What's wrong with the Als?

If you are watching the Ottawa Winnipeg game right now, you are seeing a pretty good a pretty good expansion team that exploded out of the blocks tonight and is currently leading the new and improved Bombers, who trounced the Argos last week, by a score of 21 to 14 near the end of the first half. Now all of these Ottawa people are new - the players, the coaches, and they are playing not too badly. Then you look at the Als and you consider the excuses: new head coach, new offensive coordinator, new quarterback. How can they be any newer than the entire Redblacks organization, who are somehow putting it together right from the first game. Is it because they have a more established offensive scheme? No. Is it because they have better players? No. What this Als team is sorely missing is leadership and, I hate to say this, but it starts right at the top. Ok, ok, you tell me, wait to see what happens tomorrow against BC. Are you kidding?

[i]What's wrong with Pantson!? :thdn:

Seriously? You sign up to tell everyone here what they already know. If you would have read the numerous comments by people who have more than one post to their name, you would have realised that all of what you mentioned has been discussed. Thoroughly!

Everyone here is an Als fan, but no one here is drinking the Als Kool aid right now... No one here is a fool. :cowboy:

[/i]

Whoa there Johnny All Irate - Pantson is allowed to voice his opinion.

Pantson, Johnny is upset because the Als coaching staff are paid to watch re-runs of Bachelorette, Troy Smith is hoping to raise his pass completion percentage to double digits, Pippin can't figure out why the wind is always facing him, and our GM can't wait for the team to be 0-6 so that he can coach again. Don't take it personally.

As I watching the first half of the Redblacks game, I became intensely jealous of both teams' offenses: creative plays, QBs scrambling for first downs, pin-point passing accuracy, fakes, well executed screens, this was quality football. And a 47 yard FG to boot!

So yes, I share your sense of doom for today's game. Luckily the Stella tent is not far from my seat.

Hard not to watch other teams and be envious. Like, the TSN panel was concerned because Ottawa scored 3 TDs in the first quarter but didn't score again during the game. THEY PUT UP 28 POINTS. I would kill for our offence to be able to score 3 TDs at any time during a game! You give our defence 28 points to work with and we'll win more games than we lose, I guarantee that.

Tonight is a litmus test for me. They don't have to win -- in fact, I don't expect them to -- but I expect the offence to move the ball and put some points on the board. I also expect Smith to complete the short and intermediate passes more frequently. If none of that happens, i.e. if no progression is shown on offence, it's going to be a long season...

I have "taken the pledge" so to speak not to blow a gasket, go into a rage, swear,...this season.

We are in a de facto re-build phase. There are lots of unanswered questions, starting at the QB position, coaching staff, O-schemes...and about a thousand other things.

Troy Smith may get his act together tonight, the route-running may improve, there may be a better run-pass %, the D may stand on its head... Or, we might still be finding our way when the final whistle blows.

We are definitely going to take our lumps this year while we attempt to build confidence and improve overall play.

Higgins said the Worman mistake was on him. After ONE game he's hinting to going to a two quarterback system. So now its not on him... Things will get worse before they get better.

One thing that I expect from Dinwiddie, not Smith: better playcalling on second down, particularly second and long. Short passes in the latter scenario won't work. Either draw up a legit WR screen, run an RB screen, go deep, or set up max protect and look to attack the seam with your slot receivers. The play may not execute properly, but at least call the right frackin play in that situation. On second and medium, CROSSING ROUTES WITH PICKS PLEASE. It should not feel and look like a Herculean task to pick up 5-6 yards on second down if you run, say, a shallow SB cross out of a bunch formation where the wide receiver crosses with the slotback and creates a bit of separation for the inside man to get open. And if the LBs drop into zone, let Smith know he has the green light to run and pick up those 5-6 yards on the ground. He does that often enough and those LBs will have to back away from zone coverage and that will create opportunities for the receivers...

To be fair to Higgins (and Lord knows that's the last thing I want to be!), here's his actual quote:

“I’ve been a coach that has had a two-quarterback system before ... because we didn’t have a No. 1 quarterback,? he added. “I don’t know if we’re going to a two-quarterback system; I’m hoping that’s not the case. But Troy has been under pressure before. It’s about production. It’s about us giving him an opportunity to be successful. We need to get the ball out of Troy’s hand quicker in certain situations. Sometimes it takes a while to get accustomed to the CFL game.?

Likely he was asked about a two-QB system by Herb and gave the best answer he could. He acknowledges that the offence has to get the ball out of Troy's hands quicker. It doesn't sound like a two-QB system is imminent, even if Smith messes the bed again tonight.

Bien que tu aies raison, Phil, il est clair pour moi que Pantson se paye de la provocation ici. N'eût été de sa dernière phrase, je serais demeuré dans le doute à ce sujet, mais sa dernière phrase vient sceller l'arrogance, la condescendance et la provocation qui est l'essence de son intervention.

Johnny a très bien répondu à Pantson à mon sens en lui rappelant que s'il s'était donné la peine de lire ce qui s'écrit sur ce forum depuis la première partie de 2013, il a aurait su qu'il n'a pas inventé le bouton à quatre trous avec sa puérile sortie.

Lorsque je vois ce genre de chose, je constate à quel point les supporteurs des Alouettes ont de la classe. Parce que s'il y a un groupe qui aurait pu jouer aux arrogants et aller baver les supporteurs des autres équipes pendant des années, c'est bien les supporteurs des Alouettes, dont l'équipe était une machine à gagner des parties. Mais ils ont eu l'élémentaire élégance et la dignité pour s'en abstenir.

Maintenant que les Alouettes ont des années difficiles, ces mauvais plaisants se font un malin plaisir de venir les picosser, en faisant sur ce forum ce qu'ils reprochent à d'autres de faire sur leur forum.

