RedBlacks 30 - Lions 25, Post-Game Stats and Comments

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B.C.FAN
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Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:14 am

WestCoastJoe wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:49 am
But this one hurt.

The RedBlacks look at tape. They look for vulnerabilities. Our STs are a favourite target of detailed game preparation.

We start to peel back on the backside of the kickoff. The kicker quickly reverses direction, and the game is on.
There are so many things wrong with this play, it's unthinkable that a professional team would be so unprepared.

The Redblacks had just scored off a turnover to give themselves some life. Their special teams huddled on the sideline before the ensuing kickoff. Everyone's first thought has to be to watch for an onside kick, which could give the Redblacks momentum to get back into the game. I saw the Lions special teams huddle on the sideline and was hopeful they would be given specific instructions. Yet they appeared to be oblivious to the threat. Consider:

1. The Redblacks line up six players to the wide side of the field. Usually teams overload the short side and kick to that side. That should have been an obvious signal of their intentions.

2. The Lions don't match the Redblacks formation, and instead leave Vandervoort and Chagnon as the only players on the wide side.

3. Vandervoort and Chagnon are both moving the opposite way before the ball is kicked. Obviously no one has told them to watch for an onside kick. These are two rookies who need specific coaching instruction. They can't be expected to see what's coming on their own. The Lions are outnumbered and out of position and don't have a chance to recover the ball despite Vandervoort's efforts to turn around and scramble back for it.

So often this year and in years past the Lions are caught sleeping on special teams. Their vulnerabilities can often be seen just by formation before the snap. Wally has said bad teams rely on trick plays. What does he call teams that are constantly fooled by trick plays?
"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

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Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:35 am

B.C.FAN wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:14 am
WestCoastJoe wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:49 am
But this one hurt.

The RedBlacks look at tape. They look for vulnerabilities. Our STs are a favourite target of detailed game preparation.

We start to peel back on the backside of the kickoff. The kicker quickly reverses direction, and the game is on.
There are so many things wrong with this play, it's unthinkable that a professional team would be so unprepared.

The Redblacks had just scored off a turnover to give themselves some life. Their special teams huddled on the sideline before the ensuing kickoff, as did the Lions. Everyone's first thought has to be to watch for an onside kick, which could give the Redblacks momentum to get back into the game. I saw the Lions special teams huddle on the sideline and was hopeful they would be given specific instructions. Yet they appeared to be oblivious to the threat. Consider:

1. The Redblacks line up six players to the wide side of the field. Usually teams overload the short side and kick to that side. That should have been an obvious signal of their intentions.

2. The Lions don't match the Redblacks formation, and instead leave Vandervoort and Chagnon as the only players on the wide side.

3. Vandervoort and Chagnon are both moving the opposite way before the ball is kicked. Obviously no one has told them to watch for an onside kick. These are two rookies who need specific coaching instruction. They can't be expected to see what's coming on their own. The Lions are outnumbered and out of position and don't have a chance to recover the ball despite Vandervoort's efforts to turn around and scramble back for it.

So often this year and in years past the Lions are caught sleeping on special teams. Their vulnerabilities can often be seen just by formation before the snap. Wally has said bad teams rely on trick plays. What does he call teams that are constantly fooled by trick plays?
Great analysis BC FAN. The Lions being unprepared and easily tricked is a microcosm of what is wrong with the Lions in virtually all phases of the game. I was going to type, "with the exception of Ty Long's punting which has been excellent" but then I remembered the other game where Long (new to the CFL) didn't know that a punter can recover his own punt. So, another coaching error. :bang:

If there isn't a change at the top, and the coaching staff are loosing the confidence of the players, then how are the Lions going to do come Free Agency?

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WestCoastJoe
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Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:06 pm

B.C.FAN wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:14 am
WestCoastJoe wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:49 am
But this one hurt.

The RedBlacks look at tape. They look for vulnerabilities. Our STs are a favourite target of detailed game preparation.

We start to peel back on the backside of the kickoff. The kicker quickly reverses direction, and the game is on.
There are so many things wrong with this play, it's unthinkable that a professional team would be so unprepared.

The Redblacks had just scored off a turnover to give themselves some life. Their special teams huddled on the sideline before the ensuing kickoff, as did the Lions. Everyone's first thought has to be to watch for an onside kick, which could give the Redblacks momentum to get back into the game. I saw the Lions special teams huddle on the sideline and was hopeful they would be given specific instructions. Yet they appeared to be oblivious to the threat. Consider:

1. The Redblacks line up six players to the wide side of the field. Usually teams overload the short side and kick to that side. That should have been an obvious signal of their intentions.

