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

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SammyGreene
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Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:12 am

DanoT wrote:
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
Great point. Then throw in the fact you have a out-of-touch team president that actually believed a winning and entertainment product was the only thing holding the Lions back from drawing more fans again.
Skulsky/Chayka firmly believed Buono would be the Lions savour on and off the field even though 2016 attendance and subsequent lower 2017 ST renewals suggested otherwise despite a successful team.

leo4life
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Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:15 pm

Funny thing Bouno said on 1040 recently that his "defence and special teams were good enought to win" ...funny as both of them collasped at crunch time vs Redblacks...so Wally how about that D & ST now?

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Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:34 pm

Edmonton beat Montreal, placing both the Riders and the Eskimos two games up on our Leos, with four regular season games left for our Leos.

While we are not mathematically out of a playoff spot, it would take a collapse by both while we would have to learn how to start winning football games.

Before this game, I wrote, that even if we got good quarterbacking, it would not be enough to win and it wasn't. Jennings threw for 375 yards in this game and threw three touchdown passes but it still wasn't enough, as our defense collapsed and our special team play short circuited.

The sad part is that we got our kicking game fixed this season. Last season our field goal kicking cost us games.

When I look at our receiving crew, Manny and Burnham lead the way again this season but when I look at the 9 games that Moore was in our lineup and the 8 games that Chris Williams has started and we have gotten more production out of Moore than Williams.

A team should never sign a free agent receiver, if that signing contributed to placing the team in a position of trading a perennial CFL All-Star offensive lineman. Signing a receiver coming off season ending knee surgery is even a dummer move.

Good receivers are much easier to find than good offensive lineman and especially an offensive tackle.

Have a look around the league and good International recievers can be discovered. The Eskimos found Zylstra last season and Haquille Williams this season, Marken Michel is the Stamps leading receiver and he wasn't even a starter to begin his rookie season. DaVaris Daniels was another great find for the Stamps last year.

Armanti Edwards was picked up by Toronto for a cheap price and they also found Posey. Jalen Sanders has given Hamilton speed at the receiver position.

I understood the desire to sign Williams but not the cost to do so.

You don't put yourself in a position to give up a great talent at the key offensive tackle position for a third receiver. We've paid a heavy price for that decision this season. Give a quarterback time to throw and the difference to an offence can be significant.

I believe our Leos will play better down this final stretch of games. It will be interesting to watch.

We play the Bombers twice, Edmonton and Toronto for our final four games of this regular season.

Its still difficult to fathom that this team is 6-8 with the talent on this Leos team.
"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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JohnHenry
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Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:15 pm

The Lions have probably improved over last year but so have Sask, Wpg, Cal & Ham. If we hadn't lost Travis, he'd still be starting, probably in a 2-QB system...and we'd probably have won vs. Ham and a couple other games...and solidly in the playoff hunt. Any team which loses it's 1st and 2nd QB for long stretches is going to suffer. Not much Wally or Braley could do about that...other than perhaps beefing up the DL. When I saw a recent group photo of our DL, I thought they were DB's before I read the caption. Not much bulk on that grouping.

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Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:44 pm

Leos are where they should be in the basement of the CFL West.They dont have the coaching schemes and passion of the West leading teams...tired of the excuses of execution on the players...players come and go ...common demonater is the coaching staff

TheLionKing
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Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:14 am

Blitz wrote:
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.
Stats are for loser. The only stat that count is 30-25

TheLionKing
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Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:21 am

leo4life wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:15 pm
Funny thing Bouno said on 1040 recently that his "defence and special teams were good enought to win" ...funny as both of them collasped at crunch time vs Redblacks...so Wally how about that D & ST now?
What game was he watching ?

B.C.FAN
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Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:40 am

TheLionKing wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:14 am
Blitz wrote:
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.
Stats are for loser. The only stat that count is 30-25
These stats are for losers:
  • 2 B.C. turnovers in the final 18 minutes resulted in 9 Ottawa points.
  • The B.C. defence gave up Ottawa pass completions of 45 and 70 yards in the fourth quarter.
  • Ottawa scored 24 points in a 10-minute span in which B.C. ran only 4 offensive plays.
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Blitz
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Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:35 am

Ed Willes just wrote an article titled Willes Musings: Something is Broken Inside the B.C. Lions.

