Lions 28 - Argos 15, Post Game Comments ...

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WestCoastJoe
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Sat Jul 01, 2017 2:47 am

It seems to this fan that 300 yards passing is a standard and a marker in the CFL.

Get that and you can compete, as is very possible with JJ10 and our receivers. "Hold" a great QB and receivers (like Ray et al) to that and you can compete.

Kudos to Mark W and his squad. He has gathered a very talented bunch of DBs. He might have gathered a bunch of youthful, energetic DL, who can get after the QB.

Trestman and Ray might be able to attack our zone and 4 man rush better, more effectively, next time. It worked well enough this time to allow us to compete.

It seems to this fan that 100 yards rushing is kind of a standard and marker in the CFL. If you can get that, along with 300 passing, you might expect to win. Our hogs clearly love to run block. JJ24 is a treat to watch, a brilliant CFL running back. Tougher than a Tonka Toy, as they used to say about Walter Payton. Great reads and cuts. :thup:

We achieved both markers. 301 passing yards. 97 rushing yards.

We "held" Ray to 327 passing yards. TO only had 22 yards rushing.

These numbers work in our favour, IMO.

I am thinking that Mark W may have gotten the personnel mix on D right. Our DBs look tough to beat. Not sure yet, but our DL looks able to generate good pressure without blitzing. Dunno if our DL can do the job against a powerful ground game (Calgary). Yes we have Solomon. But IMO we need the right mix in the DL also.

Just one game, but promising.

Re the soft zone ... If the DBs are astute, and if the DL can generate pressure, it can allow you to compete. I would like to us mix it up, with some pressure packages, so that we can be ready when teams prep for us in the playoffs. Mix in some aggressive stuff. Man to man, pressure cover, blitzes, et cetera. Dangerous of course, but IMO you have to do it to avoid teams getting a good book on you.

Nice to see the respectful exchange between Marc Trestman and Jonathon Jennings post game. Trestman knows a QB thoroughbred when he sees one. And Jennings knows a QB guru when he sees one.

Just IMO ...
John Madden's Team Policies: Be on time. Pay attention. Play like hell on game day.

Jimmy Johnson's Game Keys: Protect the ball. Make plays.

Walter Payton's Advice to Kids: Play hard. Play fair. Have fun.

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WestCoastJoe
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Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:24 am

JJ10
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John Madden's Team Policies: Be on time. Pay attention. Play like hell on game day.

Jimmy Johnson's Game Keys: Protect the ball. Make plays.

Walter Payton's Advice to Kids: Play hard. Play fair. Have fun.

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WestCoastJoe
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Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:37 am

This is the CFL ... a fraternity, a brotherhood
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John Madden's Team Policies: Be on time. Pay attention. Play like hell on game day.

Jimmy Johnson's Game Keys: Protect the ball. Make plays.

Walter Payton's Advice to Kids: Play hard. Play fair. Have fun.

Blitz
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Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:00 am

A big first road win for our Leos.

The Argos were coming off an impressive performance against the Hamilton Tiger Cats while our Leos had lost their opening game of the season at home.

Both offences had their struggles putting points on the board in the first half of the game. Whether this was a case of offensive ineptitude, defensive prowness, or both is subject to interpretation.

Our Leos led 7-6 at the half in what looked like it would be a low scoring contest. But our Leos scored 18 fourth quarter points and walked away with the victory.

OFFENCE

Jonathan Jennings completed 23 of 35 pass attempts (65%) for 301 yards, with one touchdown pass to Chris Rainey and one interception. Bryan Burnham led our receiving group with 9 receptions for 118 yards. Manny added 5 receptions for 88 yards while Shaq Johnson made a 40 yard reception.

Our running attack had another good outing, with our offensive line opening holes forJeremiah Johnson, who carried the football 9 times for 70 yds - an impressive 7.8 yards per carry. Jonathan Jennings also contributed to the running game with 5 carries for 28 yards.