2. The Lions don't match the Redblacks formation, and instead leave Vandervoort and Chagnon as the only players on the wide side.

3. Vandervoort and Chagnon are both moving the opposite way before the ball is kicked. Obviously no one has told them to watch for an onside kick. These are two rookies who need specific coaching instruction. They can't be expected to see what's coming on their own. The Lions are outnumbered and out of position and don't have a chance to recover the ball despite Vandervoort's efforts to turn around and scramble back for it.

So often this year and in years past the Lions are caught sleeping on special teams. Their vulnerabilities can often be seen just by formation before the snap. Wally has said bad teams rely on trick plays. What does he call teams that are constantly fooled by trick plays?7
Yup.

And the kick was not even that good. IMO it went too far, giving Vandervoort a shot at it. The RedBlacks had the numbers in their favour on that side though.

For many plays and situations our team is poorly prepared. Very discouraging for the players.

Looking at the tape I thought one player in particular gave up early on the game. His body language was terrible. He was going through the motions. A DB who has been moved around a lot in the backfield. I won't name him though, although it seems evident on the tape.

Lots of guys played hard all the way through. But others lost focus, or intensity.

Another small detail. Could Danny V have tipped the hotly contested ball out of bounds on the kickoff? It was close. I would have to look at the tape again.
.......

Another detail. Bryan Burnham is a great receiver,, with specific strengths. But, IMO, he is not a ball carrier. He looked lost on that swing pass, and it ended in a fumble. Yes, they did try something different with him. Will they try it again? Just from how he looked on the play, I would say the idea was poorly conceived. (Swing pass to a running back is the basic idea, IMO. And to a few receivers with running back characteristics.)

(Way back in the day, John Mackey was a tight end with the Baltimore Colts. He ran like a powerful fullback, with running back moves. Great run after catch ability. So the Colts wisely designed screen passes for their tight end, John Mackey. IMO swing passes need run after catch ability. Not every receiver has that.)





Again, 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.

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Blitz
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Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:54 pm

I can see Buono back next season, even if its the wrong decision. His ego will not likely let him go out on a losing season.

I wrote earlier this season that the "Big 3" in football are 1) talent 2) coaching leadership/scheme/game planning/play calling and 3) execution.

In looking at this 2017 edition of the Leos, the first question that has to be asked is do we have the talent to be playing better or does our talent reflect our record.

1. TALENT

The majority of CFL prognositcators had our Leos improving on their 11-7 record of last season. Most believed our Leos had the talent to challenge Calgary this season for the best team in the CFL.

Last season our team had the second best record in the CFL. We finished 2nd in the West. Our record this season, presently, is 6 wins and 8 losses and we've lost 6 of our last 7 games.

What is the difference talent wise, this season from last.

On offence, the only difference on the offensive line is Powell. Last season Olifioye and Antonio Johnson were our starting tackles and this season Powell and Johnson are our starting tackles. Husband, Steward, and Fabian are playing the same positions as last year, although last season we inserted Tim O'Neil and Levi Adcock for a few games.

Our starting backfield is the same. Jonathan Jennings is our starting Jeremiah Johnson and Chris Rainey are our tailbacks, and Rolly Lumbala is our fullback. No change other than we rotated Anthony Allen in for some games last season.

In the receiving group, Manny, Burnham, Moore, and Iannuzzi are back. Gore and Sinkfield are gone. Adekolu was released. Chris Williams joined us as a free agent, and Shaq Johnson is our fifth receiver. But last season, we started Adekolu in our West Semi-Final game. Boldewijn started six games for us after |Nick Moore was injured for the remainder of the season, until we signed Sinkfield. While Chris Williams has not contributed as expected, we won last season with Boldewijn, Sinkfield and Adekolu in the lineup.

On defense, the only change on the defensive line, at present, is Junior Luke starting at tackle vs. Jabar Westerman. With Bazzie back in the fold, our defensive line talent is the same as last season - Brooks, Roh, Menard, Bazzie, Forde, Turner.

In terms of our linebacking, Sol E. is back and Fenner replaced Purifoy at nickel. Bighill went to the NFL. He was replaced at first by Tony Burnett and then Micah Awe. Burnett did not light things up but Awe has been excellent.

Our biggest change this season has taken place in our defensive secondary. Last season we finished the season with Gaitor at boundary corner, Fenner at boundary halfback, Mike Edem at safety, Ryan Phillips at field halfback, and Brandon Stewart at field corner.

