Unfair Criticism of Offensive Line

The Lions have given up a lot of quarterback sacks this season and the offensive line, unfairly, has recieved most of the heat. The Leos have an excellent offensive line. Reid is an outstanding centre, Singh, when heathy is one of the best guards in the league, Bates is a tough cookie, Powell has quick feet and is a specimen with huge potential, and Mantyka, recovering from a serious injury, has probably been the most consistent tackle in the league for years and rarely let his man beat him.

In the first four games there were a few meantal breakdowns (eg: Powell blocked the wrong man in the Hamilton game...Mantyka and Rasouli also had some confusion early in one game) but overall the offensive line has played well.

Most of the sacks have come when teams have blitzed. When teams send more men than offensive lineman there are a number of ways to make them pay. One is to keep both backs in or an inside reciever to block and hurt them deep. Secondly the offence can run screens, dumps, and draws to take advantage of blitzing linebackers. Thirdly the offence should have a safety valve on each play the quarterback can throw to.

Blitzing teams can also be badly hurt by the escapability of the quarterback to buy time or take off with the ball. In the first four games the major reason for the number of sacks has been that the quarterback has been unable to escape the blitz and hung onto the ball to take the sack. Secondly the Leos have not hurt teams with screens and dumps.

Another way to hurt blitzing teams is to establish the running game. Play action will often freeze blitzing linebackers, buying time for the quarterback.
Hopefully, Chapdelaine has made the necessary adjustments as we play Calgary. Teams are blitzing the Lions and will continue to until we find the ways to hurt them consistently when they do. Hopefully, tonite is the night when the offence explodes with the right schemes and we take advantage of all the talent on the offensive side of the ball.