However, Chris Rainey had less impact on our offence than usual. He had -1 yard rushing on 2 carries and 2 receptions for 10 yds, with one of those receptions being a touchdown catch from 5 yards out.

Once again, issues with our pass blocking showed up in this game. The Argos sacked Jonathan Jennings 4 times and got great pressure on a lot more. Antonio Johnson continued his struggles at right tackle. It was the position I was most concerned with going into this 2017 season and a major reason why I did not like the Olifioye trade when it happened.

What we have to hope for is that Kevin Palmer will be able to step into this lineup and get the job done. Giving Vailencourt a shot at right guard also might be in order. We need to get better pass blocking from the right side of our offensive line.

Our offence had another excellent fourth quarter but only had generated 10 points over three quarters of play. Last week, against Edmonton, our offence only put up 11 points on the board in three quarters of play.

If we want to be a championship caliber team, our Leos offence cannot just come alive in the fourth quarter. Pass blocking has been the major issue but we also have taken too long to exploit defensive vulnerabilities in both contests.

DEFENCE

Ricky Ray slightly outperformed Jonathan Jennings statistically in this game, throwing for 325 yards (66.7% completion rate) with one touchdown and one interception. But Ray, who often has struggles against zone defense often looked like the Ricky Ray of two previous seasons rather than the one who dissected Hamilton's defence l week.

His lack of mobility and ability to throw on the run when pressured also showed up in this game. Our Leos zone defense, sometimes a handicap, is the style of defense that Ray most often struggles with. Ray was only able to put up 15 points against our Leo defenders.

We shuffled our zone coverage to take away S.J. Green. We were also able to get a pass rush with four and three pass rushers. The key to beating Ricky Ray is to drop a lot of defenders off but you can't give him too much time while doing that.

Craig Roh sacked Ray twice while David Menard sacked him once. Our defensive line got better pressure this game and the results were obvious. Ronnie Yell had a key interception in this contest and Smiley recovered a Ricky Ray fumble, caused by David Menard, and the fumble turnover was a key play in the game.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Ty Long was 3/3 on field goal attempts, including hitting a 47 yarder. But Long, who never punted in college, only averaged a little over 40 yards on 9 punts and had his stuggles with directional punting. Swayze Waters will likely take over the duties next week but overall, Longs contribution has been more positive than negative for a rookie kicker, with no punting background and forced into a starting role to begin this season.

Marco Iannuzzi played a bigger role as a punt returner in this game than usual, with 5 returns while Rainey returned 3 punts. Neither were able to peel off a big return in this game, as our punt blocking was unable to give them a seam to find daylight.

But a real positive in this game was that both our downfield kickoff and punt cover teams did a good job.

WRAP

Our Leos won their first game of the season, on the road, with a victory over an Argos team that had impressed in week one. Our offence took too long to get untracked but was opportunistic and determined in the fourth quarter.

Our defense played a bend but not break style against Ricky Ray, was focused on not giving up big plays, and overall played a solid game. An improved pass rush and a secondary that played much better together in its second game of the season contributed to the victory.

Our Leos go into Montreal for our second road game in a row with momentum. It was a game that our Leos needed to win and while it was not pretty at times they got the job done when they needed to.
"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)

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pennw
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Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:44 am

So if it was known that Ty Long was not that good on directional punting , the question is why did they keep trying that strategy ? He's got good distance if just punting straight ahead . Like already mentioned in the game day thread by some , IMO they should have just had him go for distance then , where he excels . Drop it at the 1 yd line or endzone even ,give up the 35, at least they get 1 point then instead of a penalty each time .The way they were covering punts last night , they most likely would have been able to stop TO deep in their end with a straight deep punt in those instances.

On the one TD run , that was a beauty forcing the whole DL 5 yds back into the endzone . The pass protection may leave lots to be desired , but run blocking is a different story . I had to rewind and watch that one a few times over .Foucault was big on that one with the rest of OL jumping in (including Antonio Johnson) . I think we will be alright with Foucault , to me a good trade so far .

