The Lion King wrote:
I too was frustrated at the Lions apparent unwillingness to stretch the field last night until Jarius Jackson came into the game in the fourth quarter
Toppy Vann wrote:
What I know about players and coaches is that both need to be on the same page or you get mixed results like they are getting now. This team is not yet on offence on the same page as the defensive side is. That needs to change fast.
I'll find out why they are not on the same page..give me a little time!!
B.C. Fan wrote:
I don't quibble with most of what you say but it's painful to watch the Lions offence fall to last in the league while Edmonton has climbed to second, and the Eskimos have gone from laughing stock of the West to second place in the standings and climbing.
Hamilton's defence has been one of the worst in the league this year, and they've made a lot of changes in the secondary. They had two changes in their starting lineup for the Lions' game, including a raw rookie linebacker converted to DB for the first time. They were forced to make other changes in their secondary during the game due to injuries. On paper, it was a mismatch and the Lions should have had a field day
There are few plays in which Geroy is the primary receiver, and that is usually the same 10-yard out the Lions have run for years when they need first-down yardage. Defensive backs have been jumping that route, and Geroy has often had to play DB to break up interceptions, as happened in the Hamilton game.
I've been complaining for a long time about the Hufnagel offence and it's variations. I loved the offence at one time but many of it's advantages have disappeared as defences have really adjusted.
You can mention that Edmonton has improved under the Chap but they had one point at halftime. I said the Chap was a better coordinator than Macioccia and Edmonton's offence would improve this season. In fact, when you go back over my posts over the years I never asked for the Chap to be fired even though he frustrated the hell out of me in 2005. I was quite complimentary of him in 2006, when he dumped the six pack, integrated more vertical patterns and got rid of the naked bootleg amongst others.
What has driven me crazy is the predictability of the Hufnagel offence and the fact that defenses have it's tendancies down, especially our tendancies. We're an underneath passing team that can be zoned effectively by defenses with additional underneath coverage. We can also be blitzed effectively because teams are not afraid of us burning them deep....so what if they give up an 8 yard pass to get a good hit on a quarterback early!!
Cortez isn't blowing the doors off in Calgary either nor is Austin's pass happy version setting things afire in Saskatchewan. Edmonton still has it's offensive struggles and will continue to at times, even with a quarterback as good as Ricky Ray.
They know our crossing pattern game! They know our outside underneath route game! They know we're reluctant to go deep. They know we don't play action very often. They know we can't attack the outside with our running attack. They know that the defensive end on the weakside of the play is not going to be blocked when we hand off to Smith...so he can crash down because they aren't afraid we'll roll out with the quarterback on a fake to Smith.
They know that we'll go deep only rarely even if it's there all game. There is a psychology regarding the deep throw. An incomplete deep throw seems to frustrate more than an incomplete 10 yard pass on first down. A missed deep throw means a tendancy to go away from it but the same pschologogy doesn't exist for an incomplete short pass. We'll continue to force the underneath pass even with the deep ball open. They also know we're not great at throwing the deep ball on the rare occasions when we throw it long.
We rarely semi-boot or rollout, don't screen, don't run anything unusual, (this season we added a reverse to Smart but that's about it except for the occasional I formation), run only the inside and off-tackle zone blocking two running plays for Smith and bring in the jumbo team for the quarterback sneak for Jarious. We utilize an underneath passing attack, using our team speed by having our speed receiivers mostly run decoy patterns deep.... to set up crossing and out patterns underneath.
We mainly use one formation, the five pack reciever set, ace backfield, move our receivers around, and throw underneath patterns from the same exact spot in the pocket. That's what we did with Chapdelaine and what we're doing with Kruck. It's what Cortez is doing in Calgary, except he will roll Burris out, it's what they're doing in Edmonton, and Saskatchewan...except right now they are doing it better because they have quarterbacks who are more escapable.
PREDICTABILITY, OFFENSIVE TENDANCIES, AND LACK OF ADABILITY are the recipe for a defense to shut an offence down. We've seen it done to our passing game in big games prior to this season but we've gone down another step this year. A lack of offensive success leads to player frustration, potential disharmony, and that dispirit can have a negative effect on team morale over an extended period of time. If we weren't winning we would be seeing more signs of it but winning has enabled us to overcome most of it so far.
The Hufnagel offence needs to adapt, as I've mentioned over and over, and that's for all teams using variations of it. However, the team that needs to adapt it most of all is our Leos because we are runing the most predictable version of it!!
It's been said that 'variety is the spice of life' and we need more variety to bring more spice to our offensive. It will lead to more success!!
"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)