In the article Willes lays the blame on our Leos loss to Ottawa on the 'ambiguity' and 'uncertainty' of the B.C. Lions franchise.

He goes on to discuss the dithering of Braley selling the team, the part time status of Skulsky, and the fact that Buono has one foot out the door as reasons for our Leos shocking loss to Ottawa. As Willes asks: "How do you blow a 25-6 lead over the final 17 minutes at home when your season is in the balance? — but the most alarming was the massive leadership void it revealed in this organization" which Willes lays on as due to the lame duck status of the leadership in the Leos organization.

Yet the notion that Braley was continuing to dither in terms of selling the team, that Skulsky was a part time President, and that this season was likely Buono's last season as HC were well known before the season started and that didn't prevent Willes from predicting a 12 game winning season and our Leos challenging Calgary in the West Final this year.

I'm not surprised that Willes laid out the excuse for our Leos loss to Ottawa as not a problem of coaching. Its the kind of football reporting or analysis we are so used to (outside of a Lowell Ullrich). The old 'the players didn't execute' has been a well worn type of reporting that our press has provided in delivering Buono's message for a very long time as has been their penchant for putting Buono on a pedestal.

When we had a winning record at the start of this season, no reporter mentioned the lame duck status of the franchise as a major issue in winning or losing this season. Braley has been dithering for years in terms of selling the team and Skulsky was part time last season. Before the Ottawa game, Buono said he was considering coaching again next season as he did not want to leave with a losing record. So Buono was not a lame duck coach in the Ottawa game.

We didnt' lose to Ottawa or Hamilton in the game before due to 'incertitiude'. That is just Wlles excuse making for Buono's coaching and GM work this season.

We lost to Ottawa because we didn't run Jeremiah Johnson in the second half of the game, when we had a big lead. We lost because we were unprepared for an onside kick and not the first time this season. We lost because our defense gave up big plays, as they have all season and last year too. We lost because we didn't have a good enough pass rush or our blitzes were not well timed up. We lost because we didn't pre-scout that Ellingson loves to use double moves. We lost because Chris Williams dropped a sure touchdown pass. We lost because we used our challenge call stupidly in the first half and lost time on the clock on our final drive. We lost because Powell is playing right tackle and he took a holding penalty after missing his block.

We've lost games this season because our offensive line is not good enough at pass protection too often. We've lost because our starting tackles are not good enough while Buono put himself in a position of trading Olifioye, a perennial All-Star. We've lost because we get away from our running game, as we traditionally have done in the Buono era. We've lost due to predictable schemes, inadequate game planning, poor play calling, passive defense, and poor punt return blocking.

"Incertitude' has been a problem as has 'certitude'' but not the way Willes sees things. Our problems of incertitude are this. When Jonathan Jennings drops back to throw, he wants the certitude of knowing that he will have enough time to get the football off without being driven to the turf by a missed pass block. He doesn't care whether Skulsky is at the game, what Braley is negotiating or what Buono plans to do next season.

When Sol E. covers a receiver running a crossing pattern, he wants the certitude that our defensive pass rush will soon get pressure on the quarterback. He doesn't want the incertitude of having to cover the receiver right across the field.

Actually there is a lot of certitude on this football team Jennings has the certitude that he will have little time to throw on most pass plays. Jeremiah Johnson has the certitude that he won't get enough reps with the football, even if he is running well. Chris Rainey will have the certitude, when he comes into a game, the play call will likely involve him and that he will be given a rush right up the middle or a quick swing pass that everyone knows is coming. He will have the certitude that a quick pitch so that he can challenge the edge with his speed and cutting ability won't be asked for. He will have the certitude that he won't be asked to rrun a deep pattern because we are waiting for a future date to use his speed.

Chris Williams has the certitude that we don't have a clue how to use him on offence. What he doesn't understand is the incertitude of his play of late but should realize that success brings confidence and a lack of it leads to poor play.

Chris Rainey will also have the certitude that he will be on his own, in terms of a punt return because he has the certitude that there will not be a block that could set him free in space, the reason why he has gone from the CFL's most electrifying and best punt return man last year to having the worst punt average in the league this season.

