Why are we losing?

I will make a start at this.

Anyone else care to add some intelligent comments?

We have been stripped of too many
CFL experienced veteran players

These are the players who represent
the foundation of all CFL teams.

Our coaches are very experienced coaches
with years of teaching football behind them

All they can do is repeatedly
tell the new players what to do

and physically walk or run the players
through all the plays in the game plan,

and patiently keep on doing that.

With every new player, they have
kept on doing that all year,

but it takes more than that
for a player to become able

to instantly react to what their man
and what all the players across
the line of scrimmage are doing.

It takes on field CFL experience

Inexperienced players often don't react
quickly enough to make a successful play,

because they have to think too much
about how to react to a situation.

Experienced players reach a point
where you hear them saying
after a successful game,

'the game seemed to slow down.'

Joe Sardo on the CHML 5th Quarter said
that veteran CFL Coach Dave Ritchie told him

'Every rookie you start on Defence
costs you one victory..one rookie
..one loss..2 rookies...2 losses.'

Lack of pride.
Lack of skills.
Lack of leadership.

Marketing more important than product. ( how did Hyundai sell a million ponies ? )

All sizzle no steak.

CFL experience!

Could you be more specific, huckenbubble?

Who lacks pride, skills and leadership?

Negative Ticat vibes man. The whole organization/ fanbase/ media is so miserable and sour it is almost like Hamilton only knows how to lose. The writers at the Spec do not help, I sometimes wonder if they know anything about football at all.

I would have to agree with Ronfromtigertown, the amount of rookies starting is way too many.
When the Cats won in '86 they had a lot of experienced players. Many said they were too old but they came to play when it counted.
Even in '99 they had some very strong veterans.

If the Cats plan to keep these rookies around until they are experienced enough to play well expect another very bad season next year.

On the other side of the coin if there are no veterans to be had what can you do?

The Tiger-Cats have a real problem to solve.

This isn't about skill it's about games played


The problem is there is still a lack of accountability on this team.

Look, I don't care who it is, if Coach Taaffe wants to stop the penalties there's a simple way to do it, keep getting penalized and get benched.

If you want to stop your defense from getting burned you bench/cut the players being torched.

If you want to stop throwing interceptions you bench the QB.

If you want to stop drops you make a player ride the pines for the rest of the game.

You're consistantly missing blocks? You get the pines!

Nobody on this team is held accountable for their play.

Pseudo: Unfortunately this team would have to insist on longer benches wherever they play.


An Argo-Cat fan

That's OK, some of the players dont deserve benches, they can sit on the fieldturf.

I really think it boils down to the coaching. I think we have enough skill to compete. I think the players are for the most part staying positive and putting in the effort.

The reason I don't think it is the players is because players don't forget how to play. They play within the environment of the systems the coaches instill. if the game plan is flawed the team will fail.

I think the play calling has not been up to CFL standards on offense or defense. Lack of organizaion on the sidelines is now starting to show itself. I was giving the coaching staff some slack being new to the CFL and all, but, I think now teams are really starting to take advantage or our coaching inexperience at the co-ordinator positions. We have being making way to many substitutions while in between plays on offense and on defense and teams are starting to recognize our patterns and adjust.

I also think there has been too much player movement, cutting players after 1 or 2 games, bring in new players, cut them and so on. Not enough cohesion in the chemistry of the team is also a problem.

I think there is enough talent there, I think there is enough effor there, I don't think we have a good enough game plan to succeed.

I agree, Glovesave, there are too many changes
being made to our starting line-ups each week
and new players are thrown into games too soon.

The coaches have trouble sticking to their game plan,

and either the coaches or the players have trouble
in adapting to the opposition's unexpected changes.

glovesave and ron:

You have pretty well summed it all up.
How long will this continue? Where the hell is Scott Mitchell? Somebody should tell him that this season is OVER. Now is the time to be making the obvious changes...not later.
In the meantime, the bush-league game plans will continue for another week.
Time's a wasting Mr Mitchell!

I think their hands are tied. They can't really add players now because all their current players have their contracts guaranteed (after Sept. 3) so even if you cut them, their salaries still count against the cap. What they could do is bring guys in on trial and have at look at them with an eye to inviting them to camp next year.

An Argo-Cat fan

I have to wonder about the coaches' decision to not keep many veterans. Anybody worth his salt knows in the CFL, you need veterans & leadership.
I submit that 'cleaning out the house' was a way for TAAFE to 'put HIS stamp on the Team' - and boy, did he put his stamp, big time....
Don't worry folks - when we go 1-17, it will be Marcels' & Taafes' houses that will be clean. They will need to sell all contents, once they lose their jobs (and no one will hire them with THAT record, believe you me).
The Eagle - - - :cowboy: :cowboy: :cowboy:

I was hoping Mitchell would would be concentrating more on improving this sub-par assistant coaching staff.

IMHO- we are losing because there has been a revolving door policy regarding player and coaching personnel, the Only Cure for this is player stability and time, Even if they were to axe taaffe and his staff, they should stop shuffling players.. Also Management is to top heavy, cut some executive staff(gm) and put the money into player developement.,

The team's losing because a) it's still very young b) it doesn't have enough skill players and c) the coaching staff is questionable.

