WHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR OFFENCE?

Serious Discussion of Football Terminology and Tactics.
This Room is named after the late Annis Stukus.

Moderator: Team Captains

Postby Toppy Vann » Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:10 pm

A good overall summary that is hard to take issue with or to add to.

I can't comment on the sloppy practices but there is a question mark with respect to offensive leadership and the jelling of the offensive coaches with the QBs and the whole offence. I don't think this has occurred yet.

It was uncharacteristically poor of Dickenson after the opener in Toronto to question the OC by committee approach and not look at personal performance first and foremost.

The offence needs to work through the issues of missed receivers and dropped balls and changes to short yardage play calling as a team that sees itself as a work in progress that will get better game by game.

What I know about players and coaches is that both need to be on the same page or you get mixed results like they are getting now. This team is not yet on offence on the same page as the defensive side is. That needs to change fast.

Possibly Wally should have put his foot down on his QB when he went public about the OC by committee as he has not been afraid to do so when others yap off yet not do their job right. He needs to be tough

Winning can mask things but it is nice to be 4 and 0 with problems that are fixable rather than the Ti-cats at 0 and 4 with issues like they have and a hole that is rather large to get out of.

I don't yet see signs of cracking in team solidarity yet with the offence but it is a risk of course when some aren't getting the ball.

The good news is that the whole offence needs work and that is positive so it is not just finger pointing at the QB.
User avatar
Toppy Vann
Hall of Famer
 
Posts: 6744
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2005 12:56 pm

Postby TheLionKing » Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:03 pm

Spot on your assessment Blitz. I too was frustrated at the Lions apparent unwillingness to stretch the field last night until Jarius Jackson came into the game in the fourth quarter. Buck Pierce was focused on his primary receiver most of the night. He wasn't looking off his receivers which accounted for his two interceptions last night.
TheLionKing
Hall of Famer
 
Posts: 16147
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2005 11:13 pm
Location: Vancouver

Postby No Ordinary Joe » Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:31 pm

Wow, fantastic post Blitz and one that I can't really add anything too. Watching last night's game was like getting teeth pulled, it was painful to experience and painful to watch. It's frustrating to have to wait week in and week out for the next game to see if any adjustments are made. Never in my life have I been more frustrated at a game than I was last night. After showing slight improvements in the first 3 games of the year, we completely went backwards last night, against the worst team in the league no less. That is both embarassing and unacceptable. If we don't come out against Calgary with much better play from everybody on offence and a much better game plan I'm going to start pulling out hair. :bang:
User avatar
No Ordinary Joe
Legend
 
Posts: 2165
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 5:26 pm
Location: Delta

Postby B.C.FAN » Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:55 pm

Blitz, that was a thorough and well-researched assessment as usual.

I thought your uncharacteristic absence after the game might be due to a covert recruiting mission to Edmonton to try to lure Chapdelaine back to fix the Lions' offence, but I guess that was wishful thinking on my part. (Relax, I'm joking.)

You're right that it's up to the players and coaches to fix the offensive problems that have become increasingly obvious and more severe each week. It's not as simple as telling the players to get their heads in the game and run better routes or make better decisions with the ball. The ultimate responsibility lies with the coaching staff to make sure that the system and play calling are best suited to take advantage of the team's talent and exploit the defence's weaknesses, and that the players buy into the system and game plan and fulfil their roles on the field during practices and games. That's not happening.

Geroy is running sloppy routes because he knows the quarterback is not looking in his direction. There are few plays in which Geroy is the primary receiver, and that is usually the same 10-yard out the Lions have run for years when they need first-down yardage. Defensive backs have been jumping that route, and Geroy has often had to play DB to break up interceptions, as happened in the Hamilton game.

Most of the deep routes run by Geroy, Simmons and Rodgers are clearing routes, and the quarterbacks don't even look at them. The receivers might look open, and sometimes they have been wide open, but the quarterbacks are making the five-yard crossing pattern or short curl their first and only read. It is possible to have vertical hot reads and routes and still get the ball off in three seconds but I haven't seen much of it this year.

