuff. That means guys aren’t being true pros right now.?
[/i]

We'll see whether this tirade has any effect. You can't cut or trade a whole team. And respectfully, I would suggest that this is what you get when you keep guys like Chad Johnson and Eric Deslauriers in the starting rotation. What has either player done? Johnson is washed up. Deslauriers has never done anything in his entire CFL career. Meanwhile, Kyle Graves has yet to see another regular-season action and Gilyard, who was IMO one of the best receivers in preseason, is only practicing now because Green is injured. So it might be true that players need to shape up or ship out. But the coaches are also to blame for poor personnel decisions.

I would expect them to be a lot sharper come Thursday, and I agree with the plan to run more - considering how Tor faired against that last week. I think you guys win this one.

Ticket sales seemed to have suddenly picked up. Wonder if the argos' terrible defeat might have had something to do with it. Whatever works i guess.

Or is it a case of the O tuning Dinwiddie out?

Hopefully not and as you mention, we'll see what the tirade brings come Friday night.

It's always weird to see situations like this. Obviously, players are professionals, just like the coaches. Nobody likes to lose, nobody likes to be humiliated like we were in BC. So why are they dogging it? Why are they apparently screwing up plays that they've been practicing for months? Many of the players on offence were around during the Trestman era. Guys like Whitaker, Green, Bourke, and Perrett have Grey Cup rings. They know what it takes to win and they've been part of good offences. So where does this malaise come from? I don't have an answer. I'm genuinely curious.

While Int WR Mardy Gilyard was mentioned daily because of his spectacular catches,during mini-camp of april, he did not play during the two 2014 pre-season games,since he was injured.

Richard

The elephant in the room here, possibly, is that the guys, who are indeed professionals, many of whom wear GC rings, are simply not buying what Dinwiddie is selling. His selection as OC came under weird circumstances and was probably a surprise even to him. Is he equal to the task and is he feeling the pressure?

In the changes that are no doubt inevitable in a rebuilding year, we may yet see changes in the coaching staff. So far, whatever skill sets Smith has have not been working out; the poor execution is mainly on him. Play selection? Also highly questionable, but that's on the OC. I hope I'm wrong and that the guys can get this thing turned around somehow and start racking up Ws.

One thing in the Als' favour this season is that the rest of the East Division appears equally poor. When the Argos get their walking wounded back, they will be a force to be reckoned with. For the rest...