Our defensive backs have had the certitude that our pass rush (8th in the CFL) will not get to the quarterback with any haste because Wally did not address our rush end position in the off-season.

When we play each opposing team, there is an incertitude of what their game plan will be. There will be a lot of certitude about our game plan.

But perhaps the most 'certitude' that one can expect about our B.C. Lions is the 'certitude' that Wally will blame the players for not executing, the media will write their artickles 'delivering Buono's message unquestionably, and the press will give Buono a free pass in terms of his coaching and management decisions.

I buy that there is something broken inside our B.C. Lions. I didn't see that to begin this season but something happened between our huge victory over the Riders and the game following, when we were unprepared to play and quit during the game.

But I don't buy the cool aid that Willes is seliing. We lost to Hamilton and Ottawa and we have lost too many games this season because we didn't address what we needed to address, during the off-season, and our coaching staff has also not provided the game planning, schemes, and play calling that has been required to win. The players have basically said so this season and Lulay's comment that that everyone needed to look at themselves, including the 'staff' made that abundantly clear.

If Wlles wants to really learn what is broken, he needs to look at the issue in much more depth than making broad generalizations that really are not the major issue that is causing us to lose games. Great play for periods of time during a game and then poor play during other periods of time in a game are a reflection of coaching and not uncertainty regarding the franchise.

The major issue as to why we blew a 17 point lead against Ottawa is not Braley's sale of the team, Skulsky's part time work, or Buono's status, especially when Buono said he was considering returning as Head Coach next year.

No player was thinking about those things during the game. No player was thinking those things when we had a 17 point lead as they were not thinking those things when we gave up the lead. No player was thinking those things on the successful final drive, until Powell took his holding penalty.

Its time for Willes and others to put the spotlight on where it needs to be shone and what they have ignored for far too long. Our strategies are outdated. Our game planning, play calling and game management are inadequate. Our coaching is simply not good enough.

Willes is deflecting from the biggest problem, no different than Wally does. In fact it wouldn't surprise me that Buono's influence is part and parcel of Willes article.

But Willes does get one thing right. There are still fans who really care. Count me as one of them.

Here is Willes article
Willes Musings: Something is Broken Inside B.C. Lions

It was always understood that the B.C. Lions faced a degree of uncertainly off the field this season, but any concerns about the front office were offset by an overriding confidence in Wally Buono.
Buono, after all, had always held things together for owner David Braley and, in May, the Lions had the look of a championship-calibre team.

There was an emerging franchise quarterback in Jonathon Jennings. There was an elite receiving corps. There was a defence that might have been missing Adam Bighill, but was still good enough. In this space we set the over-under on the Lions’ season at 12 wins and wrote their year would come down to beating Calgary in the Western Final.

Uh, you may be aware that a few other issues have popped up over the last five months.

It’s now evident that something is broken inside the Leos. Saturday’s loss to Ottawa was shocking on a number of levels — how do you blow a 25-6 lead over the final 17 minutes at home when your season is in the balance? — but the most alarming was the massive leadership void it revealed in this organization.

It starts at the top with Braley’s incessant dithering over the sale of the team. It’s in the board room where president Dennis Skulsky is here on a part-time basis. It’s in the general manager’s office where Buono is likely in his last year and goes right down to the field where Buono is also coaching in what’s likely his last year.

All that incertitude has now found its way onto the field. I mean, how do you build trust and confidence in a team’s direction when the franchise’s key positions are manned by lame ducks? How do you sell your vision to the players and the fans when everyone is aware you’ve got one foot out the door.

B.C. Lions head coach Wally Buono, left, protests a call. DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS
The Lions have a number of problems, but they can’t begin to address them until they put an end to this organizational ambiguity. I have the utmost respect for Buono and he’s fully deserving of every accolade he’s earned in an incredible career. But he also knows how this works. This isn’t about his 272 career wins or the five Grey Cups as a coach or the Halls of Fame to which he belongs. This is about 2017 and this franchise’s future.

That said, it’s interesting to monitor the reaction to the Lions’ travails this season. People are frustrated. They’re angry. They’re exasperated. But they’re not indifferent and that says something. There’s still a connection to this team in this province and while that relationship has been strained this season, it still exists. It will be hard to win those fans back. It would be almost impossible if they stopped caring.
"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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Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:05 pm

Blitz, Powell is a Redblacks RB, while PALMER (can't) plays tackle for the Lions.

