Keys To A Win In Regina!!

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Blitz
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Keys To A Win In Regina!!

It's a sellout in Regina for this first place match up between our Leos, who are in first place and the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who are one point behind in the standings. The crowd will be pumped as we invade enemy territory!!

A big win in Regina and we move ahead by 3 points and a loss and we drop back into second place. This game is huge!! The last time we played in Regina this season we needed to use Dickenson, Pierce, and Jarious Jackson but won the game 42-14 as our defense came up with six turnoves. However, we lost to Saskatchewan in the return match at home, as Jarious started his first game and we went with our only shaky offensive game plan of the season..in what was an uninspired performance.

The pressure is mounting in Saskatchewan as the team has not had a home playoff game since 1988. Things looked good early for the Riders this season but it's gotten tougher lately. Austin is upset, yelled at his players for their lack of intensity against Calgary, and vowed this week to look at everything from coaching strategies to the defensive line and backfield to the quarterback position. Sounds like Austin was trying to rattle a few chains!!

The big key to this game will be to get up early!! If that happens the pressure mounts and the doubt creeps in! However, if the Riders get off to a great start the Riders crowd will be a wave that could carry the Riders to new heights. Let's have a closer look to the keys to this game!!

OFFENCE

Big games are won in the trenches!! In order to win this game, The Wrecking Crew will need to play huge, aggressive, and smart!! Saskatchewan will be determined to stop our running game, especially inside. They have two tough defensive tackles in Jurineack and Shultz but they aren't playing against 'fat sassy pigs'....they are playing against a dominating offensive line. Still, we have to move them and they will be psyched to shut the inside down.

Wally chose to go with Jarious Jackson in this game as our starter, even though Buck is healthy now! Jarious has inspired confidence in Wally! He's played smart and continues to grow in confidence. He doesn't throw for high percentage but he's dangerous, mobile, and can hurt a defense in a split second. I always believed that Jarious could get the job done, once he got enough game reps. This is only his fifth start in comparison to Buck's, who has started 12 games for our Leos. The butterflies and nervousness are leaving and he''s gaining confidence each game. He has to put the last game against Saskatchewan out of his mind because he's a much different quarterback now!

However, in a big game for first place we'll still have to throw the football successfully to win. If we can establish the running attack it will set up play action and make the passing game much more effective. If not, it could be a much tougher battle for our offence. The key, of course, is shutting down Fred Perry and Jason Jiminez, who will draw Perry the most and Rob Murphy will need to establish superiority over Perry and not allow him to get to the quarterback.

I've always believed that quarterbacks get too much credit for victories and too much abuse for losses! Give a good quarterback enough time to throw and receivers who can run disciplined patterns and create space away from a defender and a quarterback can impress in the passing attack. The key to this game, in the passing game will not be Jarious Jackson but the time we provide him and the play of our receivers. Jarious can deliver if they can get open and make plays!

However, that hasn't happened nowhere near enough this season. Sloppy patterns and cuts, along with too many dropped balls have hurt our offence at times! This is a game that Geroy needs to continue the momentum he began last game. Paris Jackson and Jason Clermont need to continue their fine play but also step it up by making every catchable pass. We need to continue to go to Rodgers, to integrate him into our passing attack and he needs to have his best game of the season. Finally Boden, if given the nod, needs to show that he can step up into his new role and show he belongs. I've always felt sorry for Bret Anderson. Whenever called upon, no matter what the situation, he has always come through. If given the chance to get some reps, I'm confident he'll do that again!!

DEFENSE

Kent Austin fooled everyone this season by coming out with a running game. That running game took a major step when he got Wes Cates from Calgary and I still can't understand what they were thinking by trading him. The keys to this game are to take away the Riders strengths on offence. Those strengths are 1) Wes Cates who hurt us badly last game with his running 2) contain Joseph and don't let him escape to buy time or take off with the football and 3) shut down Dominguez.

Of course the Riders have other weapons....Fantuz is a tall, big target, D.J. Flick is dangerous, Cory Grant is slippery, and Cory Holmes can hurt a defense in space!
However, shutting down those big three weapons on the Riders offence are the key! The question is how to do that?

First of all, we have to have a strong game from our front line against both the run and the pass, with Hunt and Williams playing strong inside. We also have to prevent Cates from getting some huge gains. How would I do that? I would go with Jamal Johnson inside and bring in another import linebacker for this game, with Simmons gone! If not I would really crowd the inside with our three linebackers on first down and force Cates wider, with our defensive backs having to come up hard to stop the wide run.

On passing downs I would spy Joseph with a fast linebacker and even change them up but we have to have Jamal Johnson or Floyd on Joseph to prevent him from running or escaping with time to throw..it's how he hurts a team. Keeping him in the pocket, with no chance to run up inside, takes away his strengths.

