Its Time to Play Football Again - Leos vs. Als

The Place for BC Lion Discussion. A forum for Lions fans to talk and chat about our team.
Discussion, News, Information and Speculation regarding the BC Lions and the CFL.
Prowl, Growl and Roar!

Moderator: Team Captains

Blitz
2017 MVP
2017 MVP
Posts: 8375
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 8:44 am

Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:44 am

The bye week is over. Our Leos have had the opportunity to 'self-scout, including the coaching staff, as Lulay recommended.

As the players broke for the bye week, Leo players were outspoken about wanting changes to our approach and strategies.

For this game, Ken Boatright has been actived and will start at defensive end. Awe will start at outside linebacker, where he should have been staring many games ago, rather than the uninspiring Tony Burnett.

Personnel changes reflect that our Leos didn't get their free agent signings right in the off-season. Of the free agents signed this off-season, only Chris Williams is a starter. Swayze Waters was released early in the season and Bucknor, Jackson, and Burnett have failed to impress. Evans remains injured and Dylan Ainsworth was never healthy enough to play. Facault is a backup lineman while Olifioye anchors the Montreal offensive line with his stellar play. Johnson and Palmer, who have both played tackle for us remain concerns.

But outside of the tackle position on offence and the defensive end position on defense, this is a very talented Leos team. Awe will add speed, aggressiveness, and presence to our lineup.

The key aspect of this game is the decision to go with Travis Lulay as our starting quarterback. Perhaps, even more importantly, with Travis starting is his potential impact on our Leos offensive system. We need Travis to continue to play very well at quarterback but more importantly we need him to mentor Khari Jones.

Its been obvious on the sidelines during games that Lulay has been explaining to Jones, as well as Jennings, what the defense is doing on the field. Hopefully in this bye week, Lulay has had an increased impact on our passing attack design.

Travis knows the weaknesses of our offensive system. For example, in our last game, the first two times we ran the inside zone read, Travis faked the handoff to Johnson and attacked the edge. He knew that defenses crash down their ends against our running game, knowing that we only basically use one running play - the inside zone read with zone blocking.

Travis is also excellent at finding the tailback out of the backfield. Its essential to be able to do that when defenses key our predictable passing attack.

The problem with our offensive pass game is that is has always required a very high level of execution. It requires pin point passing by the quarterback and outstanding routes by the receivers because usually our receivers are well covered. In other words, our players constantly have to 'make plays' , as Buono emphasizes often, because our offensive plays are not well designed to get players open by design.

I'm hoping that we will have made some offensive strategy changes in the bye week. Chris Rainey was right. We have to get the football to our playmakers. More importantly, we need to get the football to them in space so they can do what they do best.

Manny took off his knee brace last game and looked revitalized. Bryan Burnham is one of the CFL’s top recievers. We have tons of offensive weapons in Burham, Manny, Williams, Johnson, and Rainey. Shaqu Johnson also gives us speed on the outside.

One play that I would love to see, with Lulay at quarterback, is a play that Chap used often in that 2011 season. Basically, its an option play, with an inside zone run by the tailback, a reverse, and a fake reverse and throw.

We would set up the inside zone run and then run the reverse or fly sweep off of it. Lulay would then fake the reverse and bootleg right. He had the option of throwing downfield, hitting the tailback out of the backfield after his fake run inside (Harris was very good at finding space) or Lulay would run the football himself.

We could run the reverse with either Rainey or Williams. The play would also open up the inside zone read by forcing the ends to play wide.

Travis Lulay is enjoying his best stint as a pro quarterback. His quarterback efficiency average of 108.5 leads the CFL and so far this season is the best of his career. Lulay is also completing 73.5% of his passes. To compare that with Lulay’s previous seasons, Lulay only completed 58.7% of his passes in his MOP 2011 season and had a quarterback efficiency average in 2011 of 95.8.