But, due to injuries, we had a lot of players shuffle into the secondary. We had four different players start at boundary halfback, the toughest spot to play in the secondary - Lee, Clarke, Gaitor, and Fenner. Yell, Stewart, and Gaitor all played boundary corner at various times. Kenyan Parker played both boundary corner and field corner.

This season, after beginning the season with numerous changes, we settled on a defensive backfield lineup of Yell, Lee, Thompson, Purifoy, and Gaitor. We really have been fortunate, in that our defensive backfield has not suffered the injuries we did last season.

The only change I would make today, to our defensive backfield is to switch Purifoy and Fenner. While Fenner has played well at nickel and Purifoy was switched to safety, corner, and then halfback to begin the season, he was much better at nickelback (and better than Fenner) while Fenner did a good job at boundary halfback last season and would be better suited for field halfback. I believe we are more talented in the defensive secondary this season than last year.

In terms of special teams, Chris Rainey is back as our return man and our kicking game is improved with Ty Long over Richie Leone. Long leads the CFL with a 48.3 yard punt average and his 86.5% field goal average is significantly better than Leone's 68.6% success rate last season and which cost us games.

So, in analyzing our talent - on offence, our offence remained basically the same in the backfield, improved overall at receiver, and lost an All-Star in Olifioye.

On defense, talent wise, on the defensive line we slid until Bazzie returned, slid until Awe started at ourside linebacker, and improved in the defensive secondary, at least on a talent basis. Our kicking game has improved significantly with Long as our starter.

There is just no good reason, talent wise, for this 2017 Leos team to have lost 6 of their last 7 games and be out of a playoff spot, when last season we were the 2nd best team in the CFL.

2. EXECUTION

Root, shoot, moot, poop
We just gotta execute!!

Execution is the second factor in football success. Execution is both a player and a coaching responsibility. Execution on offence involves players completing their assignments on each play call so the play is a success. On offence this involves blocking, throwing, route running, catching, running, and decision making in a manner which results in play success. On defense this involves shedding blocks, pass rushing, tackling, reacting, pursuing, and pass coverage within a zone concept, which involves quick decision making.

Execution involves talent, skill, technique, reaction, and conceptual understanding. But play design is also an important factor in execution. Coaching is also a factor in execution.

When one looks across the league this season, we see Calgary executing at a very high level with a Head Coach in Dave Dickenson who is only in his second season. Dickenson only lost one regular season game last season and the Stamps only have one loss this season.

But some Leo fans could argue that Calgary has more talent.

I disagree but I can see the argument. But the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are 10-4 this season with a journeyman quarterback in Nichols, a tailback in Andrew Harris, whom Buono deemed expendable but is second in rushing, leads the CFL in pass receptions, and is a ratio buster as a National tailback.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are 8-6 this season. They have a 4-2 record at home while we are 3-4 at home. Some Lionbackers laughed at Chris Jones last season and in the off-season but not me. He blew up a Riders team in 2016 that needed to be blown up. Buono inherited a young, talented team in 2016. Jones team is executing more successfully than our Leos are executing, under the 'legendary Buono.

So when it comes to execution, either we don't have the talent or our coaches are not getting our players to execute at the higher level that other coaches in the West are able to ge their players to execute plays.

Certainly, once personnel starting decisions are made, players have to be held responsible for dropped passes, missed tackles, errant throws, fumbles, etc. Buono did not fumble the football against Ottawa - Burnham did. Chris Williams dropped the football in the end zone, not Buono or Khari Jones. Buono nor Washington did not bite on a out and up move against Ottawa - T. J. Lee and Anthony Gaitor did.

But that is only part of the story.

3. Coaching, Leadership, Scheme, Game Planning and Preparation, Scheme, and Play Calling

This area of football is often a difference maker. Ottawa's successful onside kick was the key momentum changer in the game. “That’s what football is about. You can do a lot of good things and do a lot of the hard work, but those momentum-changing plays can obviously make a huge difference,” said Redblacks coach Rick Campbell. We had to get back in the game, so it’s a credit to the coaches to be able to have the nerve to do that,” said receiver Greg Ellingson of the onside kick.

Ottawa was very aware that we only had one player lined up on the outside, when they attempted the onside kick. It was part of their pre-game scouting. Our players were not prepared for the play but our kick return alignment also made us vulnerable. Its an example of the difference in coaching that we too often see with our Leos under Buono.

Buono, in the same situation would never have risked the onside kick. Nor was his team prepared for the play.