Welcome to the cap world, indeed. :wink:

The rate of turnover in the roster is staggering. The shallowness of last offseason's free agent pool because of en masse re-signings across the league basically left the Cats with the option of having to roll the dice with younger, CFL-unready players.

Couple that with the relative CFL inexperience of OC Mike Working and complete lack of CFL experience of DC Ed O'Neil compounded this fact. On both sides of the ball, you have coordinators who are struggling to forge an identity with this team (Ed O'Neil's mannequin routine re playcalling versus T.O. at Rogers Centre being the most egregious case of this) trying to position players where they can win. Perhaps if they tried to do so just to compete, the results would be better.

The defence? I understand that pregame subterfuge is an art form, but the Taaffe/O'Neil rumminations about Blitzburgh North before Saturday's game turned out to be total hooey. Whenever blitzes occurred, very rarely were they timed affairs -- instead, the usual line up at the line, jump around to announce to the world you're coming, etc. etc. etc.

How many times did a LB or DB actually get to Glenn in the pocket? Not too many.

When your front seven isn't getting heat fast enough, one needs to mix things up in the secondary -- combo zones, delayed safety blitzes, match coverage, delayed drops from containing lineman and LBs, etc. The QB must have to regularly hesitate a bounce or two to make his reads to help the pass rush.

I'm a fan and I don't get why a coordinator cannot come into a rebuilding team's camp, install a system, get player to buy into it, get them on the road to knowing the approaches inside-out to add to intra-player ACCOUNTABILITY -- making the players smarter and more confident that their efforts above the shoulders mean as much or more than the reactive physicality of hustling to block or tackle.

(I'm going to remain focussed on the defence here because the offensive issues (Maas v. Chang) have been beaten to death elsewhere on this site.)

Ask the players under DCs like Stubler, Ritchie, and Hall to describe their respective systems. I think one would find that even the younger, more inexperienced players on their teams would be able to pinpoint the general approach pretty quickly.

For guys like Steinauer in Toronto, once you get acclimatized to a sophisticated system as a veteran, it becomes clockwork.

Why is Michael O' Shea insulated under Stubler's system? He is by his experience (he knows where to go -- most here would add "to hell" to that LOL), the fact he understands what he is capable of doing, the guys AROUND him understand his role and what he is capable of doing, and he simply doesn't get exposed a lot.

Stubler knows his system and knows what he has to do to maximize his complement.

Whither O'Neil? CALL A PLAY? LMAO

What does an O'Neil-led defence do?

Gives you this set of basic front seven looks:

  1. conventional 4-3 set;
  2. 4-3 over;
  3. Asian fire drill 7 -8 on the line;
  4. All 3 LBS dropping back before the snap;
  5. The dreaded, Kavis Reed-stamp-of-approval 3-man rush, the classic 30 prevent, preventing nothing.

Now understand that some stuff is mixed into the picture, but that's the recipe. Finding the Mike LB isn't rocket science.

Now what DB shells do we see?

A lot of Cover 3, Cover 4, 2-man under stuff. Vanilla surprise.

You get Dwight Anderson lining up 8 yards off his man on second-and-sixes. I wish I were exaggerating, but I'm not. Not a whiff of originality, you get a risk-is-death approach which is...well, death.

What are we then trying to evaluate? If the "system" isn't but a collection of plays Ed O'Neil can dial up in a sentient moment, then what is the progression in the football IQ of the players that Marcel and the brainstrust are (I believe) trying to identify as the core of the team?

We do not scare anyone offensively (save Lumsden unleashed) or defensively, frankly. Yes, Moreno and Armour are decleaters I wouldn't want to face if i were a player, but how often are their physical gifts being unleashed to maximize their effectiveness? Again, if you run combination zones and can move DBs around to provide support for them, you can send a Moreno or Armour on timed blitzes periodically to change the look of the secondary and hurry the opposing QB with another factor he has to account for in his read-and-react set. Dropping these guys play after play is not bend-but-don't-break, it's bend-until-the-convert-is-kicked.

Remember how Zambiasi could change a game simply by Stubler or other past DCs dialing up a disguised, timed blitz by Ben at a key moment? Why isn't Moreno being put in that position? He's dropping too deep the overwhelming amount of pass plays to engage the enemy backfield and hurry the QB.

The design of the Cat defence isn't challenging enough even for a Michael Bishop. You want to play sandlot-ready stuff against him? He'll light you up with his arm. And we have been.

You cannot expect young players to evolve as smart, engaged, accountable players when there isn't leadership on the field nurtured by consistent, instructable approaches by the headset honchos. It's the blind being led by the deaf and blind.

Helen Keller could as least get a play in: one head knock on the clipboard equals cover one.

For all the talk about the football operations issues surrounding the GM and scouting, it's even more basic for me. We have to know what we are about and get players to buy in. We don't, they don't, and so it's week twelve and -- just on the defensive side alone -- it's stealing candy from a baby, football style.

Oski Wee Wee,