On one of the sacks we gave up it was Jeremiah Johnson that wiffed on an extra man rushing in , in between the LT and LG , while both those OL were occupied by a DL. Perhaps we will be better with Vallaincourt and Palmer in , but that remains to be seen. Valliancourt has had lots of pass rushers blow by him too in the past.

And for that matter so did Olafoye last season also, a fact many seem to have forgotten. He was not that good last season IMO , some may disagree ,but I found him quite frustrating with all the guys blowing past him to while all the media gushed about how great he was. So I had no problem with the trade what so ever and IMO Foucault is already looking better . Olafoye keeps getting compared by some to Antonio Johnson , but that is wrong and misleading as it is Foucault who we got for him . Johnson still played on the line at RT , where he is still , and for that matter can be replaced by another International at any time. But in Foucault we now have a premier national who is better than Olafoye . Olafoye was on all those OL that gave up all those sacks the last few seasons prior to last year. And last yearsOL , that gave up far less also happened to feature Antonio Johnson , who now is much maligned . The left side where we now have Steward and Foucault is not the problem , and that is where Olafoye would be playing had he stayed. So there would have been no advantage in not trading . TO has a very good DL and last night ,on the run blocking, our OL looked pretty good against them , even our 'small' 305 lb guys on the right side. Just my opinion and i know some will see it differently.

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Hambone
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Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:02 am

As I was 12 rows back of the Lions bench I could watch Long a lot down on the sidelines. He was always moving around. If he wasn't punting the ball into the net he was practicing place kicking into the net. When he wasn't doing either of those he was pacing around ball in hand and dropping it to the turf as he would release it to punt. After his second shank I thought he was maybe trying to finesse the ball instead of booming it. They were in range of kicking it into the end zone I think on the first two. I wondered if the 3 singles last week played on his mind some. I was thinking don't worry about the singles. Just relax and let it go. If it winds up as a rouge so be it. Sure enough on the next one he boomed it for a single. His 3rd shank blew my theory out of the water because there was no threat of reaching the end zone. Blitz might be spot on referencing directional punting. For someone coming out of the US system with the narrower field and frequency of fair catches punting directionally is likely not something they practice. Down there the onus is on hang time. Get the ball up and deep and it's likely fair catch and zero return.

One thing on Long that I noticed against Edmonton. He doesn't use the "tee" most NAT kickers use. He drops something down on the field, looks almost like a coin, that tells Travis where to place the ball. He kicks FGs off the turf.
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pennw
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Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:28 am

Hambone wrote:
Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:02 am
As I was 12 rows back of the Lions bench I could watch Long a lot down on the sidelines. He was always moving around. If he wasn't punting the ball into the net he was practicing place kicking into the net. When he wasn't doing either of those he was pacing around ball in hand and dropping it to the turf as he would release it to punt. After his second shank I thought he was maybe trying to finesse the ball instead of booming it. They were in range of kicking it into the end zone I think on the first two. I wondered if the 3 singles last week played on his mind some. I was thinking don't worry about the singles. Just relax and let it go. If it winds up as a rouge so be it. Sure enough on the next one he boomed it for a single. His 3rd shank blew my theory out of the water because there was no threat of reaching the end zone. Blitz might be spot on referencing directional punting. For someone coming out of the US system with the narrower field and frequency of fair catches punting directionally is likely not something they practice. Down there the onus is on hang time. Get the ball up and deep and it's likely fair catch and zero return.

One thing on Long that I noticed against Edmonton. He doesn't use the "tee" most NAT kickers use. He drops something down on the field, looks almost like a coin, that tells Travis where to place the ball. He kicks FGs off the turf.
so then it would be better just to have him punt as high and far as possible in hopes of getting as close to the goal line as possible and cover the punt return well . That would have been the case last night . But still he gets very good distance on kick offs and done okay on FGs .