A major reason comes down to coaching philosophy. Our coaching philosophy is more problematic than just conservatism. Its a philosophy that basically says "We don't need to concern ourselves with the tendencies of the opposition. We just need to 'execute our 'stuff'. If we do that we will win because our 'stuff' is the best.

Yet in no other professional sport is coaching more important. The game is not free flowing but starts and stops for every play in the game, making strategy more important than any other sport. There are 12 players on the field, on each play. One or two tremendously talented players cannot positively affect the outcome of a game in the way they can in other sports.

Lets draw up a play. Its second and two. The coach sends in a running play, say the inside zone read. The formation is a spread offence with an ace back and five offensive lineman. The defense lines up five defensive lineman on the defensive line, they line up two linebackers close to the defensive line and shoot them through the gaps. The success of the play is not determined by execution. Its determined by formation.

There is no way that five offensive lineman can run block 7 defenders who are playing run first. This play happened numerous times last season. Calgary and Winnipeg especially stuffed this play during the playoffs.

Yet when the play was stopped for no gain or a loss, the players were blamed for a lack of execution.

Here is another example. We often insert Chris Rainey for a play or two on offence at a time, rather than giving him a series at tailback. Wanting to make use of his talent, for the one play or two plays that he is on offence at a time, we have a tendency to do two things. The first is to give him the football on an inside zone read play. The second tendency is to throw him a quick swing pass.

Of course, the defense knows this, as we all do on Lionbackers. Defenses know this even better this season than last season. So when Rainey comes into the game, they key him on the inside zone read. No wonder his run average has dropped from 8.6 yds. per carry last season to 3.5 yds. per carry this season.

Do we ever play action Rainey with a fake inside zone read and then attempt to throw to him in space after his fake. Nope. We used to do that with Lulay and Harris often in 2011.

We also have a tendency to make a quick swing pass to Rainey. The defense knows this also. Defenses will often go into press man coverage with Rainey in the game or play aggressive zone. That way the pass defenders can come up quickly to stop the play before being blocked. Yet whenever the play is stopped, its blamed on player exectution, as Rainey is hit by three tacklers before he ever can get going.

Against Ottawa, on our final offensive drive of the game, we used Rainey on a screen pass. Its one of a number of good ways of getting Rainey into space. The football was on our own 51 yard line. Rainey caught the screen pass and in a blink of an eye he was tackled on the Ottawa 31 yard line. Those types of plays can be difference makers, expecially with Rainey's talent. But how often have we seen a screen pass to Rainey or anyone in the last two seasons?

Chris Jones blew up a team in 2016 that had been terrible. In only his second season they are having a more successful season than our B.C. Lions. He has Kevin Glenn as his starting quarterback. Marc Trestman inherited a weak team in Toronto that was stripped even more of its talent prior to his hiring. Yet Trestmann and Jones have won more games this season than our Leos. Buono had a much easier situation when he took back the Head Coaching reins last season. Yet in only his second season back on the sidelines and we are in mediocrity.

During the off-season, things looked positive for our Leos. Many prognosticators had our Leos playing in the Grey Cup game. Optimism was high. But I was worried.

Having Buono back at the helm made sense for our Leos. No Head Coach was going to be able to coach the team the way they wanted to, due to Buono's controlling and undermining ways. Better to let the guy who couldn't and wouldn't let go and who viewed himself as a coaching genius take back the reins.

But for those who believed Buono, when he returned to the sidelines, would be the answer to get our Leos back to the Grey Cup game, they didn't understand what had made Buono successful and what he didn't have.

When Buono was successful for a period of time in both Calgary and B.C. he had leadership above him to help guide him and push him away from his disastrous tendencies. He had a Normie Kwong and a Bobby Ackles to guide him. He had a Roy Shivers and a Bob O'Billovich to bring him talent. He didn't have a SMS to deal with and he was advantaged financially in comparison with many other CFL franchises. He was either willing or guided to hire some assistant coaches who were innovative like a Hufnagel or a Ritchie.

But basically left alone to do this thing, since the end of 2007, Buono has not had those types of advantages. Only one Grey Cup berth in the last 10 seasons is the result.

I remember writing a post earlier this season and one Lionbacker sticking up for Buono. I especially remember his retort to me: "Buono just keeps on winning". Well, how wrong that statement turned out to be.

I went into this off-season optimistically. I became a bit concerned with the free agents Buono signed. The Olifioye trade blew me away and I became more worried.

