What will it take for us to win the Grey Cup?

Okay Als fans, lets kick around a few ideas of what our team has to do to win the Grey Cup.

We are in tough; we're up against an opponent that is firing on all cylinders in all facets of the game, offence, defence, and special teams.

They've got a star QB in Dickenson and if he gets hurt Pierce is a capable backup. Great receiving corps, strong O-line, good running back in Joe Smith.

Defence is strong, puts a lot of pressure on opposing QBs, strong against both run and pass.

On special teams, McCallum is hot, and Ian Smart is I think a better returner than Cobourne.

So what do we do?

Seems likely that we will and should emphasise a strong running game. Personally I'd like to see a few two-back sets, with Edwards and Lapointe or Edwards and Diedrick in the backfield together. Owen Wilson had a breakout year this year and was not thrown to once in the semifinal, so maybe a few tosses in his direction won't be expected and might catch the Leos a bit offguard. We'll need to have a bag of trick plays as well I think, featuring a lot of mis-direction, given the team speed on BC's defence; maybe we can trick them into overreacting with a few reverses and screens.

Our coaching staff has their work cut out for them over this next week....our record against BC the past several years has not been very good, so we'll have to come up with an imaginative game plan.

I kinda disagree. You don’t want to re-invent the wheel when going to the championship game. You have to do what got you there. Instead of trying to put some elaborate game plan into the playbook in a week, the Als should focus on fundamentals this week and make sure that they are able to execute their game plan in the Grey cup.

Offensively, use the short passing game and the running game to slow down the Lions pass rush, which will then open up the medium to deep passing game. The team just has to focus on not making mistakes. No dropped balls, no fumbles, no missed blocks. Not making mistakes on our already existing plays is much more important than putting in all kinds of new plays and formations.

Defensively, if we can keep getting pressure with our front four like the last few games, it will allow the linebackers to sit back over the middle, which is where the Lions kiiled us this year. The DBs have been playing great football the last couple of games, both in coveage and tackling, and they just have to keep up that level of play.

On ST, we have the advantage in the kicking game, and even if Smart is a better returner that Cobourne, he isn’t better than Levingston and Bruce, and we contained them yesterday, so I am not worried about that.

Obviously, it won’t be an easy game, but it will be closer than the two games we played against them this year. When we played those, we were playing our worst football of the year, and they were playing their best. I seriously doubt that the Als will come out flat next week like they did in the previous two meetings. The Als have a veteran group that is capable of rising to the occasion of big games. I honestly believe we have a good shot of winning this game.

Oh I wasn't suggesting a totally new playbook, just a few things to tweak the offence to mix it up and hopefully confuse the opposition. Have to give them something they haven't seen before...........if we're too predictable, we'll lose.

What we have to do:

Offense
Protect the football. I can’t stress this enough. Unlike Toronto, whose offense is a joke, B.C. will make us pay if we throw picks or fumble the ball. Calvillo has to make the right reads, take what the defence gives him, and not force the ball into traffic, because Barron Miles is a ball hawk who will make A.C. pay.

• Look off the DBs. Calvillo did a good job of this against the Argos, but it’s not enough. He’s got to do it on any medium or long pass.

• Get every receiver involved. Yes, that includes my least favourite Alouette Thyron Anderson. Dave Ritchie is going to throw a blanket over Ben Cahoon, so it’s up to Anderson, Stala, Watkins, and T. Edwards to step up, get open, and make the catches.

• No drops. Forget about yards after catch — if you don’t catch the ball, YAC don’t mean a thing. Watkins especially has to hang onto the pigskin.

• Stick with the running game, even if it doesn’t work early on. The Lions have a ferocious run defence, but we can’t abandon the run. If we do, they’ll just pin their ears back and tee off on Calvillo. Edwards is a big, bruising back who gets stronger as the game goes on and he gets more touches. Give him the rock early and often. If the Lions start cheating off their defensive assignments to stuff the run, the passing game will open up.

• Predictable = death, a.k.a. Mix up the playcalling. We started hot against Toronto because we confused them with a great play scheme: running screens and sideline routes with Edwards and the fullback, then busting it up the gut when they were spread out. In the second half, though, Calvillo and Strasser fell into the safe, predictable pattern we’ve seen all year: draw play on first down, medium pass on second down. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t work, and we almost paid for it. We have got to keep the Lions off-balance and unsure of what we’re going to do on any given down, or we won’t have any success. Use Edwards and Lapointe in a two-back formation with misdirection. Get Vilimek or Piercy involved in fullback screens. Try reverses with Watkins as the ‘running back’. Turn Edwards into a receiver and get him loose with the ball in open space. Let’s see Anwar Stewart line up a few times at tight end. Let’s see Calvillo scramble here and there. Hell, bust out the ol’ flea-flicker and see if you can’t catch the Lions’ DBs napping.