In previous seasons, Lulay started 11 games for us in 2013, completing 64.6% of his passes and a 95.0 quarterback efficiency average. He missed almost all of 2014 but returned as our starter for 2015. Lulay started 10 games for us, completed 62% of his passes and had a poor quarterback efficiency average of 84.4. In relief last season Lulay had the lowest quarterback efficiency average of his career at 80.9.

So with a revitalized Travis Lulay, playing the best football of his career, things look much more positive. But a football team is not the quarterback position and we need to give Lulay the protection he needs and the best tools to utilize and in the best way.

This is a game we should win. We are playing at home. Montreal will be out of its time zone by three hours. We average 412 yds of offence compared to Montreal's 362 yds. per game. Our Leos have outscored Montreal this season by a substantial margin.

Our Leos are 14-3 at home against Montreal since 2000. While the Alouettes have two of the East Division's three wins this season versus West Division teams, they're a dismal 0-4 on the road this season.

Despite the off-season acquisition of quarterback Darian Durant, the Alouettes have struggled offensively. They're ranked second-last in offensive points (19.1 per game), net offence (346.1 yards), passing (265.3) and interceptions (11). What's more, Montreal hasn't scored an offensive touchdown in two of its last three games.

Our time of possession is 2nd in the CFL while Montreal ranks 8th. That difference wears down a defense if the offence can take advantage.

B.J. Cunningham is Montreal's go to receiver and we need to pay attention to him but we also have to be very aware of Ernest Jackson, who is now playing wide receiver for Montreal. He has great hands (never dropped a pass last season in Ottawa last season) and is also a threat deep.

This is an opportunity for a break out game in which we really roll and get our confidence and our mojo for the stretch drive.

Go Leos!!
"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)

TheLionKing
Hall of Famer
Posts: 21140
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2005 10:13 pm
Location: Vancouver

Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:01 am

Would be interesting to see if the "self scouting" have any effect on the offensive and defensive schemes or more of the same.

DanoT
Hall of Famer
Posts: 3111
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 6:38 pm
Location: Victoria, B.C. in summer, Sun Peaks Resort in winter

Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:10 am

If roster changes are the only adjustments and it is same old coaching with no specific game planning aimed at Als' weaknesses, then I don't expect a Lions win.

B.C.FAN
2017 MVP
2017 MVP
Posts: 9101
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 10:28 pm

Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:30 am

Starting Travis Lulay at quarterback is the best move the Lions could make to improve their offence. The Lions should also benefit from the return of Cody Husband at centre. There are no other personnel changes on offence for this game.

Unfortunately, there's no easy fix for the defence. The B.C. defence ranks last in quarterback pressures and is tied for last with Montreal in sacks. The B.C. defence ranks last in giving up big pass plays, thanks in part to their lack of pressure. There are no changes to the secondary this week, so it will be up to the front 7 to try to generate more pressure and limit the effectiveness of Montreal's quarterbacks.

Once again, the Lions have made wholesale changes to their defensive line in search of a pass rush, changing the starters at all four positions. Craig Roh returns to his familiar boundary end position after playing the opposite side against Ottawa. Bryant Turner Jr. also swaps positions inside from 3-tech to nose tackle in place of the ailing Mic'hael Brooks, who moves to the 1-game injured list. Ken Boatright is activated from the practice roster to get his first start at rush end, while Junior Luke starts inside at 3-tech alongside Turner. At linebacker, Micah Awe starts ahead of Tony Burnett.

The Lions are capable of outscoring the Alouettes if the offence gets established early. The Lions have been outscored 30-0 in the first quarter during their three-game losing streak, and can't afford to get off to a bad start again. The key to stopping the losing streak is to protect the ball on offence and protect against the big play on defence and special teams.