When Buono started Facault in our season opener, as I anticipated he would to make his trade look good, I became more concerned, as I did as well when Buono shuffled the deck of our secondary in the week before our season opener. In that game, when our offensive line allowed Jennings to be hit and sacked like he was a human piñata, I felt a sense of dread.

That sense of dread was also made worse by two other facts: Despite off-season statements that we we were making adaptions to our offence, it looked like the same old thing as in the recent past and long past. Secondly, our defensive zone scheme had coverage problems in the flat and assignment problems on plays n which two receivers went, on the same side of the play, ran deep routes.

But it was the second Saskatchewan game that made me believe this season would be unsuccessful, unless we got lucky and won a cross-over playoff spot and then could potentially feast on East opposition in the playoffs. But then again, playoffs are most often not kind to a Buono team.

Buono's teams have had their butts handed to them too often in a playoff game but even still, his teams have never quit on him. Whether that was due to fear, in Buono's role as both GM and HC and his penchant for releasing a player to set the tone or whether it ws due to his leadership, that didn't happen. We could be badly outsmarted and outcoached and the score an embarrassment but his players always kept playing hard, even if not well.

But Buono's players had tuned him out. That was obvious before the game, in the locker room, when Buono attempted to speak. Even worse, Buono sulked out of the room, saying that maybe they would listen to Lumbala instead, and passing the torch to him.

Then the players went out and not only played horribly on both offence and defense but they also quit playing. I was shocked. We lost 41-8 and we were down in that game 36-0, at the end of the third quarter.

I felt that Buono had lost his team. Whatever happened during that week, before the game, has been kept quiet but something had to have happened. Shaq Murray Lawrence was asked by Buono to share, before his first practice back, how lucky he was to be playing football again. I doubt that would have gone down well with the players but that, in itself, would not explain what happened.

But since that game, we have looked like a different team and we hadn't looked that good prior to that humiliating loss.

I really don't believe that Buono, if he comes back next season, will get this thing turned around big time. Confidence is a big thing. Our Leos have lost their confidence on the field and I believe they have lost their confidence in Buono too. The fans have lost confidence in Buono and this team.

When Buono retired as HC in 2011. he said: .." I do know, in my own heart, that another voice, another presentation, another leader is – I believe – what we need to again hoist the Cup. I just believe that that's going to help this organization to stay vibrant, stay strong."

When Buono fired Benevedes in 2014, he said “I think it's time to bring some freshness into the organization".

Its well past time Buono started heeding his own words!!
"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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Toppy Vann
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Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:27 pm

Arceneaux's pre-game questioning if players will show up (not sure of the words exactly) is a bit reminiscent of comments heard from Nik Lewis of the Als. I'm guessing #84's comments are along the lines of Lewis' comments that professionals have to come to play. Interpretation then: These players think some are not.

There may not be a talent issue here but clearly something's wrong when your team collapses like this.

Wally said 'we coached 'em up like veterans' (IIRC this was about their DEF) and maybe they need to be coached like rookies speaks volumes of the screw ups this season:

>Punter doesn't know he's onside on all kicks and is laughing about it on the sideline.
> Stubborn commitment to the MISTAKEN belief that trick plays are for the bad teams so they get victimized by the now good teams pulling them off.
> In a digital age where players and coaches have tablets at the bench, believing that it's just player execution that determines success in games.
> a OLine coach who holds out that run blocking is the hardest thing to teach professionals.

One question: Do the Lions punt return team blockers ever get back in time to get blocking angles for Rainey? I don't much think so.

The good news for a buyer is that they should be getting a bargain price for the franchise.

The bad news though could be if it falls into the wrong hands so I'm in the camp - be careful what you wish for.

When you give up a 19 pt lead and let them score 24 unanswered points something is wrong with the coaching and the team.

Having said that.... I'm not suggesting Wally shouldn't coach next year if the owner and he stays as I trust his HC selections far less than I trust him to coach. Unless, he gets his feet held to the fire to come up - and stick to - a proper selection process used in pro football.

Look at the Esks failing this season all of a sudden. Who'd have thunk it.....

Blitz
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Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:56 pm

Offensively we had 437 yds of offence. 375 yds. passing. 3 touchdown passes. What a waste as it turns into a loss.

Can't complain about the overall offensive production but But Jeremiah Johnson only had 6 handoffs in this game (5.8 yd. average).

The usual argument, when he gets few touches in a game, is that we were coming from behind. But in this game, we had the lead and still we didn't use him enough. I really don't see us having an offensive identity this season, as we did last year.