Thirdly, Dominguez is a big, tough, physical receiver and they will line him up against Washington or Glover and try to use his size to an advantage. I think we would be wise to use press coverage on him and play him tight, with help over the top!! We also need to disguise our coverage on him. look to jump his short routes, and get Joseph guessing and tentative.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Special teams are always important but in a game against two talented teams they can be the difference maker! Great downfield coverage has been there all season and there can be not letdown! McCallum usually plays his best in big games...he was purrfect in the playoffs last season. Wally needs to forget punting when we are in McCallum's range and let him place kick and not get too conservative. Winners go after it!! Finally a couple of big Smart runs could be differnce makers!

Finally we have to send Gainer the Gopher back to his hole so that he can suffer a little hypothermia under a frozen prairie plain!!!! :roll: :wink: :wink:


"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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Shi Zi Mi
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Errrr.........Blitz, aren't you aware that Matt Dominguez is out with a knee injury sustained in the Winnipeg game (prognosis 4-6 weeks)?


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prairielion
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Re: Keys To A Win In Regina!!

"The last time we played in Regina this season we needed to use Dickenson, Pierce, and Jarious Jackson but won the game 42-14."

Not one to pick on details, but i believe the score was 42-12, but who's countin', right? LOL


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As Shi Zi Mi has stated Dominquez is out with an injury. So that takes care of one of keys for the defence. :wink:


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David
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PigSkin_53 wrote:I hope it is BA that gets the chance to show why he ultimately deserves a second GC ring, and put out Saskatchewan’s fire this weekend. That would be sweet!
Not to nitpick PigSkin_53, but I believe Bret would be going for his 3rd Grey Cup ring, having won in 2000 and 2006. :beer:

Wally readily admits that he didn't realize Bret's value until he came west over the Rockies. He can do so many things well and is one of the best conditioned athletes on the team.

DH 8)


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No Ordinary Joe
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This game is absolutely massive. If we win, we finally have some breathing room in top spot for the first time in weeks, if we lose, we lose the all important season series.

The key to this one for me is how well we can stop the 'Riders running game. We've been killed by opposing running games this season and we can't afford to let the 'Riders run it down our throats when we're on the road, it'll fire up the crowd and put us in a hole where we won't be able to get stops to give our offence a chance to put points up.

Also, we have to run the ball ourselves, everybody all pointed the finger at the game plan against Saskatchewan last time when we used Joe only 9 times, I doubt that'll happen again.

Basically, we just have to execute. No missed assignments, no dumb penalties, just make plays. When we're on our game we're the best team in the league regardless of injuries. With the exception of our game against Montreal a couple of weeks ago, we've been playing well recently, if that continues we should be able to hold on to 1st in the West.

GO LIONS GO!


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No Ordinary Joe wrote:This game is absolutely massive. If we win, we finally have some breathing room in top spot for the first time in weeks, if we lose, we lose the all important season series.

The key to this one for me is how well we can stop the 'Riders running game. We've been killed by opposing running games this season and we can't afford to let the 'Riders run it down our throats when we're on the road, it'll fire up the crowd and put us in a hole where we won't be able to get stops to give our offence a chance to put points up.

Also, we have to run the ball ourselves, everybody all pointed the finger at the game plan against Saskatchewan last time when we used Joe only 9 times, I doubt that'll happen again.

Basically, we just have to execute. No missed assignments, no dumb penalties, just make plays. When we're on our game we're the best team in the league regardless of injuries. With the exception of our game against Montreal a couple of weeks ago, we've been playing well recently, if that continues we should be able to hold on to 1st in the West.

GO LIONS GO!
Don't get me wrong, I would like that all important tie breaker mainly because it offers bragging rights, but with our tie against the Stamps, is it really going to factor into the final standings? I don't think so.


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CTV sports had an interview with Javier Glatt this evening. Says he is ready to go this Saturday against the Riders.


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No Ordinary Joe
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^ That's great news. But, how effective will he be? All of our injured guys haven't exactly set the world on fire in their first games back.


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like always...great read blitz

thanks


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I was unaware that Dominguez was out with an injury Shi Zi Mi.....and while I never wish a player to be injured....I have to admit having Dominguez not playing makes me happy that we don't have to deal with him...it's one less headache!!

We've faced so much adversity from injuries this season , with a starting quarterback who is only having his fifth CFL start in Jarious and a backup quarterback who has only started twelve CFL games. When you pile up all the injuries we've had to deal with this season and we still go into this game in first place....is amazing!!

Having Glatt back...as TheLionKing notes..would be huge...because Glatt is such a good pass defender and blitzer. I will imagine that we will spy Joseph with Otis Floyd but Jamal is also fast enough to do that if necessary. Now, if we can keep Cates under control....and I still say we squeeze the linebackers tighter together on first down and try to get Cates running laterally....where our speed can help.... and keep Joseph from running around wild and force him to be a pocket passer we can keep their offence in check!!

