Monday, July 2, 2018

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Officially The Worst

Ric Flair always said "to be the man, you gotta beat the man". Well the reverse also holds true and the Riders proved on Saturday that to be the worst, you gotta lose to the worst. The Als hadn't won a game in close to a calendar year but apparently the cure for that is a game against the Riders (much like it was for the 2003 Ti-Cats). It was a painfully embarrassing game to watch. I mean, we were outcoached by a guy who couldn't figure out how to take off a headset.

The Riders really only have 2 main weaknesses. They lack an actual DB at corner and they lack any semblance of an offense. One would seem to be a fairly simple thing to correct... at least to anyone whose closet includes more than just black.  The other one is considerably more difficult to fix but there are baby steps we could make. 

If you exclude Duron Carter, our defense actually played a really solid game. 3 sacks, 2 turnovers 1 TD allowed. I mean sure it was against the worst offense... err I mean second worst offense but still they did their job. They allowed just 287 yards and 126 of that was given up by Duron to Chris Williams on 2 catches. So the good news is there is more good than bad on D. The bad news is that is all going to waste because Chris Jones stubbornly refuses to end the Duron at DB experiment. Look its bad enough we insist on playing him there but we had him isolated in press man on Williams all night. It failed pretty much every time. Should we give the speedy Williams a cushion? No. Should we provide safety help over top? Only saw it once and Edem was late getting to the ball. Its compounding bad roster management with bad coaching. We stupidly decided that our roster needed 3 running backs, despite the fact that we are a team that avoids the run generally and one RB didn't touch the ball (the guy making $100K that we HAD to have this offseason)... but a DB? No can't see that helping. 

While the defense is 1 player away from being alright, the offense is a few players and some competent coaching away. I mean they are just awful. We have 3 TDs on the season (Mercer Timmis has 4 in 2 games!) The first play bomb to Thigpen was a great call and a great throw (Its a sign of how poor our offense was that an incomplete pass is worth mentioning). Apparently Thiggy should get back on the PEDs because he didn't look so goo. Beyond that first pass Bridge looked awful. He was panicky and making poor decisions. Granted he received little support up front or from his receivers but still this is a guy who thinks he deserves to be a fulltime starter. I would have rather seen us adjust our play calls to help Bridge out and keep him in rather than going to our third stringer in game 3. That said Watford did give a bit of a spark. Its painful watching a team like Winnipeg and seeing LaPo build an offensive game plan around the strengths/weaknesses of his QB and them watch us just seemingly pull crappy plays from a jar. 

It was an embarrassing game, it was an embarrassing result. We couldn't beat the worst team in the CFL at home... next up Hamilton x2, Calgary x 2 and Edmonton. I recommend buying stock in Wisers because this is going to get worse before it gets better.


Bryce Taylor said...

Anonymous said...

The one hope is that last year the Riders had a similar start heading into a tough schedule & beat up on 3 Western clubs. But I think that this is a different club on offence, Carter or not. The top clubs are capable of scoring 30+ points. In fact if you look at the points scored from last year, you pretty much have to score that to win consistently. I don't see this version have the capability of scoring the equivalent of 4 TD's per game consistently. Glenn, for a time in the 1st half of the season, was mentioned even outside Rider circles as an MOP candidate. The triad in place now would have to improve significantly to get us to that point again. When you consider we could have kept Dennis, playing well at LT in Cowtown, & Bond who is clearing the path for Gable with that huge O-Line in Edmonton, it's enough to make you sick. You may be right that we are 1 player away from being alright (a real DB for Carter) but the cup half empty is we are 1 player away from being truly ugly on defence. What if a DB not named Carter goes down vs Hamilton? Hello Matt Elam. Can we insert him mid-game off the PR. Have you read your playbook? Put Holley on defence? We dressed EIGHT LB's (whoopee for special teams - the best of them apparently aren't as good as Hurl) & NINE on DL. No injury problems there. Our backup plan to any injury in-game is Edem on the corner or Brouillette. Jones has put the team in the position that Carter HAS to play @ DB because he has no one else better when an injury occurs. We have pretty much the same situation on OL. As for sitting Messam & starting Bailey & Stanford, they have a combined 81 yards in 3 games. Thank you, Rob Bagg, but we are loaded at National receiver & we don't need your veteran presence. In 4 years, 3 teams & his second go-round with Jones, Bailey has been a bust. But he's 6'5" so that's all that counts. Are either of the two any good? I don't know. They take up a spot (or two) on the field but aren't used. Kind of makes covering the three imports a bit easier. The offence is a mess. If another DB goes down, which could happen (ask Edmonton) then Jones answer to that is hope that a National safety, a complete newcomer to the game or another converted WR (hello Denzel, or heaven help us Kevin Francis) are up to the task.

Anonymous said...

Is it true that Christion Jones is taking reps at DB? He's probably a better option than Carter only because it frees up Carter for offence and, oh yeah, Carter is awful. Surely there has to be an airlift of DB's coming.

Rider Prophet said...

Bryce - Hahaha an accurate portrayal

Anon 1 - Agree, offense has yet to show its anywhere close to being able to put up enough points. As for DB, its true poor roster management leaves us even more screwed if another injury occurred. Why we dressed 3 RBs, 9 DL and 8 LBs but didn't think a back-up DB or OL was necessary??? I have no clue. Its extremely poor roster management. I disagree a bit on the Rob Bagg point, he was used just as much as Stanford/Bailey but they come at a way lower price tag. Was he better than them? I think so but if all we need is a token Cdn running routes and not getting many targets then why pay Bagg?

Anon 2 - Yes Jones took some reps. At least he played DB in college. He's also not the answer but couldn't be worse. I doubt he plays unless a mid-game injury occurs. A smart GM would have DBs coming in... but hey at least we got the rights to QB/RB/WR Dennard Robinson right?

Unknown - Your test worked.

Bryce Taylor said...

I will refrain from panicking (despite the video I linked in last Friday's post) until after one more game. Sadly, I see little reason to be optimistic about Thursday other than we're at home and miracles do happen. If our offense can do *something* our defense (again, sans Carter) should give us a fighting chance. If our O can't even muster that then season is only a few months away.

Rider Prophet said...

I'm with you Bryce. Panicking? Not yet. Optimistic? Nope. Then again I was super down on last year's team until that BC game where they suddenly became a good team. Lots of football left to be played.