During free agency the Riders signed 2016 LIneman of the Year, Derick Denis, to a big contract but they weren't happy with his play so they switched him to guard and with 3 Internationals now on their O line they are providing decent protection for their QBs. Lions OTOH, are playing arguably the two worst international tackles in the CFL while their best tackle, Hunter Stewart is being played at guard. :dizzy:

Despite what Wally says, with football, coaching is the biggest factor determining who wins or looses a game. No other sport has a week between games allowing detailed specific to your opponent game planning. No other sport stops live action between plays, facilitating coaching input. The mess this season starts and ends with the coaching. PERIOD.

leo4life
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Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:23 pm

Agree DanoT the coaching this season has been dated conservative and the Lions staffed just plain being out coached week in week out by HC/Cordinaters with less time on the job...ie:Claybrooks/June Jones/Rick Campbell/Maas

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David
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Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:50 pm

leo4life wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:23 pm
Agree DanoT the coaching this season has been dated conservative and the Lions staffed just plain being out coached week in week out by HC/Cordinaters with less time on the job...ie:Claybrooks/June Jones/Rick Campbell/Maas
And here is the rub. I actually thought Khari Jones was calling a good game in the first half. A good run-pass mix with a modicum of imagination in the play calling. But as happened too often this season, once we fall behind, we start to lose sight of the things that got us the lead! Typically, that involves giving up on the run game. Jeremiah Johnson is a first-rate running back (and most under-appreciated player on this team if you ask me). Yet we didn't give him the ball in the 4th quarter, opting instead to hand the ball to Rainey to run up the gut. Makes no sense. :bang:

DH :cool:
Please sell the team, Mr. Braley.

Blitz
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Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:39 pm

David wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:50 pm
leo4life wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:23 pm
Agree DanoT the coaching this season has been dated conservative and the Lions staffed just plain being out coached week in week out by HC/Cordinaters with less time on the job...ie:Claybrooks/June Jones/Rick Campbell/Maas
And here is the rub. I actually thought Khari Jones was calling a good game in the first half. A good run-pass mix with a modicum of imagination in the play calling. But as happened too often this season, once we fall behind, we start to lose sight of the things that got us the lead! Typically, that involves giving up on the run game. Jeremiah Johnson is a first-rate running back (and most under-appreciated player on this team if you ask me). Yet we didn't give him the ball in the 4th quarter, opting instead to hand the ball to Rainey to run up the gut. Makes no sense. :bang:

DH :cool:
I thought the same. We came out on offence with a good game plan, with some quick passing plays, and using Johnson.

But the trouble is that those types of plays are not our default mindset. So, instead of continuing with what was successful we went back to same old.

We stopped using Johnson, we went back to plays in which all of our recievers were running their routes deep or deep intermediate, we had no outlet on many of those passing plays, our protection was not good enough, most of the time, for those types of longer routes, and we started to bog down.

In terms of the use of personnel, the big problem is that we are a plug and play offence. So we don't adjust our offence to our personnel. The use or misuse of Chris Williams is only one example.

We only use one running play - the inside zone read. Jennings never keeps the football on the play either...probably because Jeremiah Johnson gets such few touches. With Rainey in the game, it would only make sense to use him on a quick pitch or a counter to get him challenging the edge with his speed and cutting ability but we don't do that. We also never use him for a swing style pass and then send him deep.

I watched the Edmonton game and they ran an excellent play. Reilly ran the option with the ability to pitch the football outside or throw the shovel pass inside. He went with the shovel pass and it went for a big gain. The last time we used the shovel pass was when Chap was here. I can't remember the last time we went with a quick pitch play.

Sorry about getting Powell and Palmer mixed up. I have a difficult time with names sometimes (spelling of names, sometimes too).

Dano T. has it right on...our two offensive tackles are not good enough. It was stupid to trade Olifioye. We afforded him last year. We led the league in rushing last year and we ranked third in pass protection. We'vre really slid this season, in terms of offensive line play and it has hurt both our running game and passing game.