Here's a link to the Lions depth chart and roster vs. Montreal.
"I think [Fred Fateri] was like a lot of people who watch football, hockey or any professional sport on television. They sit there and think they could coach better than the professional. Some people really think that." - Bob Ackles, The Water Boy

TheLionKing
Hall of Famer
Posts: 21140
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2005 10:13 pm
Location: Vancouver

Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:31 am

Once again, the Lions have made wholesale changes to their defensive line in search of a pass rush, changing the starters at all four positions. Craig Roh returns to his familiar boundary end position after playing the opposite side against Ottawa. Bryant Turner Jr. also swaps positions inside from 3-tech to nose tackle in place of the ailing Mic'hael Brooks, who moves to the 1-game injured list. Ken Boatright is activated from the practice roster to get his first start at rush end, while Junior Luke starts inside at 3-tech alongside Turner. At linebacker, Micah Awe starts ahead of Tony Burnett.
The current personnel is not getting the job done ie. getting a decent pass rush. Solution is obvious to everyone except the coaching staff: get someone in that can rush the quarterback. Shuffling the player from one position to another is akin to shuffling the chairs on the Titanic.

maxlion
Champion
Posts: 599
Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2015 12:49 am

Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:23 pm

They brought in Foley and are apparently negotiating with Bazzie. Boatright is getting his first start. It seems that the coaches see the problem on the d line too. But not sure that the solution is at hand. The d line has been pretty good at stopping the run.

Awe needs to settle down and play smart if he wants to be a regular starter. In the times he has been put in, he has taken undisplined penalties and been caught out of position. He does bring some energy.

It goes without saying that this is a must win. A win against an eastern team at this stage doesn't mean much. A loss and the season is pretty much over. I predict a good performance and solid win.

User avatar
BC 1988
Champion
Posts: 596
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:58 pm

Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:41 pm

Blitz wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:44 am
We need Travis to continue to play very well at quarterback but more importantly we need him to mentor Khari Jones.

Its been obvious on the sidelines during games that Lulay has been explaining to Jones, as well as Jennings, what the defense is doing on the field. Hopefully in this bye week, Lulay has had an increased impact on our passing attack design.
I've no doubt this "mentoring" has been going on. Wally even used the word "coach" to describe TL, then of course had to clarify to avoid being in breach of the collective bargaining agreement.
http://www.tsn.ca/lions-switch-to-coach ... b-1.840571
Too bad Jones isn't a good enough OC to be able to see it (what TL is telling him) on his own.

Matt Baker
Rookie
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:13 pm

Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:11 pm

Some more pregame reading, including some quotes from my chat with the big man, Jovan Olafioye.

https://www.bclions.com/2017/09/07/game ... alouettes/

User avatar
WestCoastJoe
2017 MVP
2017 MVP
Posts: 15769
Joined: Mon May 22, 2006 8:55 pm

Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:36 pm

Depth chart ...


2017-09-07_2234.png
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
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.

User avatar
WestCoastJoe
2017 MVP
2017 MVP
Posts: 15769
Joined: Mon May 22, 2006 8:55 pm

Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:43 pm

How about Steward at left tackle and Vaillancourt at left guard? Whatever ...

Is it too early to say that the Olafioye trade for Foucault was poor judgment?

Welcome back, Cody Husband.

Will Danny Vandervoort eventually seem worthy of first round pick status?

This fan has great respect for Rolly Lumbala. But, does he help our offence when he almost never gets the ball?

Turner and Luke at DT. Any pocket collapsers there? Possibly Luke?

Will Boatright be a revelation at DE?
.................

Will the game preparation look like vanilla, from the standard, one size fits all, playbook?
.................

Welcome back, Jacques Chapdelaine. This CFL fan is hoping you have success as HC in Montreal. It is a tough gig. Methinks your team does not have a roster filled with top level talent.
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.

