Post Game Liske's Locker: Still in the Black, but Bleeding Red

Discussion in 'Calgary Stampeders Talk' started by Liske, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. Liske

    Liske Member

    May 3, 2012
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    Ottawa 29 - Calgary 26

    According to the standings, the Calgary Stampeders are in first place in the West and still in the black in the win-loss column. But you wouldn't know that by their caliber of play so far this season. In four of the five games, the horsemen have not looked sharp, and two of those wins could just as easily have been losses. Yet the team has found ways to win close games.

    Not this time.

    The Ottawa RedBlacks clawed back from a 19-9 half-time score to pull out a victory in overtime. Henry Burris got off to a slow start but made several key throws as the game wore on, and ended up completing 28/43 for 389 yards. Seems every time the RedBlacks needed a second down conversion, even on 2nd and long, they got it. The turning point in a closely fought game came with 8:10 left in the fourth quarter when Burris connected with Chris Williams who streaked down the sidelines for a 84-yard touchdown to take the lead for the first time. The Stamps responded with a 49-yard FG on their next possession to tie the game, but you could tell the Stamps were starting to sag from playing three games in eleven days.

    This year once again the Stampeders are hemorrhaging with injuries, and that is the biggest reason for all the luke warm performances. The blood-letting continued last night at Ottawa's TD Centre with defensive lineman DeQuin Evans going down on the first play of the game, and later CFL all star running back Jon Cornish getting sidelined with a broken thumb. Cornish will be out of action for several weeks and no doubt placed on the six-game injury list. Adam Thibault was also injured, but no word on either his or Evans' status.

    So, no pulling a rabbit out of the hat this time. Looks like injuries finally caught up with the red and white in Canada's capitol.


    Except for a few drives against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the ground game has been sputtering so far this season. And this didn't change against the RedBlacks. Only 32 yards total rushing. Strangely, Ottawa's total of 22 yards was even worse. It turned out to be an all out aerial game of 'last pass wins'. Calgary's offensive line had decent pass protection all night, though they allowed two sacks. It was the run-blocking however, that sabotaged the game for the Stamps. Without the threat of Corndog running rampant, Ottawa concentrated on tightening up on Stampeder receivers. But you can't contain the best receiving corps in the league for an entire game. Bo Levi Mitchell, despite some poor decisions, passed for over 300 yards. And almost everything thrown in the neighborhood of Mr. Rogers, for example, was caught. The star slotback had 6 catches for 124 yards and a touchdown. McDaniel had 6 catches for 60 yards. Jeff Fuller on the other hand, had a rare off night, and struggled. Anthony Parker was his usual inconsistent self and had 3 good catches for 41 yards as well as a drop or two.

    The current Calgary offense is like a ship being rebuilt while it's still at sea. The question now is can the Stamps, with all their injuries, weather the storm during the middle part of the season, or will they slowly sink in the standings? Will Huf bring in a veteran running back like a Hugh Charles, or will they soldier on with Matt Walter? Maybe it doesn't matter who is in the backfield, since the o-line is in such a shambles. The offense is taking on water and it's the offense that is the number one priority right now. DD should start fixing things by tweaking the play calling, which has not been up to snuff so far.


    Charleston Hughes was in beast mode with 3 sacks on Henry Burris, and Quinn Smith got sloppy seconds picking up one sack. While the front four played well, the same can't be said for the linebackers or secondary, who were sliced and diced by a 40-year old QB who hadn't beaten his former team in ten previous tries. Stamp DB Buddy Jackson looks lost whenever he's been moved to the weak side where he's being scorched on a regular basis. The RedBlack touchdown pass to Chris Williams was just one of several lapses by Jackson on the season. Cracks are starting to develop in Rich Stubler's bend-but-don't-break defense, as opposing teams continue to pile up huge passing yardage against the Stamp secondary. The silver lining is we are still very good against the run and still getting pressure on QBs.