J'espère pour Pantson que ses Afro-Communistes vont connaître une bonne saison, et une meilleure saison que les Alouettes, parce que si ce n'est pas le cas, je doute qu'il aura les couilles pour venir le reconnaître sur ce forum. Pour ma part, je ne m'abaisserai pas à aller narguer les supporteurs des autres équipes sur leur forum. Je n'ai plus 6 ans.

I think his comments should have been more along the line of Popp. No point in putting more pressure on his Quarterback.

Also he's doing a bit of revisionist history here. He used two QB's in Edmonton because Maas got injured and Ray played so well he could not pull him out of the lineup. It was not because he did not have a #1 quarterback.

When you look at how well O'Shea, JOnes and Campbel have started off. (All guys the Als could have hired over the last two years). Its tough to watch what's going on. Instead of firing Rychlesky and taking over his responsabilities Higgins should have taken over the offense. That alone is costing the team anywhere from a quarter to half a million. Of all the assistants on the staff the most experienced and accomplished was Rychelsky and he's the only one HIggins didn't keep...

One thing is for sure Coach Ray would not have had Whyte attempting that FG last week. Whtye may not even have been his kicker.

I see a CIRCUS.

I thought he was referring to his time in Calgary, not Edmonton. With the Esks, there was never any controversy. Maas had his back injury, Ray came in and tore it up, and that was that.

As for putting pressure on the QB, he said the offence needs to get the ball out of his hands faster. Noted we have weapons on O and it's a matter of getting them the ball. He wasn't criticizing Troy. I think he understands that it's important to take the pressure off Smith. And as I said, the whole two-QB thing really sounds like it was in direct response to a question from Herb. I highly doubt it's something he would have brought up on his own...

I agree with you 100% on this and it’s what I’ve been saying for months. Rychleski had done a decent job with the unit last year, he had experience, he should have stayed. Instead, Higgins took over ST, which means he has less time and energy to oversee the offence, which was the unit most in need of attention. Throw in the fact that he doesn’t even wear a headset on the sidelines and you have to wonder who is acting as a check and balance on Dinwiddie in-game?

One thing is for sure Coach Ray would not have had Whyte attempting that FG last week. Whtye may not even have been his kicker.

I see a CIRCUS.


I see the same thing but I’m hoping we’re both wrong.

In Calgary he had Burris in his prime for all three years and Burris started just about every game for the 3 year stretch.

Oh, ok. I had forgotten when Burris arrived in Calgary. So then I have no idea what he's referring to...

A two Qb system? What would be the reasoning for that unless there was some need for a QB to run a wild cat package. I dont see where that would work.

Well, it's 14-0 after the first quarter and I like what I'm seeing so far. Even if they lose the game. It's encouraging. And it looks like it's not just the Als who have questions at the quarterback position. Thanks to Johnny AI for saving me the time of going through the posts for the past two years but I was puzzled by LeStaf's criticism: est-ce qu'il faut qu'on soit amateur d'une autre équipe pour exprimer notre mécontentement sur le jeu des Alouettes? Peace, y'all, and let's hope for more pleasant surprises all season.

Dunnigan makes the good point, the Als have gone through too many OCs in the last 2 seasons, and Troy Smith and the offence has had to try to make adjustments because of that.

The good:

  • Dinwiddie is on the sidelines! Evidently someone realized that having him in the spotter's booth when your fossil of a HC isn't wearing a headset is a recipe for disaster. Playcalling already improved as a result. They're using the outside more, calling plays to get Smith moving his feet and changing the launchpoint. Higgins can actually communicate with Dinwiddie directly.

  • Defence has come to play. BC's revamped O-line cannot handle our stunts and Paxson just ensured that we won't see McElveen for weeks barring injury.

  • Nice to see Stafford pick up some nice YAC.

  • Marsh with the 40-yard "sneak"!

The bad:

  • Why aren't we attacking the middle of the field? Everything is to the outside and Smith is so slow in his reads that we're lucky he hasn't been picked off for a pick-six.

  • Smith's mechanics on short passes to the flat are still awful. He isn't planting his foot, he's throwing off his back foot, and the sidearm tosses ... boy. This is not a pro performance.

  • You wait until the last minute of the second quarter to go deep ... why exactly? Part of why Smith isn't completing those sidelines outs is because BC's Dbs are just sitting on the underneath routes. If you never take deep shots, they won't back off.

  • Our second-and-short run blocking schemes are not good. We're just barely picking up the yardage and sometimes even failing when it's second and 2. It's not a personnel issue because we're blocking for Whitaker just fine in other situations.

The ugly:

  • About one million penalties on special teams and the blocking for Taylor is nonexistent. So, uh, isn't Higgins also our St coach? Should he fire himself? Firing Rychleski = such a bad idea.

hey, I have been saying that for a while. Nobody is going to succeed under that. Ryan Dinwiddie may not be an obvious choice as an OC, but it does provide some level of continuity, and that must be applauded. RD has done a great job of scaling things back and also providing some early tricky runs against BC to get them guessing a bit. He has went with the shorter passes to get Smith's confidence up, and they have completely avoided the long ball, even when it was there. BC is jumping the routes steady now, so it is time for a couple deep plays, preferably a wheel. If they adjust that in the 2nd half, then the Als are progressing nicely. They also need to mix up the short yardage...even hitting a different gap. I wonder if they have basically closed short yardage practice for the week to concentrate on #1 reps, because 4 short yardage plays were all exactly the same, which is why I felt they kicked the FG late in the half instead of going for it.

BC's OL is getting schooled every play, especially at LT...time to put in someone else, because they won't do worse.