But defensively, we really have some coaching issues. The Winnipeg game was a prime example. Harris had 12 receptions and could have had 24 receptions. We just didn't cover him in the flat and that is a structural scheme issue.

So are many of our defensive backfield breakdowns a scheme issue. If two players on the same side run deep patterns, we have confusion. Does the corner stay up and the halfback and safety cover or do the corner and halfback cover and leave the flat open? Defenders in our zone scheme don't know whom to cover each and every game for certain combination patterns.

Anyway, its all moot, whether its about coaching or execution or talent or whatever. We ain't making the playoffs. Wally's World is over for this season other than to play out the games and have a better look at some players like Vandervoot. But Wally will likely not do that either.
"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)

maxlion
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Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:19 pm

It doesn't get much worse than losing back to back must-win games against eastern teams.

A few weeks ago, Rainey I think said that they need to get the ball into the hands of the playmakers more. I thought they did a good job of this and the results were pretty good other than a few gaffes. Jennings played good enough to win. I can't fault Khari Jones for this one. Overall, I think Jones has been better than I expected as OC and I wouldn't be opposed to seeing him return next year.

Special teams has been a big disappointment all year. While trick plays may not win many games, it can change momentum and create excitement. I suspect that players on the Bombers like playing for O'Shea in part because he is willing to try new things and take risks. It just makes the game more fun.

On defense, Washington has had enough time to show what he can do as DC and it has never been good enough other than in brief periods. While Washington may be one of Wally's favourites, we have seen Wally fire other favourites before--Benevides, Chapdelaine, Stubler--and if Wally were to return for another year (which I doubt), I think it unlikely that Washington would get another chance. The secondary just looks lost out there. I suspect he is gone at the end of the year regardless. Too many chances and not enough results.

As for the legend, it is clear his time has run its course. Over time, certain tendencies naturally reinforce themselves. Either the coach has to reinvent himself or be replaced. Wally had a good run here, but I don't see him reinventing himself at this stage and, judging from his body language, he doesn't seem to be having much fun anymore. Time to retire and enjoy the rest of his life.

Lots of challenges ahead for the Lions. It's got to start with new ownership. Another poster said we are at risk of becoming the Toronto. We already are. When attendance has been declining as long as it has here despite a pretty exciting team (this year notwithstanding) and rebuilt stadium, you know you are in trouble.

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Sir Purrcival
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Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:11 pm

Pretty good agreement across the board on what should happen, what needs to happen. Unfortunately, we can't make it happen. All we can do is hope that something significant changes on its own and like Toppy cautions, be prepared if those changes result in something even worse. I can understand that but frankly, at this stage, the worse isn't really all that worse. Attendance is down, the onfield product is marginal to be kind, the results certainly speak for how bad the overall situation is. The Lions are a painful team to watch and have been the cause of much uncertainty for much of the season even when the results looked much better. Every game results in a "waiting for the wheels to come off" feeling. That is if the wheels aren't already off and have rolled over a cliff five miles back.
Tell me how long must a fan be strong? Ans. Always.

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Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:23 pm

— Really painful seeing the Lions get burned on surprise special teams plays week after week and they haven't tried one the entire season.
Only bad teams try trick plays to win.

Wally "The Legend" Buono

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Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:26 pm

Lion Guy wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:11 am
The coaching staff are all at the same church this morning discussing the poor execution of the players.
I think it's time we start executing the coaching staff.

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Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:27 pm

WestCoastJoe wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:49 am
But this one hurt.

The RedBlacks look at tape. They look for vulnerabilities. Our STs are a favourite target of detailed game preparation.

We start to peel back on the backside of the kickoff. The kicker quickly reverses direction, and the game is on.



2017-10-08_0653__Tendency_on_kickoffs.__Backside_retreats.__The_RBs_know_this..png


2017-10-08_0655_001.png
Good grief, do I really want to see this again ?? :wink: :towel:

TheLionKing
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Location: Vancouver

Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:30 pm

DanoT wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:40 am
Sir Purrcival wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:07 am
The back bent on the initial fumble but the lead was still significant. All the Lions needed to do is show some resilience and some smarts. The actual response showed this team sadly has neither. The players have given up on this season and the coaches. The went so meekly into their funk, it was disturbing to watch. There didn't seem to be a single person on the sidelines from the coaching on down that showed more than an obligatory interest. Players were not fired up, coaches were not fired up. It was almost as if they were in a complete fog.