I agree with NoOrdinaryJoe....this is a BIG game. Not all is lost if we lose but it would not only give us breathing space but it also could be a blow that the Riders would struggle from to recover their pursuit of the West Championship! When our defense can shut down the run, as NoOrdinaryJoe reaffirms, our defense plays so much better when we can force an offence into a one dimensional game!! :thup:


"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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Javy will be back, according to Sportsnet. Jamall to the outside and Pottinger to the bench?


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I have a good feeling about this game. The Lions know the next two games are crucial to securing first place, and I expect them to respond to the challenge.

The Riders' confidence, or at least the confidence of their fans, has been shaken with two straight road losses. If the Lions get a good start as they did in their last visit to Regina, things could snowball.

Defence and turnovers will be the keys. The Lions are getting healthier. The likely return of Javy Glatt would give the Lions their three starting linebackers for the first time since week 3, also in Saskatchewan. They're 3-0 with Glatt, Johnson and Floyd in the starting lineup. Stopping the running of Wes Cates and Kerry Joseph is essential to stopping the Riders, so having those three linebackers on the field should give the B.C. defence a huge boost.

The Riders have been beset by even more injuries this week. Not only are they 0-2 since Matt Domiguez was hurt, they've lost three more players this week, OG Wayne Smith, DT Marcus Adams and CB James Johnson. The Rider defensive line was already suffering, with rookie DE John Chick being repeatedly fooled on bootlegs last week by Calgary. The Rider defensive secondary will have two changes, with backup halfback Tad Kornegay expected to fill Johnson's CB spot while Lance Frazier draws back in the starting lineup at HB for Jermaine Chatman. Both Johnson and Chatman have been picked on by opposing teams this year, but any changes in the secondary create opportunities for opposing teams and the Lions will try to exploit them.

The latest forecast is for sunny and warm conditions in Regina with light winds. I don't know whether that favours either team, but if the forecast holds true at least the weather won't be a factor in the outcome.


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Getting Glatt back is huge and will give a lift to an already pumped up defense. I have to think the boys are really jacked to give Joseph a taste of what Bishop got last Saturday.

As for the Riders they must really be starting to feel the pressure with only 7 games remaining. They really helped their cause the last 2 weeks, but a loss to the Lions on Saturday will help make that .500 season (that the Riders only ever aspire to achieve) much more of a possibility. Come on Riders, for the love of Al Ford, a .500 season can still be yours! Don't lose faith Riderville... mediocrity can still be snatched from the jaws of excellence!!


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We have been very effective with our cut blocking inside as in the Al’s game at home, but as you say the Riders will be expecting the inside running game, so time to exploit the outside pitch outs, swing passes, screens and sweeps.

We get Lyle Green to take out the tackle and let Joe Smith accelerate on the key block either inside or out, which ever is open. The ensuing play action can not only set up a counter or reverse, but buy JJ a seam or deep rout.
I agree Pigskin!! The more we can stretch out Perry the better! I also believe the Riders could be tough to run on inside early... but as the game goes on those defensive tackles get tired! I would go with a lot of I formation this game. Our fifth receiver, whether it's Boden or Anderson doesn't need to play all game or even the majority of it.

If I was scripting the running plays I'd be giving them them the counter pitch to Smart in the "I" behind Smith and the toss sweep. I'd also be running at Perry off tackle with Green blocking for Smith in the I formation. I'd love to see us swing Smart out and hit him in the short flat so that he could use his speed and then come back to the fullback screen...but I doubt we'll see it.

If we can get play action going, it really helps... because Perry just can't tee off.. but has to play both run and pass. Jarious also sets up deeper in the pocket than Dickenson. When Perry hurt Dickenson, he knew Dickenson would be in the pocket, rushed upfield and then cut under to hit Dickenson.

Jarious, by lining up deeper, allows Perry a better opportunity for a speed rush but if Perry cuts inside Jarious can roll outside. The key is for Jiminez and Murphy to get a quick first step in their drop against Perry and make good initial contact.
The Rider defensive secondary will have two changes, with backup halfback Tad Kornegay expected to fill Johnson's CB spot while Lance Frazier draws back in the starting lineup at HB for Jermaine Chatman. Both Johnson and Chatman have been picked on by opposing teams this year, but any changes in the secondary create opportunities for opposing teams and the Lions will try to exploit them
Changes to a secondary always provides opportunites due to the potential for a blown coverage or lack of communication as you astutely note B.C. Fan. There is also a tendancy to keep it simpler!!
The latest forecast is for sunny and warm conditions in Regina with light winds. I don't know whether that favours either team, but if the forecast holds true at least the weather won't be a factor in the outcome.
The weather in Regina is more unpredictable than a female!! :wink: However, should it get windy... Jarious strong arm is a bonus!!


"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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