Defence
• Bring pressure early and often. Dickenson is a great QB, but he’s human like anyone else, and fragile too. Hit him thunderously (but cleanly) early on to disrupt his rhythm. If he’s more worried about avoiding the hit from Philion, Stewart, et al., he won’t be focused on finding his receivers, which will mean incompletions and maybe even INTs.

• Disguise formations. Dickenson is probably the best quarterback in the league at reading coverage and finding the seam, so our D has to disguise its packages effectively and have him uncertain about when and how we’re blitzing, when we’re dropping into coverage, and how we’re disguising our schemes. If we just line up eight men on the line of scrimmage and try to get to him quickly, we’ll get killed.

• No blown coverage. Bishop burned us for TDs in the final because our DBs got crossed up and confused about their assignments. This is unacceptable, especially when the other team is threatening our end zone. Geroy Simon is already dangerous enough without us handing him gift touchdowns because of blown coverage assignments.

• Win the one-on-one battles. Forget about how the team is doing: each player is responsible for what he does. If your assignment is to beat the left guard and get to the quarterback, focus solely on that, and not on what the rest of the team is doing. Don’t look at the scoreboard.

Special teams
• Stick to the script. Our kick coverage has been very good all year, but last week we were burned for big yardage. Ian Smart will want to show us that we made a mistake cutting him, so we’ve got to contain him and limit his returns. The last thing we want to do is give Dickenson great field position to start his drives.

• Secure the football. If Cobourne hadn’t fumbled last week, the score really wouldn’t have been close. This week, it could spell disaster for us if he can’t hang onto the ball.

• Better blocking for Cobourne. We need all the help we can get, and field position is key, so let’s help our offense out by putting them in a good position when they start their drives. If we can do this, we should win the field-position battle, given that Duval is a better punter for my money than McCallum.

General
• Minimize penalties, especially the procedure, offside, and facemasking infractions. All three are completely avoidable penalties in a neutral city like Winnipeg where the crowd won’t be completely partisan to one team. Facemasking is pure boneheadedness. Offside, at this point in the season, is unforgivable. Taking a procedure call because your own QB’s hard count confused you is equally unforgivable (I’m looking at you, Okeke).

The bottom line is that the B.C. Lions are a better team than the Montreal Alouettes in every phase of the game. So how do we win? By playing above our heads and executing at a higher level. We don’t have a precision passer like Dickenson, a cadre of elite receivers, or a ball-hawking secondary, so dammit, we just have to find the will to win somehow, someway. This is crunch time, folks. GO ALS GO!

It's been a while but here are my thoughts about how to win the grey cup game.
The als must impose the run, however they have to run outside routes to win this game. BC D-line is way to big for robert edwards to run on the inside like he did against TO. Maybe using Cobourne or Diedrick would help. they're not as explosive as edwards but I believe they're a lot faster than him(forget about Lapointe, he's good but he's an up and down runner). Make those big guys run a little and get tired. Plus, the als have always been know for trick plays/strategies, it could definitely surprise BC to see brand new RB they haven't seen all year. I'm not even sure I should even be writting this in case Wally's reading it... lol
Sad to say but I believe that the special team will have the biggest impact on this game for both teams. The als must not let them get easy yardage or they're cooked and our ST must get good field for the offense to score. Calvillo won't be able to bring it for a TD if he starts from his 20-30 yard line, BC's got good DB(starting with Barron Miles who knows the Als system). And for the love of G.., no more of these slant passes that Calvillo loves so much, it hasn't worked all year and it's not gonna start next sunday. We barely get 2-3 yard when AC uses it and our receivers get nailed everytime(especially when he uses them on first down, I'm just about to rip off this play from his little wristband!!!)
As for the D, if they play smart like they did last week, we'll be alright. Please, no dumb penalties(I'm talking about Truluck on this one, I was please to see him end up in Montreal but he can be stupid with his roughing the passer penalties, same goes to Sanchez and his big ego. Popp better get a leash on these two cause they could kill the game by themselves).
These our my thoughts and I'm sticking with them. GO ALS GO HISTORY WILL NOT REPEAT ITSELF, plus I want my parade(and I don't mean the one in July!! lol) Have a good game everybody!!!

Throw the zone defence to the trashcan. To win this game, we've gotta go man coverage all night long. Dickenson can throw a bullet through a flying cherry from 30 yards away. And his receivers' hands are way bigger than flying cherries. We can't let anyone open at any time.