At this point, I think one can really only hope that the remainder of the season is a continuation of the same. With the increasing systemic failure on display, it only makes it harder to maintain the status quo. Since it seems that most now agree that significant change is essential, the more they suck now, the more likely that change occurs and hopefully that applies to the ownership on down.



As to the underlined part, sadly I have felt this way for most of this season. I wanted the Lions to win but I just have felt for a long time that because winning masks deficiencies, a total collapse is the only path to meaningful change with the Lions, including ownership.
X3 The ONLY way changes will be made is if they get totally humiliated the next four games.

leo4life
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Posts: 368
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Location: vancouver

Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:48 pm

Only way to make changes is for the fan base to speak with their wallets and demand Bouno resign at seasons end.Also paired with the losses pilling up this current GM/HC/staff under Bouno will have to blown up or risk losing even more fans in 2018 as it will be more of the same

Blitz
2017 MVP
2017 MVP
Posts: 8386
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 8:44 am

Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:34 am

leo4life wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:48 pm
Only way to make changes is for the fan base to speak with their wallets and demand Bouno resign at seasons end.Also paired with the losses pilling up this current GM/HC/staff under Bouno will have to blown up or risk losing even more fans in 2018 as it will be more of the same
If Buono does choose to return, I believe the fans will speak with their wallets. When maxlion, a strong Wally supporter on this site, decides he has had enough, then you know the writing is on the wall.

maxlion wrote:
As for the legend, it is clear his time has run its course. Over time, certain tendencies naturally reinforce themselves. Either the coach has to reinvent himself or be replaced. Wally had a good run here, but I don't see him reinventing himself at this stage and, judging from his body language, he doesn't seem to be having much fun anymore. Time to retire and enjoy the rest of his life.
Most reporters and media have given Wally a free pass too many times in the past when coaching has been an issue.

Lowell Ullrich, who has always been the most courageous of the press/media covering the Lions said, following this game.
Again, however, with a chance to back up suggestions made before the game that he would get the ball when it counts, Jeremiah Johnson was made to look invisible. Johnson didn’t have a single carry in the fourth quarter and was targeted on only one pass attempt in the final 15 minutes.

Buono said in the days leading up to the game that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly expecting different results, and changed the team’s practice regimen. Ignoring their best offensive weapon with a lead down the stretch looked awfully familiar.

But Ullrich hit the nail on the head or the nail in the coffin when he wrote:
With every humiliating setback on the field, the calls for coach/GM Wally Buono to step aside become louder; the realization on the part of assistant coaches, personnel staffers and players that massive organizational change is forthcoming becomes more clear.

The regrettable truth is that after two Grey Cup wins in 15 seasons under the winningest coach in league history, the Lions are same place as they were when Buono arrived after the 2002 season, the building where they play home games seemingly empty on a regular basis just as it was when Adam Rita was in charge and Damon Allen’s run had come to an end.
As for myself, its a feeling of relief that I will have less chance of being attacked, as I have been in the past, for being critical of Buono.

Buono arrived in B.C. in 2003. Winning the Grey Cup is the goal of each season. During his time so far in B.C. we've won two Grey Cups. We've only played in the Grey Cup game once since 2006.

During Buono's time here in B.C. the Eskimos have won the Grey Cup 3 times, with three different coaches. The consistency of having Buono has not led us to more Grey Cup victories nor have we maintained a strong fan base due to his presence.

The loss to Ottawa was the type of game that Andrew Harris would get frustrated and show his emotions or state his emotions. Johnson had 6 carries in this game, not one in the 4th quarter, even though we had a big lead in this game and Johnson was averaging close to 6 yds. per carry in the game.

When Harris first complained about the offence in 2013, Chap was our offensive coordinator. When he complained in 2014, Jones was calling the plays and when he complained in 2015, Cortez was the play caller.

The time to keep continuously just laying blame on coordinators has to end, just as scapegoating players has to end. The finger finally has to be pointed at the person who is in the lead role, no matter how skilled he is at deflection of responsibility to others.

All Buono had to do is to direct Khari Jones to give Johnson 12-15 touches per game or 10-12 carries per game. He could have done that in the past. Buono could have directed Jones to run the football more, in the second half, when we had a big lead. He didn't and therefore, he is just as responsible as Jones.

Its time for Buono to exit. If there was a Normie Kwong or a Bobby Ackles above Buono to help guide his decision making I might feel somewhat differently. But Buono has been basically running the show on his own since 2007 and he is not bright enough or wise enough, as well as too rigid in his thinking, to be left alone to his own devices.