I don't quibble with most of what you say but it's painful to watch the Lions offence fall to last in the league while Edmonton has climbed to second, and the Eskimos have gone from laughing stock of the West to second place in the standings and climbing.

The Lions have added some new wrinkles to the offence this year, as you noted. They've also gone away from those wrinkles and become more predictable each game. And they've been slow to make changes to the game plan during games.

Hamilton's defence has been one of the worst in the league this year, and they've made a lot of changes in the secondary. They had two changes in their starting lineup for the Lions' game, including a raw rookie linebacker converted to DB for the first time. They were forced to make other changes in their secondary during the game due to injuries. On paper, it was a mismatch and the Lions should have had a field day. But after the opening series, the Cats changed to zone defence and the B.C. game plan went out the window.

On the other side of the ball, the Lions made one change to the starting lineup of one of the league's top defences and the Cats exploited it for more than 200 yards of offence by Lumsden alone.

Nothing is broken beyond repair but change is needed in the offence. The responsibility rests with the coaches.
B.C.FAN
2014 MVP
2014 MVP
 
Posts: 6545
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 11:28 pm

Postby Blitz » Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:11 am

B.C. Fan wrote:

I thought your uncharacteristic absence after the game might be due to a covert recruiting mission to Edmonton to try to lure Chapdelaine back to fix the Lions' offence, but I guess that was wishful thinking on my part. (Relax, I'm joking.)


After the Hamilton game I was almost ready to sell my house to help pay to get the Chap back.. we looked so bad!

The receivers might look open, and sometimes they have been wide open, but the quarterbacks are making the five-yard crossing pattern or short curl their first and only read. It is possible to have vertical hot reads and routes and still get the ball off in three seconds but I haven't seen much of it this year.


I haven't seen them hit any vertical hot reads either B.C. Fan and it drove me crazy in 2005 but the Chap did integrate more of a vertical game in 2006.

The Lions have added some new wrinkles to the offence this year, as you noted. They've also gone away from those wrinkles and become more predictable each game. And they've been slow to make changes to the game plan during games.


Totally agree!

B.C. fAN WROTE:

The ultimate responsibility lies with the coaching staff to make sure that the system and play calling are best suited to take advantage of the team's talent and exploit the defence's weaknesses, and that the players buy into the system and game plan and fulfil their roles on the field during practices and games. That's not happening.




I believe this is the most important of all your points B.C. Fan and all were excellent. The players are not buying in enough and fulfilling their roles in practice and games. Maybe we have to get down to the 'Krucks' of the matter. Maybe it's partly a personality thing but it's not getting any better..in fact whatever is wrong is getting worse. I'm starting to learn a little more about that disconnect but I need more info first.

However, change is needed in the offence and the first part of that change is the buy in. You can have the best offensive system in the world or the best game plan but if the players are not buying into it you've got problems.

The reality is that this is an offence that isn't excited about playing right now and that has to change. You either change the players or make some changes to the coaching structure or you get the communication and chemistry fixed but this isn't going away unless it's seriously addressed.

As you note wisely B.C. Fan..it's not beyond repair but the longer it's not addressed the harder it will become to turn around. Now, would you do me a favor and get me an autographed photo of The Chap? :wink:
Last edited by Blitz on Sat Jul 21, 2007 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
"When I went to Catholic high school in Philadelphia, we just had one coach for football and basketball. He took all of us who turned out and had us run through a forest. The ones who ran into the trees were on the football team". (George Raveling)
Blitz
2014 MVP
2014 MVP
 
Posts: 6884
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 8:44 am

Postby Blitz » Sat Jul 21, 2007 9:10 am

The Lion King wrote:
I too was frustrated at the Lions apparent unwillingness to stretch the field last night until Jarius Jackson came into the game in the fourth quarter


Toppy Vann wrote:
What I know about players and coaches is that both need to be on the same page or you get mixed results like they are getting now. This team is not yet on offence on the same page as the defensive side is. That needs to change fast.


