Was it the play calling or the players?

What a terrific effort by this team.
My question is..has the play calling on both sides of the ball miraculously improved or is was it more to do with tremendous individual effort? I missed most of the game.
If it was the play calling, I take back most of those terrible things I said about Working and O'Neil last week.

The players, mainly.

Offensively, I liked the mix Charlie was dialing up with Richie. He seems very comfortable with the offensive system.

The screen call to Lumsden was brilliant -- he got enough isolation, broke the first tackle and bulldozed for six!

Defensively: the fact we were getting a better 4-man rush as the game wore on helped. We seemed to get more pressure rushing less guys than sending the freaking house!

That being said, that last drive by Calgary was handled terribly by O'Neil. Three-man rushes that allowed the Calgary OL to create lanes for Burris on his QB draws and scrambles. Had it been third-and-goal from the four instead of the 14, I think Smith would have kept the ball and it very well have been a different result, IMHO.

We are still too predictable in our defensive approaches. However, the impact of Charlton Keith's Montford impersonation cannot be underestimated. Gamebreaking stuff!

Oski Wee Wee,

To what do you attribute that to Russ?

As with most defensive success, it's a little bit of alchemy. LOL

I'll give my take.

If you send, say, 6-8 guys, you will have man coverage somewhere on the field. If the hot route receiver is in one of those matchups, you had better get to the QB fast because the ball is coming out quick with any clued-in vet QB. That's why failed pass rushes in those kinds of scenarios can be devastating.

All it takes is one missed tackle (i.e. John Taylor of the Niners breaking a tackle off a short slant as the hot read against a Buddy Ryan Bears 46 on a number of occasions) and you will be torched!

If you can rush four and get the requisite pressure, you're going to be able to run more zones (mixing them up mind you). Montford in his prime made Sudsy look like Yoda at times because having eight guys back in zone while the QB is running for his life is a recipe for success.

In that case, the pass rush reinforces the secondary. We aren't at the stage where our defensive backfield can lockdown a QB consistently without pressure. Those pieces to the puzzle may be starting to assemble, though!

However, rushing three men, as O'Neil was doing late in the game, allows both DEs to get double-teamed and creates a mismatch in the interior of the line where Burris could follow a lead block of a lineman off his scramble or QB draw. That was happening for most of the final drive. We had no pressure in those situations.

A veteran QB will pick apart a 9-man zone look if it is prevent-style vanilla because having 5 or 6 blockers, he should have all day to pick out an open guy or take off with an escort. Even Michael Bishop -- not the most adept at reading defences -- can torch something so simple to read and react to.

This is something Ed O'Neil is going to have to get through his thick headset. Unlike the NFL and American ball, the windows in CFL prevent zones ARE BIG in comparison.

You have to rush 4 or 5 guys while playing a deep zone to have a better chance of snuffing out a late comeback threat if the approach is to guard against the deep ball, IMHO.

Oski Wee Wee,

The team played great, the offence and defence seemed to feed off each other and neither really seemed to ever pack it in. It was great to see an effort like that and I am not sure if it was play calling or if the team just got it all together finally.

This is something Ed O'Neil is going to have to get through his thick headset. Unlike the NFL and American ball, the windows in CFL prevent zones ARE BIG in comparison.
I agree. We have the personal. Now we need the coaches. Give them CFL 101. And stop going for 2 point conversions so early in the game. If it fails (and quite often does)... the offence is demoralized right after a major. For what? IMHO

That's the way I saw it. With the secondary being so vulnerable, the extra guy or two dropped back seemed to plug holes Burris was expecting to be open.

So that begs the question, why is the secondary so vulnerable? Burris' completions were usually to a wide, wide open receiver. Play calling or player?

A bit of both, but here again, more defensive complexity -- not less -- needs to be put into the mix. QBs are not having too much difficulty reading our secondary this year -- the 6 INTs to date is a barometer of that.

Oski Wee Wee,

My honest opinion is that the cats are not actually in good physical shape. They seem to be sucking a lot of air between plays.