Hey BetrDaChef, are you the poster formerly known as DaChef? If yes, where have you been? I thought we lost you in a vortex or something…

GO ALS. I left Montreal in 1977 but I still love the ALS. I have a feeling this is our year and we will beat BC. Just keep giving it to Edwards, he's a stud.
Regards from sunny Florida.

Hey Third n' ten, I'm still around and I've been reading your posts. I just had to change my postname(forgot my passw and easier to reset...). Same guy different name!

Will Cahoon outduel Claremount?
Smith versus Edwards on a slick Field?
Can AC remain upright and finish the game against the BC front?
Will Wally school Jim?
Al's secoundary shut down Simon?
Will Al's cold weather experiance trump the dome team?
Who silences the doubters DD or AC?

BC 35 Als 21

Go BC in 2006

A little bit of positive thinking won't hurt. NOT believing in winning goes a long way towards doing just that! I sure hope the players are feeling positive.

Go Als! Fly off with a win. You're all big enough birds to carry the Cup!

Rehire Ellis Prince the 3rd! Isn't it funny, that with the Als resurgence in the CFL (and the community) that the only Als President to win a Grey Cup was Ellis Prince the 3rd!!!! So funny! The guy came in for a cup of coffee (between Larry Smith)and walks away with a ring. All the while, our great ownwer Bob Wettenhall, Larry and Jim Popp, have only THAT ring. Not fair...
Seriously, for the Als to win Sunday against BC: they need to win the turnover battle, they need to win on penalties (receive much fewer than BC) and they need to be AGGRESSIVE (but be smart).
Run, run and RUN the ball.
I also hate to mention it, but the BC quarterback Dave Dickenson not only leads the league in passing percentage; but also in CONCUSSIONS! The Guy is a hit away from retirement. I don't wish for the guy to be hurt seriously, but the Als have to hit him hard, hard and fast. Don't do like the Riders (let him throw); attack and hit. If he gets knocked out of the game because he is made of glass, well that's on him
MOntreal defence, on your mark, get set: ATTACK!!!

Go back to blitzing. Blitz, Blitz, Blitz. That is what I have to say.

Send Duane Butler and Tim Strickland on the blitz like the Als of old. If the DBs get burned deep, well let's take that risk and hope Strick and D. Butler can get at Dickenson first.

If your DB’s get burned, you’re hooped, ‘cause ol’ Double D will get the ball where it needs to be…in the hands of his receivers.

Interesting idea about Butler and Strickland but have you not noticed that Butler's been benched the past few games? He's playing on special teams mainly and only playing a few downs at LB; Taylor has supplanted him; have yet to read anything indicating why.

I had no idea! I didn't notice Butler only played a few downs...Whenever I watched the game, he was in on the play.

Maybe Taylor is just playing better...Oh well.

Regardless if it's Taylor or Butler, they should blitz either in tandem with Strickland. Again, the gamble is that those two will get to Dickenson fast enough to disrupt his concentration, his pass, or hopefully sack him altogether. If a receiver gets open downfield, well, it's the gamble. I'd rather that the Als take that risk then having to sit back in a zone all day long.

gl with that. Doubtful. Dave's sneaky.

It's funny how a BC Lions fan can come into the Als forum and offer his opinion... But, don't get caught posting in the BC lions forum; your message will be deleted and you will be called a troll.
I have nothing against the BC guy offering his opinion. It's welcome. I just think the mods STINK. Let us all talk and taunt, or segregate the forums entirely. The mod's subjective nature of deleting posts at their discretion, leads me to think their is a bias...
On a COMPLETELY unrelated note; look up Grey Cup on this site in the menus. You can actually see the official Grey Cup logos for this year in Winnipeg, next year in Toronto and the 2008 classic in Montréal. Cool! But, in the 2006 and 2007 logos, the red maple leaf stands large, very large in the logo (background). On the Montréal 2008 Grey Cup logo, the humongous red maple leaf is not there (it's there, but as part of the CFL logo in small form)...
It's also the only logo that is bilingual. CFL football is political and divisive. It is part of the "game". Maybe that explains the different levels of acceptance on the forums...

No, the difference is this - the Al troll overtook the entire BC forum and posted numerous times. And he'd been warned to "cool it" and chose to ignore the warning.

in hopes of not turning this into another trash-tal session, let's stick with the subject.

debralynn8197, Dave will pick apart the zone. The Als won't get much pressure with their 4 guys up front. I don't think passively sitting back in zone in the answer...As the TSN analysts say: pick your poison because the Lions have the weapons to take advantage of both.

BUT

At least with the blitz, IF Als defenders can get to Dickenson with the pressure, the payoff will be big.