I'll find out why they are not on the same page..give me a little time!!


B.C. Fan wrote:
I don't quibble with most of what you say but it's painful to watch the Lions offence fall to last in the league while Edmonton has climbed to second, and the Eskimos have gone from laughing stock of the West to second place in the standings and climbing.

Hamilton's defence has been one of the worst in the league this year, and they've made a lot of changes in the secondary. They had two changes in their starting lineup for the Lions' game, including a raw rookie linebacker converted to DB for the first time. They were forced to make other changes in their secondary during the game due to injuries. On paper, it was a mismatch and the Lions should have had a field day


There are few plays in which Geroy is the primary receiver, and that is usually the same 10-yard out the Lions have run for years when they need first-down yardage. Defensive backs have been jumping that route, and Geroy has often had to play DB to break up interceptions, as happened in the Hamilton game.


I've been complaining for a long time about the Hufnagel offence and it's variations. I loved the offence at one time but many of it's advantages have disappeared as defences have really adjusted.

You can mention that Edmonton has improved under the Chap but they had one point at halftime. I said the Chap was a better coordinator than Macioccia and Edmonton's offence would improve this season. In fact, when you go back over my posts over the years I never asked for the Chap to be fired even though he frustrated the hell out of me in 2005. I was quite complimentary of him in 2006, when he dumped the six pack, integrated more vertical patterns and got rid of the naked bootleg amongst others.

What has driven me crazy is the predictability of the Hufnagel offence and the fact that defenses have it's tendancies down, especially our tendancies. We're an underneath passing team that can be zoned effectively by defenses with additional underneath coverage. We can also be blitzed effectively because teams are not afraid of us burning them deep....so what if they give up an 8 yard pass to get a good hit on a quarterback early!!

Cortez isn't blowing the doors off in Calgary either nor is Austin's pass happy version setting things afire in Saskatchewan. Edmonton still has it's offensive struggles and will continue to at times, even with a quarterback as good as Ricky Ray.

They know our crossing pattern game! They know our outside underneath route game! They know we're reluctant to go deep. They know we don't play action very often. They know we can't attack the outside with our running attack. They know that the defensive end on the weakside of the play is not going to be blocked when we hand off to Smith...so he can crash down because they aren't afraid we'll roll out with the quarterback on a fake to Smith.

They know that we'll go deep only rarely even if it's there all game. There is a psychology regarding the deep throw. An incomplete deep throw seems to frustrate more than an incomplete 10 yard pass on first down. A missed deep throw means a tendancy to go away from it but the same pschologogy doesn't exist for an incomplete short pass. We'll continue to force the underneath pass even with the deep ball open. They also know we're not great at throwing the deep ball on the rare occasions when we throw it long.

We rarely semi-boot or rollout, don't screen, don't run anything unusual, (this season we added a reverse to Smart but that's about it except for the occasional I formation), run only the inside and off-tackle zone blocking two running plays for Smith and bring in the jumbo team for the quarterback sneak for Jarious. We utilize an underneath passing attack, using our team speed by having our speed receiivers mostly run decoy patterns deep.... to set up crossing and out patterns underneath.

We mainly use one formation, the five pack reciever set, ace backfield, move our receivers around, and throw underneath patterns from the same exact spot in the pocket. That's what we did with Chapdelaine and what we're doing with Kruck. It's what Cortez is doing in Calgary, except he will roll Burris out, it's what they're doing in Edmonton, and Saskatchewan...except right now they are doing it better because they have quarterbacks who are more escapable.

PREDICTABILITY, OFFENSIVE TENDANCIES, AND LACK OF ADABILITY are the recipe for a defense to shut an offence down. We've seen it done to our passing game in big games prior to this season but we've gone down another step this year. A lack of offensive success leads to player frustration, potential disharmony, and that dispirit can have a negative effect on team morale over an extended period of time. If we weren't winning we would be seeing more signs of it but winning has enabled us to overcome most of it so far.

