What a FANTASTIC weekend to kick off the 2016 CFL season! Fans were treated to defensive gems, and offensive explosions. As usual, we have compiled YOUR questions for our MAILBAG column that we’ll run every Monday. Today’s mail includes the three main talking points that you guys wanted to know about. Hope you enjoy!
Via Twitter (@lucmull95)
Q: What’s going to happen in Ottawa with the REIGNING MOP?
A: It’s WAY TOO EARLY to start talking about a QB controversy in Ottawa. Trevor Harris simply walked into the game on Saturday, and picked up right where Henry Burris left off. Keep in mind folks. Harris got the call early in the 3rd. That’s after Ottawa had gone in AT HALFTIME and talked about some things that they may be able to capitalize on during the final stretch of the game. The plan may have been slightly different going into the 2nd half.
With the way Hank had been throwing the rock, I’ve got no doubt that Burris would have continued to take it to the Esks if he hadn’t gotten hurt. We’re talking about a QB that was 23/31 with 251 yards before he left the game.
Victory between the two finalists for the 2015 Grey Cup was earned because the Ottawa QB’s continually took what the defensive scheme was giving them. No more, no less. There aren’t any herculean efforts involved by either pivot that can be pointed out. It was however an incredibly efficient performance by the entire RedBlack offence.
Finally, just so people know, we’re not taking anything away from Trevor Harris here. Kudos to Harris for coming in and doing his job. He was prepared, he knew the game plan and he executed. The half of football that he gave his team was exactly why the RedBlacks invested in him this passed offseason.
It looks like Harris is getting the start in Week 2 which will see the RedBlacks up against a far more AGGRESSIVE defensive scheme than the one they just saw. Henry Burris will have to lead in the film room and on the sideline now, and Harris will have to be a sponge and absorb everything he can, from Burris and the rest of his squad in order to execute. The whole league knows he has it in him, so there’s no pressure to continue to “prove” things.
Teams need TWO STARTING QUALITY QB’s in the CFL. That’s a fact. It’s also something that Genreal Manager Marcel Desjardins has made a priority in the Nation’s Capital. In terms of a Return on Investment, I’m not sure there’s a quicker payout available on todays market!
Q: How much has the JONES loss in Edmonton hurt that DEFENSE?
Up until Saturday, the main thing that CFL fans were talking about was the loss of Chris Jones as the HC in Edmonton. After the RedBlacks victory at Commonwealth Stadium it was apparent that the DEFENSIVE SCHEME that Jones employed was also a void that the Eskimos were going to have to deal with.
The loss of the Chris Jones scheme was notable. There were certain phases of the game where there was plenty of room to be more aggressive, especially with some of the athletes that Edmonton has at their disposal. That last drive in the 4th Quarter that Ottawa used to kick their way into OT illustrated some of the differences in scheme from 2015 to 2016. The Eskimos didn’t seem to be attacking the way we’ve gotten used to seeing them, and Trevor Harris took full advantage of it.
Film, is always the ultimate ally, and one can always expect a much better showing from players AND COACHES during their next contest.
Edmonton had 442 yards of Offense, behind 383 yards from their Franchise QB Mike Reilly. That’s enough to get it done in this league, so hopefully the defensive scheme solidifies now that they’ve got an early BYE week to take advantage of.
The Edmonton Defensive attack is going to be something that everyone has their eyes on moving forward. The Jones loss won’t hurt as much as long as there’s a solid plan hatched out of what was captured on film. It will sting if the coaches don’t learn anything from it.
Overall, there were two COORDINATORS (Benevides and LaPolice) that were back on the sidelines after brief hiatuses and both of them seemed a little rusty at times, in terms of their attacks. Granted Lapo lost a huge piece of his puzzle early on with Dressler going down and his QB didn’t do him any favours by missing some big throws.
I loved that Ottawa IMMEDIATELY jumped on the loss of Patrick Watkins in OT to seal the game; but CFL strategies aren’t solely based on one guy. It’s a coach’s job to find a way to put your guys in positions to be successful.
Both Lapo and Bene have been around the block and should be able to bounce back.
Q: Can we expect more from Winnipeg, or more of the same?
A: This is a bit of a continuation on the question above, but the answer is that one should ABSOLUTELY expect more from Winnipeg. I’m pretty sure Winnipeg expects more from Winnipeg!
I stated earlier that OC Paul LaPolice looked a little bit rusty with some of the plays he called, but at the same time; he’s got to get the execution when he calls plays!
Drew Willy missed some key throws during that game that could have changed the complexion of the game, which looks a lot closer in score than it actually was.
The Bombers did make a concerted effort to run the ball, which I liked, but I’m sure Andrew Harris would’ve liked to see about 7 more touches.
We can’t take away from the performance by the Alouettes, which was AWESOME, but the Bombers didn’t do themselves any favours of the course of 4 quarters.
On D, Winnipeg did everything they could forcing 3 takeaways. They didn’t register a sack, however Kevin Glenn is a QB that doesn’t keep the ball in his hands for long in the pocket, and the scheme that Anthony Calvillo catered to his QB’s tendencies.
The goal from week to week is IMPROVE. Winnipeg has a tough but winnable Week 2 match-up against Calgary, but to get the W, they’ll have to be better all the way across the board.
They have to be....There’s jobs on the line in Bomberville.
As always, feel free to let us know what you think about our Mailbag Discussion. ALSO...You can submit your Questions or CFL discussion points to the comment section below, via Twitter (@lucmull95), or email...firstname.lastname@example.org
We'll make sure we include them in Next Week's MAILBAG MONDAY.
Talk soon folks!