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Sir Purrcival
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Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:59 am

As glad as I am of the win, this game was not a real confidence inspiring effort. Yes, they managed to plod along until the 4th quarter where they finally started to get some offensive gravitas but how many games are gonna fall that way? Playing decently for 1 quarter isn't going to get it done most nights nor can we count on other teams stumbling as much and as often as did our team last night. Anybody here really think that if this had been Calgary that we would have been in a position to win the game in the 4th playing the way we did last night?

The Offensive line protection for JJ is still nowhere near good enough. We are engaging in wishful thinking if we believe that sooner or later, some of the heat that JJ is taking isn't going to result in some kind of injury. If our Oline is going to be so sieve like, then we need to call a few more roll outs and screens just to keep the opposition honest and hopefully keep JJ on his feet a little more.
Yes the dline was better last night, but it wasnt' amazing either. A credible effort is what I would describe it as. I don't know how well regarded the Toronto Oline is but I'm not sure that it is in the upper echelon's of that category so I take the increased pressure with a bit of a grain of salt for now.

So, two games in and we have put forth two mediocre games, one lost and one won, the latter could have been a play or two away from being the former last night. Yes, the receivers seem to be heating up and our running game seems to be in good shape for now so it is something to build on. Our biggest priority as I see it right now is better blocking on the Oline. If they have to hold Rolly and JJohnson in the back field more to add protection, then they had better do it. They should probably add a few more quicker developing plays to the recipe as well to take some pressure off the line.

Kicking has already been mentioned in this thread, no need to repeat what has already been said but if Long is struggling with directional punting, then abandon it for now. Just kick away, giving away gobs of field position trying to fit a square peg in a round hole is stupid. If he is struggling with that part of the game, then don't ask him to do it.

Still 1-1 is better than 0-2 so hopefully momentum starts here.
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Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:01 am

Someone on here suggested pre game (Blitz, maybe?) that the Lions should line up Rainy as a pass receiver in the slot and that he is a good enough receiver to do it. That is exactly what the Lions did and Rainy hauled in a difficult catch for the TD. Great time to insert him and that play.

I am pretty sure I saw Turner Jr. line up at DE a few times, another pre game suggestion by a Lionbacker.

On more than one occasion I had to look at the Lions roster. Who was that #94 making all those plays? A great game by newcomer at DE, Dequin Evans.

Menard needs to get on the field more as he always seems to be near the ball when he does get on the field.

I wasn't overly impressed with A. Johnson last season. Same impression this year. Time to bring in some RTs, from somewhere although it won't be during a road trip, I would guess.

Does Foucault have experience as a RT or is he just LT, LG?

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pennw
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Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:38 pm

Sir Purrcival wrote:
Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:59 am
As glad as I am of the win, this game was not a real confidence inspiring effort. Yes, they managed to plod along until the 4th quarter where they finally started to get some offensive gravitas but how many games are gonna fall that way? Playing decently for 1 quarter isn't going to get it done most nights nor can we count on other teams stumbling as much and as often as did our team last night. Anybody here really think that if this had been Calgary that we would have been in a position to win the game in the 4th playing the way we did last night?

The Offensive line protection for JJ is still nowhere near good enough. We are engaging in wishful thinking if we believe that sooner or later, some of the heat that JJ is taking isn't going to result in some kind of injury. If our Oline is going to be so sieve like, then we need to call a few more roll outs and screens just to keep the opposition honest and hopefully keep JJ on his feet a little more.
Yes the dline was better last night, but it wasnt' amazing either. A credible effort is what I would describe it as. I don't know how well regarded the Toronto Oline is but I'm not sure that it is in the upper echelon's of that category so I take the increased pressure with a bit of a grain of salt for now.

So, two games in and we have put forth two mediocre games, one lost and one won, the latter could have been a play or two away from being the former last night. Yes, the receivers seem to be heating up and our running game seems to be in good shape for now so it is something to build on. Our biggest priority as I see it right now is better blocking on the Oline. If they have to hold Rolly and JJohnson in the back field more to add protection, then they had better do it. They should probably add a few more quicker developing plays to the recipe as well to take some pressure off the line.