The Hufnagel offence needs to adapt, as I've mentioned over and over, and that's for all teams using variations of it. However, the team that needs to adapt it most of all is our Leos because we are runing the most predictable version of it!!

It's been said that 'variety is the spice of life' and we need more variety to bring more spice to our offensive. It will lead to more success!! :thup:
"When I went to Catholic high school in Philadelphia, we just had one coach for football and basketball. He took all of us who turned out and had us run through a forest. The ones who ran into the trees were on the football team". (George Raveling)
Blitz
2014 MVP
2014 MVP
 
Posts: 6884
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 8:44 am

Postby David » Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:20 pm

Let's compile of list of things that could help the Lions improve on offence:

(here are some - in no particular order)

* fewer crossing patterns. These take too long to execute and leave our quarterbacks (most of whom are injured right now) vulnerable.

* get Geroy involved in the offence early, even if it's some hitch screens. His body language at the line is letting defences know that the ball's not going his way.

* less reliance on Joe Smith. Spell him off with Lyle Green. No wonder he had no gas in the tank at the end of the game and lost feeling in his limbs - he took a pounding that game!

* and while they're at it, make use of Lyle's great hands. We should be setting up more screen passes, which other teams (i.e. Hamilton) do effectively but don't seem to be a part of our playbook.

* with Joe Smith breaking some long runs (106 yards rushing last game) it's the purrfect time to implement more play-action into the playbook. It would give our QBs more time to throw, where pass protection has broken down at times this year.

* more pumps fakes from Buck. DD and Ricky Ray do this with precision (although Ray has a better touch on the long ball). This would freeze more defenders making it easier to hit an open man deep.

* our QBs need to go through all of their reads. Too often they're locking in on the first or second read and missing open receivers down field. Never was this more evident than on the two interceptions Thursday.

* I like some of the misdirection plays to Ian Smart, but personally, I am not too big on the reverse. IMO it's a low percentage play. But more "I" formation counters would work well. How about some sweeps and pitch outs to Smart with the guards pulling?

* More imagination on 2nd and short. It's virtually a free play in the CFL. Use it. Instead of the jumbo unit every time out - I think Blitz pointed this out in another thread - line up some tight-ends. How about trying to hit a streaking receiver down the sideline, if for no other reason than to keep defences honest. Right now, they're just pinning their ears back and stuffing the gaps. Jarious needs to go down a bit lower on the surge, as he's too virtical and keeps getting pushed back, or only just making the first down.

DH 8)
Give the ball to Leroy.
User avatar
David
2014 MVP
2014 MVP
 
Posts: 6480
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2002 10:23 am
Location: Vancouver (Kitsilano)

Postby lion24 » Sun Jul 22, 2007 4:12 pm

As frustrating as the Hamilton game was it was nice to see the Lions go a little more vertical with the Simmons TD and the near miss to Clermont up the middle!! The short passes and crossing routes can be effective but they cannot use them on almost every play :bang:
One thing I will say is as difficult as it is to watch the Lions O struggle I have noticed the same thing from other teams watching many non Lion games this year. Maybe it is an "age of defence" in the CFL right now? or just a shortage of quality Qb's through the league at this time?
Thank you for everything you did for OUR Lions Mr.Ackles, we will never forget you...RIP
User avatar
lion24
Legend
 
Posts: 1806
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 6:12 am
Location: edmonton

Postby Robbie » Fri Aug 31, 2007 7:58 pm

lion24 wrote:One thing I will say is as difficult as it is to watch the Lions O struggle I have noticed the same thing from other teams watching many non Lion games this year. Maybe it is an "age of defence" in the CFL right now? or just a shortage of quality Qb's through the league at this time?

Or QB's are just being more conservative nowadays. In the case of the Lions, with both Dickenson and Pierce out, it's self-explanatory why the team needs to rely on their defence to win games.
User avatar
Robbie
Hall of Famer
 
Posts: 6868
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2004 10:13 pm
Location: 卑詩體育館或羅渣士體育館


Return to Stukes Chalk Talk

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests