Leos vs Bombers, GDT

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Blitz
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Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:01 am

Our Leos take on the Bombers on Saturday afternoon. With our Leos in desperate situation to secure a playoff spot and with two of their last four games against the Bombers, winning this game is almost essential to keep our playoff hopes alive.

Jonathan Jennings has thrown for 720 yards In his last two games. Andrew Harris, leads the Bombers in receptions and is second in CFL rushing. Both players will play key roles in the outcome. ]

But these two teams are fairly evenly matched on offence, even though they use different offensive philosophies.

But if we hope to win this game, our defense will need to step up. Last week, Wally wanted our team to 'play angry', A better prepared team would have paid more dividends because right now Wally is doing a better job at getting B.C. Lions fans angry.

Global Sports looked at our Leos season to date this week. There is no question about our overall talent. Vet players say this team is one of our most talented.

One would not have thought that one player missing from last year's offensive line (Olifioye) and one key player missing from last season's defensive line (Bazzie) would have made such a difference.

Last season we finished first in rushing and third in sacks allowed. This season, we're 5th in rushing and 8th in sacks allowed. Those stats provide some reasoning why we lead the CFL in turnovers when last season we were 4th in that category.

If you don't run the football enough or well enough and if you don't protect your quarterback, then you can't expect a high level of success. This is basically the same offensive personnel as last season. The only additions are Chris Williams and Palmer. Last season we were able to win without Chris Williams, using Moore, Boldewijn, Adekolu, or Sinkfield in a starting position rather than Williams. Last season, we finished 3rd in scoring points, whereas this season, we are 7th in that category.

Our offence has played much better the last two games. We've passed for 720 yards. But we haven't run the football as we should have these past two games. Untimely quick pressures and inopportune penalties take their toll. Its a difference from last season.

On defense, last season we finished first in quarterback sacks. This season, we are 8th in that category and last in quarterback pressures. Its also been a difference maker, especially late in games. Alex Bazzie's return has not made a difference these past two games.

No matter how much talent a team has, any team that doesn't protect its quarterback well enough and doesn't get pressure on opposing quarterbacks often enough is going to have its struggles.

However, those issues can be reduced with smart game planning and play calling. That is done by running the football more and adjusting the offence to utilize passing plays that take less time to complete. Defensively, that is done with smart blitzing and by also mixing coverages.

The problem this season is not just that our offensive and defensive line play has not been the same as last season but also that we have just run the same stuff with the knowledge that our line play on both sides of the football is not playing as good as last season. The question of why there has been such a drop off, with only one starter missing on each side of the line (and one has returned) is another question.

The Bombers are 2nd in CFL scoring this season and 3rd in rushing, with Matt Nichols and Andrew Harris, leading their offence on the field and Paul LaPolice calling the plays. Defensively, the Bombers lead the CFL in interceptions, as they did last season.

The Bombers are presently the second best football team in the CFL, the position we achieved last season. The Bombers have less talent on their roster than our B.C. Lions but they are using that talent in much better ways than we do.

The Bombers, whom we finished ahead of last season is 10-4 this season while our Leos are 6-8 and will most likely miss the playoffs for the first time in 21 seasons if we don't beat Winnipeg on Saturday.

What a difference a season makes. Its the Bombers who have stepped up this season when most thought it would be our B.C. Lions making that step instead.

Wally Buono, as GM and Head Coach bears the responsibility for this disappointing season to date. But our Leos are more than capable of beating the Bombers twice and still keep their hopes alive for the playoffs.

But we can't leave Andrew Harris open in the flat. We have to be prepared for the Bombers 'ball hawk' style on defense. We have to be able to convert on second and two and second and one against the Bombers, something we struggled to do last season due to bad play calling and bad play design.

We can't fall asleep on special teams because the Bombers will exploit us if they see any vulnerabilities, as they did last season, and other teams have done to us this season. Just another example of poor coaching.

But if that is going to happen, Buono needs to get rid of the 'we gotta play angry' and 'we gotta execute' slogans and have our Leos prepared with a smart game plan. That would be the best answer to the challenges facing our 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)

DanoT
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Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:31 am

You can't just flip a switch and become a different team, that would take a new coaching staff and new season. So I expect the same old same old which means another Lion loss.

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WestCoastJoe
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Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:10 am

Excellent analysis and detail as always, Blitz.
Blitz wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:01 am
Last season we finished first in rushing and third in sacks allowed. This season, we're 5th in rushing and 8th in sacks allowed. Those stats provide some reasoning why we lead the CFL in turnovers when last season we were 4th in that category.

If you don't run the football enough or well enough and if you don't protect your quarterback, then you can't expect a high level of success. This is basically the same offensive personnel as last season. The only additions are Chris Williams and Palmer. Last season we were able to win without Chris Williams, using Moore, Boldewijn, Adekolu, or Sinkfield in a starting position rather than Williams. Last season, we finished 3rd in scoring points, whereas this season, we are 7th in that category.
Rushing the football :thup:

Protecting the quarterback :thup:
On defense, last season we finished first in quarterback sacks. This season, we are 8th in that category and last in quarterback pressures. Its also been a difference maker, especially late in games. Alex Bazzie's return has not made a difference these past two games.
Pressure on the QB :thup:
No matter how much talent a team has, any team that doesn't protect its quarterback well enough and doesn't get pressure on opposing quarterbacks often enough is going to have its struggles.
As most agree, it is a quarterback-driven league. You must protect your QB. And you must pressure and attack the opponent's QB.
However, those issues can be reduced with smart game planning and play calling. That is done by running the football more and adjusting the offence to utilize passing plays that take less time to complete. Defensively, that is done with smart blitzing and by also mixing coverages.
Yup. Establish the run game.

Quick pass routes. How often have we seen our receivers heading downfield on long routes, not looking back, as JJ10 is under huge pressure?

Yes. Well timed and planned blitzes. And mixing up the coverages. Also put in some deception, as with overloads, movement, stunts and feints at the LOS.

There is not much new in the world of football, but with careful, detailed planning there is enough to throw the opposition off their game.
We can't fall asleep on special teams because the Bombers will exploit us if they see any vulnerabilities, as they did last season, and other teams have done to us this season. Just another example of poor coaching.
We know O'Shea and his staff pore over the tape. And our vulnerabilities are there for all to see. We should do the same to the opposition.

Looking forward to the game. About this time, even fans can feel the adrenalin start to flow.
John Madden's Team Policies: Be on time. Pay attention. Play like hell on game day.

Jimmy Johnson's Game Keys: Protect the ball. Make plays.

Walter Payton's Advice to Kids: Play hard. Play fair. Have fun.

Blitz
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Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:02 am

We know O'Shea and his staff pore over the tape. And our vulnerabilities are there for all to see. We should do the same to the opposition.

Looking forward to the game. About this time, even fans can feel the adrenalin start to flow.

West Coast Joe

You bring up a very good and interesting point WCJ. The Bombers do pour over tape. In fact many Bomber players have said that its been a key to their improvement and success.

But our Leos also look at game tape. The difference is what is done after looking at tape. I'll provide a concrete example. When our Leos defensive brain trust looked at the Bombers tape, prior to our last game, they had to see that the Bombers love to throw the football to Andrew Harris.

Yet, the last time we played the Bombers, Andrew Harris came into that game as the Bombers go to receiver. However, in the game, Harris had 12 receptions - the most receptions he has had in a game this season. We left the flat open all game for Harris, who could have doubled his reception numbers in that game had Nichols thrown to him more. He was open all game. In fact, in the fourth quarter, with the game close, Harris was left alone, with no Leo defender within 20 yards of him. Luckily, Nichols threw to the other side on the play.

The problem was not our defensive players. No defender was assigned to Harris. We didn't assign a linebacker to cover him in the flat. Eliminian dropped back into his assigned coverage and then had to race to the flat to tackle Harris.

Its this type of stuff that drives me crazy because its not logical. Logical strategy in any sport is attempting to take away the strength of the opposition and force it to do things it doesn't like to do as often.

For example, for this upcoming game, we know that the Bombers defense likes to ball hawk. It sets them up for a double move. That doesn't have to be a play that takes too long. For example, the Bombers like to play us in a Cover 2. If we send a player on a post route and another on a fly route, we can fake a quick swing to Johnson or Rainey and hit the back downfield, in a one on one with a slower linebacker. But we won't likely see it.

A second thing the Bombers love to do against us is to load the box on second and three or second and two and have their linebackers hit the gaps. The Bombers shut down numerous second and two attempts last year using this strategy, often hitting our tailback in the backfield, because there were more defenders than blockers.

However, a quick pitch to Johnson and Rainey exploits that strategy. But if I;m a betting man, we'll just hand the football off inside to either Johnson or Rainey and the short second down running play will get stuffed.

But then again, its just all about execution and playing 'angry'. :bang:


I look at Hamilton's success recently. Under Austin earlier in the season, they ran the football less than 10 times a game. They run the football more often now. Their quarterback sacks and pressures are down, running the football more often and their offence is more successful.

Hamilton lost to Calgary 60-1 earlier in the season. It was the same kind of loss our Leos had in our second game against Saskatchewan. Kent Austin knew the gig was up and passed the reins to June Jones. Buono kept on going and the results have not been good. Both of those games, to me, were a powerful indicator that a change needed to be made at the HC level.

Our Leos could run the table over the next four games. We have the capability to do that. But it will take a different mindset. That happened in Hamilton with a new Head Coach. In B.C. our only hope is that something will get through to Buono or our players, to a certain degree, will take things into their own hands and make something different happen.
"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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WestCoastJoe
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Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:40 am

Blitz wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:02 am
Our Leos could run the table over the next four games. We have the capability to do that. But it will take a different mindset. That happened in Hamilton with a new Head Coach. In B.C. our only hope is that something will get through to Buono or our players, to a certain degree, will take things into their own hands and make something different happen.
Sometimes a player can make a mental adjustment, aside from what is coached or practiced. Self coaching in other words. And for top athletes it can work effectively. One could call it improvising. And of course some coaches cannot tolerate athletes who improvise.

A standard play can be more effective if the receiver does something with his eyes or body that throws the defender off. A running back can make something out of nothing with pure running ability. A QB can throw a defence off with his look, with his body language, with his escapability, with his accuracy.

And at other times it is just about coaching.

For example, the RedBlacks onside kick. That is all about coaching. Campbell, as his players credit, had the nerve to go for it. The RBs prepared for it, as they saw the vulnerability on the tape.

Our guys were doing as they were coached. The alignment. The movement backwards by Vandervoort and Chagnon.

As I noted earlier, the kick was not even that good. If he had kicked it 5 yards shorter, Danny V would not have gotten near to it, before the avalanche of RBs got the ball.

Details. Looking for vulnerabilities.

It will be interesting to see what O'Shea and staff have in store for us. On the other hand, it is always good to mix things up. Maybe they play it straight this time. Maybe ...

As Wally noted, the RedBlacks made you prepare for a lot of things. Well, IMO, that is a good thing strategically. Make the opponent prepare for a lot of things. Do not make it easy by just rolling out the same old, same old.

An expert here? A pro coach? No. But lots of experience, and decades of watching carefully.

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.

Walter Payton's Advice to Kids: Play hard. Play fair. Have fun.

B.C.FAN
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Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:45 am

The Lions can still finish anywhere from second to fifth but their odds of making the playoffs are less than 10%. To finish second, they would need to go 4-0 and have Winnipeg lose their two other games in Toronto and Calgary, while Edmonton and Saskatchewan both go no better than 1-3. If the Lions go 3-1 in their remaining games, either Edmonton or Saskatchewan would have to go 0-4 or 0-3-1 for the Lions to finish fourth and make the crossover.