Kicking has already been mentioned in this thread, no need to repeat what has already been said but if Long is struggling with directional punting, then abandon it for now. Just kick away, giving away gobs of field position trying to fit a square peg in a round hole is stupid. If he is struggling with that part of the game, then don't ask him to do it.

Still 1-1 is better than 0-2 so hopefully momentum starts here.
I would suggest you may be discounting the opposition . The two games we played were not against push over teams . The Esks I believe are an upper echelon team . The Argos completely demolished Hamilton last week. Yes a few plays going differently could have maybe changed the out come last night . But the same could be said about last weeks game . We came out 1-1 against 2 very good teams . Calgary on the other hand has had all they could handle from what was a sub 500 team last year. I guess their fans are right to despair about their suspect team .

TheLionKing
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Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:41 pm

As happy as I am about the victory, I'm concerned that the Lions are such slow starters. You can't wait til the fourth quarter to start playing. They have the defence to thank for their win yesterday. They kept the Lions in the game til they got things going in the final quarter.

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pennw
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Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:02 pm

DanoT wrote:
Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:01 am
Someone on here suggested pre game (Blitz, maybe?) that the Lions should line up Rainy as a pass receiver in the slot and that he is a good enough receiver to do it. That is exactly what the Lions did and Rainy hauled in a difficult catch for the TD. Great time to insert him and that play.

I am pretty sure I saw Turner Jr. line up at DE a few times, another pre game suggestion by a Lionbacker.

On more than one occasion I had to look at the Lions roster. Who was that #94 making all those plays? A great game by newcomer at DE, Dequin Evans.

Menard needs to get on the field more as he always seems to be near the ball when he does get on the field.

I wasn't overly impressed with A. Johnson last season. Same impression this year. Time to bring in some RTs, from somewhere although it won't be during a road trip, I would guess.

Does Foucault have experience as a RT or is he just LT, LG?
Agree with all your points Dano .I did see Turner on the end too . So far Dequin Evans is coming as advertised and an upgrade over Bazzie IMO. I still can recall seeing Junior Luke out there yet , would like to see him there .
I think we lined up Rainy as a receiver last year a few times already and with good results .
I thought Tommie Draheim from the year before last was better than Johnson . Kevin Palmer i think was supposed to be the starter at RT now , but is out at the moment . Foucault is looking good where he is now so I think I would want to leave him where he is , just fix the right side by other means. That is an international spot now so there is a huge pool of international OL out there down south , can't see why they should not be able to recruit some more should Palmer not turn out any better than Johnson. And Fabian can always be replaced by Vallaincourt if need be .

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pennw
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Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:21 pm

Just looking at the game stats at CFL.ca and see that the attendance was 11,219 . Pitiful , while watching the game I couldn't believe how many empty seats there were .

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WestCoastJoe
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Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:39 pm

“Jon is awesome, he really is. All the hits he takes, he could easily shut it down and start pointing fingers, but he’s always coming back and looking at the iPad and getting us ready to go back out. Hats off to Jonathon for keeping that positive attitude.” -- Bryan Burnham

True that. This fan thinks that we take JJ10 a bit for granted. He is a very special quarterback. Amazing. Positive. Incredibly accurate. Rocket arm. Mobile. Elusive. As calm as if he is beating the drums in a club, building that rhythm.
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John Madden's Team Policies: Be on time. Pay attention. Play like hell on game day.

Jimmy Johnson's Game Keys: Protect the ball. Make plays.

Walter Payton's Advice to Kids: Play hard. Play fair. Have fun.

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WestCoastJoe
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Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:44 pm

Jonathon Jennings building a rhythm ...
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John Madden's Team Policies: Be on time. Pay attention. Play like hell on game day.

Jimmy Johnson's Game Keys: Protect the ball. Make plays.

Walter Payton's Advice to Kids: Play hard. Play fair. Have fun.

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