Sorry, gang, but we'll be lucky to make it to the Cup final this year. Yet again, our defense can't win us a game in which the offense doesn't score 30+ points. Glenn and then Dinwiddie on one good leg moved the ball on our D at will down the field; they'd have scored more points if they hadn't shot themselves in the foot with dropped passes.
I've been wondering all season just why our secondary is so poor in coverage. Is it really a personnel problem? Because Chris Jones worked with the exact same secondary last season and we were fine then. The only new permanent addition, Khalil Carter, has been an improvement!
Again and again I come back to poor schemes and poor coaching. Our DBs are seemingly trained to wait until the receiver has caught the pass before tackling. Rarely do we attempt a knockdown, which is part of why we have so few INTs from the secondary spot. Carter's INT TD return today was, embarrassingly, the first time one of our DBs has taken a pick back for a major THIS ENTIRE SEASON. Winnipeg ran a dink and dunk offense underneath all day and we had no answer for it. Five yards here, six yards there, pitch and catch with our coverage. We're in a double bind, because our man coverage is poor, but our zone coverage is so soft that any veteran receiver can settle into the dead spot and wait for an easy completion.
Another big problem is schemes. Burke is too predictable, especially on second and long. Why is it that we can get an opposing offense into second and long all day but continually fail to get a stop? Dunigan pointed out our pre-snap tendencies several times during today's broadcast. Our schemes are so predictable that anyone, whether it's Glenn, Dinwiddie, or a rookie like Quinton Porter, can make his pre-snap read and convert second and long into a first down. We don't change our looks, we don't mix up our coverage, and facing a young backup Qb with a bad leg, we inexplicably don't blitz! On second and 7, we vacate the middle of the field PRE-SNAP, allowing the Bombers to pick up a first down on a running play to Joe Smith. On second and 10, we allow the QB to bootleg out to his right with tons of open space and pick up a first down. And this is against a poor Winnipeg team with a losing record that just got annihilated the week before.
Several times today, it appeared that our DBs were caught flat-footed and burned for big gains because they weren't in the proper position. My guess is that the plays are not being sent in quickly enough from the bench. If you watch the replay of Winnipeg's first TD, Cox is casually walking away from Terrence Edwards as the ball is snapped, completely unprepared to drop into coverage; he loses two steps on Edwards, finds himself in a chase position, and gets beaten for the TD. If that's a coaching problem, shame on Burke. If that's a personnel problem, shame on Burke for not holding Cox accountable.
It breaks my heart to say it, because with the season Calvilllo's having, we all want to get him a Grey Cup, but we are not hoisting the trophy, or even getting to the final itself, if our defense continues to play like this.