Buono made a mistake in returning to coaching. He should have left his 2011 Grey Cup win as his exit from coaching. Missing coaching is one thing. That is understandable. But unfortunately, Buono's ego was also involved. He looked down at his Leos, from the cherry picker and above, at B.C. Place with and believed if he was still coaching the team they would be hoisting Grey Cups because he was a football genius.

So, with that kind of thinking, as well as seeing himself as a White Knight and Savior, he returned to the sidelines. The results this season speak for themselves. He deluded himself that our Leos would also turn things around this season, just as they had in 2011.

But Buono forgot, that in 2011, his team was 0-5 and 1-6 and had gone 8-10 the two previous seasons and was under considerable heat to retire as Head Coach. That caused him to finally make some strategy changes that finally needed to be made.

Buono waited until the 14 game of this season to make some changes. We changed the way we practice this past week, added some plays on offence and some blitzes on defence but it was too late and the changes were not enough. We still went into this game with one running play and we still ran some offensive pass plays where there was no check down receiver (and all of our receivers were 20 yards downfield while Jennings was running for his life).

On defense, while we blitzed more often in this game, our blitzes were not well designed nor were they very effective. Perhaps if we had done that earlier in the season we would have been better at them.

We still continued our penchant for not preparing properly for an opponent. Blitzing a linebacker is not a reason for being beaten on a deep ball by a double move. Game tape would show that Ellingson loves to use double moves. But we continuously don't prepare and game plan for opponents properly.

One reason that Calgary is continuing to play so well is that Hufnagel does a lot of pre-scouting for Dickenson. Our coaching philosophy to our players is to focus on ourselves and to 'execute'. The results of this approach can be seen over and over, especially in the playoffs when opposing teams exploit our weaknesses on defence, while shutting down our offence.

We need a different approach if this Leos squad, which has tons of talent, is ever going to play in the Big Dance again.

In 2013 Mike Benevedes had an 11-7 record, the same record as Wally last year. In 2014 Benevedes team had a 9-9 record and lost badly in the Semi-Final. Buono fired Benevedes. The fact that Buono was very 'hands on' during Benevedes tenure as HC was never questioned.

The Lions dealt with a number of injuries on offence throughout 2014. Lulay played just one game, running back Andrew Harris and wide receiver Courtney Taylor were lost for the season, and the offensive line was beat up for long stretches.

Benevedes also had to deal with two new coordinators in 2014 because Buono fired Stubler and Chap and Buono mutually agreed to part ways.

"There are no excuses' was Buono's refrain. “That team should have been good enough to execute better (against Montreal),” said Buono.

Buono fired Benevedes, even though he had a 33-21 record, no losing seasons, a playoff berth in his final year and two years remaining on the contract extension he had signed with Buono earlier in the 2014 season.

This season our Leos have mostly been injury free.

This season Wally will likely finish the season with a worse record than Benevedes did in 2014 and he will not make the playoffs. Buono's team last year 'should have been able to better execute' against Calgary, in the playoffs last year, using the same line that Buono used for Benevedes playoff loss, before he fired him.

Buono said at the time:
I need to re-establish a tradition, an expectation, and the only way to do that is to start fresh,''. "I don't believe that I would be fresh.I'm not of the new age. I have a hard time understanding the new player. I have a hard time understanding young people. As much as I love them, I have a hard time. I think we need to get somebody here that can do that.''
No truer words were spoken and then unheeded.

Buono, the GM needs to fire Buono, the HC, for the same reason that he fired Benevedes. Hypocrisy is having a different standard for yourself than others.
"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)

DanoT
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Location: Victoria, B.C. in summer, Sun Peaks Resort in winter

Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:55 am

There is one thing that Blitz mentioned in his post that I want to emphasize.

IMO, if you have one guy as GM/HC then there is a tremendous benefit if the president of the club is also an experienced football guy. This gives the GM/HC a sounding board for ideas/consultation. Wally has never had that once Ackles died.

If you have the talent and ability of a Hufnagel, then you don't need a sounding board guy.

If you are Kent Austin, it has just been proven by June Jones that a separate HC and Austin as GM or VP or whatever his title, it works better.

Trestman, one of the smartest coaches in the CFL, could have been a GM/HC in T.O. but wanted Popp as his GM.

Jones, as the Riders HC and VP of everything, after initially struggling is doing OK but he does have a larger coaching and scouting budget than other teams.

When Wally was GM only and Benny the HC, the whole cherry picker overseer thing was way beyond being a sounding board, so imo it undermined the HC.

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