The Lions can only control their own play, which hasn't been good lately, going 1-6 in their last 7 games. The last time they went 1-6 at any point in the season was in 2011 when they went on to win the Grey Cup, but they had more time to turn that one around. Turnovers are the big statistic that stands out. In addition to having the league's worst turnover ratio (-12) and fewest turnovers forced (20), the Lions have gone 3 games without forcing a turnover for the first time since the league started tracking that statistic in 1966. The defence just hasn't helped the offence and has given up big plays when it needed big stops.

Here's another interesting stat from the CFL's weekly Game Notes: This game features the two CFL teams that have made the fewest roster changes and employed the fewest number of different starters. Winnipeg has suited up only 56 players and 36 starters all season. B.C. has used just 61 players and 39 starters. Injuries and roster turnover can't be blamed for the Lions' inconsistencies. Their starters just haven't been getting the job done.

The Lions have made one key change to their starting lineup this week. Buddy Jackson replaces the oft-confused Anthony Gaitor at field corner. Bryant Turner Jr. and rookie fullback Alex Ogbongbemiga draw onto the 46-man roster as backups. Seldom-used receiver Nick Moore and special-teamer Adrian Clarke are off.
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leo4life
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Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:27 pm

Paul Lapolice vs Mark Washington
Ritchie Hall vs Khari Jones
Mike O'Shea vs Wally Bouno
Can Wally and staff outcoach Bombers staff? Im picking Lions to somehow win ...35-32 Final

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WestCoastJoe
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Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:44 pm

leo4life wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:27 pm
Paul Lapolice vs Mark Washington
Ritchie Hall vs Khari Jones
Mike O'Shea vs Wally Bouno
Can Wally and staff outcoach Bombers staff? Im picking Lions to somehow win ...35-32 Final
We could win.

If we run the ball enough, with good timing and blocking.

If we have an effective passing game.

If we give Jennings time.

If we keep Harris in check.

If we pressure Nichols.

It trick plays do not catch us unprepared, and discourage us.

If the Bombers take us lightly.

Yes. We can win. Odds against though.

A nice win would be sweet music, leo.
John Madden's Team Policies: Be on time. Pay attention. Play like hell on game day.

Jimmy Johnson's Game Keys: Protect the ball. Make plays.

Walter Payton's Advice to Kids: Play hard. Play fair. Have fun.

leo4life
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Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:44 pm

Agree Joe the Leos play well against the Bombers but they have improved so much since the Leos last played them and Wallys crew are backsliding big time...time to stop talking about winning & get a W

TheLionKing
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Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:23 pm

Any bet the Lions will be caught napping again on special teams ?

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Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:53 pm

TheLionKing wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:23 pm
Any bet the Lions will be caught napping again on special teams ?
You can be sure the Bombers will try something. Perhaps it will backfire as it did in the first game between these teams, when Justin Medlock threw an incomplete pass out of punt formation on third down deep in his own end with an 8-point lead in the fourth quarter to set up the Lions' game-tying touchdown and 2-point convert. The Lions added a late field goal to win 45-42.
"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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KnowItAll
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Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:42 pm

TheLionKing wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:23 pm
Any bet the Lions will be caught napping again on special teams ?
how about on two of every three plays period.
Every day that passes is one you can't get back

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Sir Purrcival
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Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:56 am

You know, I would really like to believe that somehow the Lions will put it all together tomorrow but at the end, I'm pretty confident that we'll be analyzing the same problems again.

Lack of DLine pressure
Oline protection issues
Players not playing smart
A weak game plan.
Tell me how long must a fan be strong? Ans. Always.

DanoT
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Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:19 am

TheLionKing wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:23 pm
Any bet the Lions will be caught napping again on special teams ?
What makes you think that the Lions will only be caught napping (out coached) just on not so special teams?

ZLions
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Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:53 am

Lions have had enough and come out with a huge win on the road. Nichols still hasn't fully recovered. Final score 33-6 Leos.

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