B.C.FAN
2017 MVP
2017 MVP
Posts: 9101
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 10:28 pm

Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:49 pm

The Lions have found a way to generate more pass rush: Play 12 defensive linemen. :wink:


I didn't realize the Lions had 12 D-linemen but in fact they have 13, including two on the practice roster and three on injured lists. Andrew Hudson, who is on the 1-game injured list, is not in the picture. There must be some lineup combinations they haven't tried.
"I think [Fred Fateri] was like a lot of people who watch football, hockey or any professional sport on television. They sit there and think they could coach better than the professional. Some people really think that." - Bob Ackles, The Water Boy

TheLionKing
Hall of Famer
Posts: 21140
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2005 10:13 pm
Location: Vancouver

Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:03 pm

Where's the beef ? They look so small.

Blitz
2017 MVP
2017 MVP
Posts: 8375
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 8:44 am

Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:27 am

Good article on Travis starting, his healed shoulder, and his approach to playing quarterback this season..... and Jennings shoulder injury. One of our quarterbacks finally has his shoulder healed and another now has to heal his shoulder.

Both teams need a victory badly. Montreal went with a lot of vets this season but they are an older team that lack speed, as well as having some talent deficiencies.

Wally really miscalculated on our offensive and defensive line this season. Palmer and Johnson are not top notch International tackles and at present we do not have a top notch rush end or a dominating, penetrating International defensive tackle.

Travis Lulay Back in Familiar Position as Lions' Starting Quarterback.

Herb Zurkowsky, Montreal Gazette
September 7, 2017


"I've learned to temper the emotions of the ups and downs," says pivot, who will start Friday night for British Columbia against the Alouettes.

I've been there and done that," Lions quarterback Travis Lulay says. "Maybe it's easier for me in this stage of my career to recognize that nothing's as permanent as people think."




VANCOUVER — It was once Travis Lulay’s team. Then it wasn’t. And now it is, again. The twists and turns behind being a professional football team’s quarterback can be mind-boggling and nerve-racking.

“It’s not necessarily the way I would have guessed or planned prior to the season. I’ve learned to temper the emotions of the ups and downs,” said Lulay, who turns 34 this month and will start Friday night for the British Columbia Lions against the Alouettes.

“I’ve seen it firsthand and lived it. I’ve lived playing well, getting hurt, somebody else getting hurt, me going in and playing. Me not playing well enough and being sat down — and then coming back later in the season,” said Lulay, in his ninth Canadian Football League season, all with the Lions. “I’ve been there and done that. Maybe it’s easier for me in this stage of my career to recognize that nothing’s as permanent as people think.”

Lulay was once the Lions’ starting quarterback, but that was before two significant shoulder injuries, in 2013 and ’14, altered his career path. Indeed, it appeared that career might be over.

And then Jonathon Jennings, only 25, became the heir apparent, passing for 7,230 yards and 42 touchdowns over his first two seasons. But this sport can be fleeting.

It was Jennings who suffered a shoulder injury this season, early in a game against Hamilton. He missed the next three. Then, upon his return against Saskatchewan, he was intercepted twice on his opening three series, and four in total. He struggled five days later, against Calgary, and was replaced by Lulay against Ottawa.

It might be only 4 1/2 games, but Lulay’s numbers have been impressive. He has the league’s highest efficiency rating and completion percentage. Against the Redblacks, he passed for 202 yards in the second half, producing 21 points in the fourth quarter, the Lions almost erasing a 31-3 deficit.

And the team’s record is 3-1 in games in which Lulay has seen the majority of playing time. So, why not?

“I just appreciate being on the field. What do I have to lose?” said Lulay, a potential free agent next February. “No reflection on Jon, this team has seen me be a captain and a voice, even when I wasn’t playing as much. There was a comfort level when I did step back in. A lot of the vets have played with me when I was playing my best football.

“I feel healthy and confident. I’ve felt that way since the end of 2015, the beginning of ’16.”

Jennings, meanwhile, has been intercepted nine times while throwing only four touchdowns. While he still appears to have a bright future, his mettle will be tested as he deals with the first adversity of his career.

He said he has struggled to rediscover his rhythm. “Dealing with a shoulder’s difficult. You feel it and it’s directly in your throwing shoulder,” Jennings said.