Wally didnt' sign Williams to improve attendance. He seems to care less or he wouldn't shut the roof on nice days. He signed Williams for the same reason as he signed Sinkfield last season...to have a deep threat that would help stop defenses focusing on Arseneaux and Burnham.

Our deep game was very successful last season but not this season. With less time to pass the football and not using Williams in the way we need to use him, the signing of Williams has not paid dividends.

Based upon our offensive design, if we were not going to adapt it for Williams, we would be better off playing Moore because he is a better fit for what we are doing on offence.

But we can fix our offensive problems and it doesn't solve the issue. I wrote, before the Ottawa game, that good quarterbacking would not be enough and it wasn't. Jennings played another good game.

But our defense gave up big plays and our punt return game was its usual mediocre, outside of one late scamper by Rainey, which was very rare this season so far... but nice to see.

Prior to this season, a popular CFL topic was "How were defenses going to stop our aerial attack once Williams got into the lineup?". They weren't thinking about offensive line play very much when the topic was being broached but our poorer offensive line play has been a factor in our running game, our quarterback play, and our passing game.

Wally said he wanted to play our best athletes in the defensive secondary to begin the season, so he switched Thompson to corner, Purifoy to safety, and Gaitor to wideside half before switching Thompson to safety, Gaitor to corner, and Purifoy to wide side halfback (after Purifoy played boundary halfback when Lee was injured) and he also played Purifoy at corner one game.

It hasn't worked out. We would have been better off to play Fenner at wideside halfback and Purifoy at nickel. I believe we would have been better off to play Parker at corner and go with Tevin MacDonald or Clarke at safety. Junior Luke has started at tackle but Forde has played better than Luke (but both have been good in the rotation).

When I look at our defensive talent, there is no way that this defense should be playing like they have been. You can see the talent because they play so well in stretches of games. But they get beat, not due to a lack of athleticism but a lack of understanding assignments most of the time.

I could just say that they are not football smart but the problem is that it hasn't just happened this season but in previous seasons and it happens even though we are playing a conservative style.

Its a scheme problem. But then again, if Andrew Harris can get 12 catches against us and is open in the flat time and again, when the Bombers didn't throw to him, you know that its not a talent problem. Washington expects Sol E. or Awe to cover inside recievers and the flat in many of our defensive formations. That is impossible.

There are so many coaching issues on this Leos team.
"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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Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:53 pm

More than most games, this one came down to a few key plays.

1. Rainey catches the ball deep instead of giving up the single.
2. Burnham fumbles.
3. Williams misses an easy catch in the end zone.
4. Short kick off recovered by Ottawa.
5. Dumb coach’s challenge (this wasn’t critical in any itself, but contributed to the sense of ineptitude).
6. Purifoy gives up on the play to allow Ottawa to score.
7. Jennings throws an interception.
8. A couple big gains late in the game allow Ottawa to score quickly.

Some of these mistakes are directly attributable to coaching. Others are due to execution or player decision making. It’s a mix of things, which is a sign of a not very good team.

Looking back over the season, I would make the following observations about players.

Arseneaux looks old. Not a dominant player by any stretch.
Williams signing looked great on paper. Didn’T work out.
Only Burnham and Moore played up to their capabilities.
Nat receivers are average.
Jennings has been a weak link. A troubling sign for the future.
O line has a good core of National talent.
Dline is adequate, nothing more.
Secondary is a mess. I have lost confidence in Washington, but also not sure about the talent level. Purifoy and Lee have looked good at times.
JJ24 is a good back. Rainey was good, not great.
Elimimian continues to be excellent.

Basically, a lot of question marks for next year. A lot of the struggles this year are due to average talent or performance that was below expectations, especially at the qb position.

Biggest decision for the future, besides ownership and management, is what to do about Jennings.

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Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:02 pm

The game was lost on turnovers, the onside kick and big plays given up by the defence.

My only criticism of the offence is that it got overly conservative after Ottawa had scored twice in less than a minute to get back into the game. That was the time to attack and sustain a long scoring drive to regain control of the game. Instead the Lions handed the ball off twice to Rainey (it was his turn in the rotation) on the first two plays of the fourth quarter, picking up only 5 yards and forcing a punt. The Redblacks scored the final 11 points of the game before the Lions picked up another first down.
"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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