“It has been tough. But it’s part of the learning process. You have to take the good with the bad. This injury was the first real adversity I’ve had. I have to keep on pushing. I know my opportunity will come back at any point in time.”

Perhaps sooner than even he believes. While the Lions are 5-5, they’re attempting to stop a three-game losing streak with their game against Montreal. B.C. launched its season with four victories in five games.

“We’ve run out of our mulligans. We need to start getting it right,” said Wally Buono, the Lions’ general manager and head coach. “You have your good and down periods, but you can’t be down too long. Three games, that’s down a long time.”

hzurkowsky@postmedia.com
twitter.com/HerbZurkowsky1
"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
2017 MVP
2017 MVP
Posts: 8375
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 8:44 am

Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:39 am

Montreal has given up the third least sacks in the CFL. Their offensive line really struggled last season. Olifioye has been a big difference maker.

In the meantime, here in Leo Land, both Palmer and Antonio Johnson have struggled.

We only gave up 24 sacks last season. In only 10 games this season we've already given up more sacks (25) than the entire 2016 season.

It will be good to see the Big O back playing at B.C. Place, even though he is now in an opposition uniform.
Big O Returns…. And Headlines Big Battle up Front
cfl.ca

The Lions slightly tweaked defensive line will be in for a good test against a Montreal front that has allowed the third-fewest sacks in the CFL this season. If they can create some pressure and stop the run, that will disrupt Durant and put less pressure on the Lions’ offence to make it a track meet.

Jovan Olafioye’s play at left tackle has been a big reason for their solid production up front. The six-time CFL all-star makes his long-awaited return to the place he had called home since 2010. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to call him the best offensive lineman in franchise history. And maybe a few fans are missing him these days, based on the recent injuries and struggles here in the den. Nostalgia? Cool concept. But Olafioye is of the mind he has bigger fish to fry.

“It feels good to be back in my old stomping grounds and it (the trade) was bittersweet, but I am here to get this win,” Olafioye said in a post-practice interview with BCLions.com.

“We’re just focused on the game. I always keep in contact with guys like Manny, Solly and Ronnie, just usual conversation. We talk a little trash here and there, especially with Solly. I’m ready to get after him and I’m tired of him talking,” chuckled the left tackle.

“We have a veteran team, a veteran O-line, so everybody has been playing at a high level in this league and that’s why we’ve been successful.”
"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)

User avatar
SammyGreene
2017 MVP
2017 MVP
Posts: 6509
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2002 11:52 am
Location: Ladner

Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:08 am

Blitz! Great to be reading the voice of reason again.

Tell me why I should be encouraged things will be better over the final eight games and other than four games at home against Eastern teams?
Travis being appointed the starter simply had to be done although it could lead to one big off-season mess if he thrives and would have to be re-signed as a free agent in 2018. I think we all hope at some point Jennings gets a chance again and shows his 2016 form. The future would certainly be clearer.

To say the offensive line is a mess is an understatement. I will be livid if once Vaillancourt is healthy they don't move Steward back to tackle and adjust the ratio back to four nationals. That was the plan the entire off-season. Why they traded Olafioye and even the way they set up their salary cap.
Right now, they feel they are better with two very average international tackles, Steward at guard and Foucault as his back-up. Not only is Foucault making very good money as a demoted rookie (reportedly $80,000), the ratio adjustment means sticking with two starting national receivers and Nick Moore and his $100,000 or so plus salary not even on the active roster. That is simply horrible cap management. So done with Dan Dorazio's musical chairs.
I sure hope when new ownership finally comes in and the house is cleaned that Calgary's offensive line coach Pat DelMonaco is targeted. But that is a conversation for another day.

The defensive line has been a black hole for the past 2-3 seasons with many bodies coming and going. Just maybe it's Mark Washington's system and defensive philosophy.

Oh well, they have an excellent chance to get back on track tonight then the real measuring stick a week later in Calgary.

Post Reply
  • Information
  • Who is online

    Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], DanoT and 4 guests