    Special Teams

    Kick returns were decent. Tim Brown finished with 5 punt returns for 59 yards, and had 3 kick returns for 71 yards. Brown can be very slippery and dodgey. He's about to break one any game now, I can feel it. Let's hope that when it happens, there's no flag on the play. Jock Sanders was no slouch either for Ottawa, with 3 kick returns for 60 yards. Chris Williams on RedBlack punt returns had 5 for only 23 yards, and was not much of a factor, thanks to Stampeder coverage.

    Rene Paredes showed no signs of injury, going 3/3, including a long 49-yard FG. El Matador continues to be money at clutch time. And Rob Maver showed why he is the best punter in the league again with some big punts, including one coffin corner directional punt that backed Ottawa up to their 3 yard line.

    Goat Play of the Game

    Another game full of fumbles, dropped passes, strange play calling and penalties by both teams. Plenty of billy goats to choose from. To me the biggest goat was RedBlack offensive lineman Nolan MacMillan. In the fourth quarter, when Ottawa desperately needed to move the ball, and right after allowing a big sack, MacMillan chirped to the referee and drew an objectionable conduct penalty, pushing his team out of FG range. It's the kind of bozo play that gives coaches fits. Speaking of coaches, honorable mention goes to RedBlack head coach Rick Campbell for deciding to punt both from his own goal line and from deep within his own endzone. Huh?

    Penalties continue to plague the Stamps. 12 total for 72 yards. Instead of occurring mostly on special teams, this time they were mostly on defense.

    Next up: Montreal.

    Will it be sweet revenge, or an invasion by Nik Lewis Nation? Will we lose two games in a row, or keep our one-game-only loss streak alive? Will Als QB Rakeem Cato tear our secondary another new one, or will we have an answer this time?

    Should be an interesting game before heading into the bye week.
    #1 Liske, Jul 25, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2015
  2. Tundra Mustang

    Tundra Mustang Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 1, 2012
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    Nice job, Peter! ;)

  3. Madman

    Madman Administrator
    Staff Member

    May 1, 2012
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    Another great one - and it looks even better now. :cool:
  4. Bumpnrun

    Bumpnrun Member

    Jun 5, 2012
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    Great analysis. I think there will no easy games or solutions going forward for the Stamps.
  5. fireguyfire

    fireguyfire Member

    Jul 6, 2013
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    I've got a bad feeling about the month of August; sure hope I'm wrong.
  6. CoachB57

    CoachB57 Member

    Jun 20, 2012
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    I like the post. Great job.

    Few things I wanted to touch on:

    O-Line: Coach DelMonaco is having sleepless nights I'm sure. Lavertu is the only consistent guy that has been performing (in my opinion) I've never been high on Bergman or Wilson and this past week did nothing to persuade me otherwise. Bergman was half out of his stance twice by the time Cornish was wrapped up in the backfield and that's just simple zone blocking. Injuries aside, something is VERY wrong when 3-4 of the wrong coloured jerseys are tackling the ball carrier, meanwhile 3-4 of our O-Linemen are watching it happen, shaking their heads and looking like the accidental tourist. I truly feel that Pat DelMonaco is doing a good job with the cards he's been given (and its a really bunk hand) but someone in the front 5 needs to start cracking skulls.

    RECS: Apart from Rogers, the receiving core was below average, again. Is McDaniel really getting that much attention? Where has he been all year? Hey, two point converts are great, but at some point your stud needs to step it up. Fuller, as pointed out, an off night. Consistency, man. Consistency. Parker, well we know to expect him to be consistently inconsistent. Just like Jabari Arthur. Point is, we have so much talent at the REC position, its disgusting. We need to make something happen.

    RB: Sorry, but Walters isnt the answer in the backfield. He's not an every down back. I hope I'm wrong, but I'll gladly push all the my chips to the middle of the table and call. Brown isnt going to provide a ton of help either. He's shifty, a scat back if you will. Doesn't run north/south. As mentioned, I wonder if Hugh Charles will get the call?

    QB: Bo needs to be better. Alot of people on social media are calling for his head and calling for Tate. I'm not sure that's the answer. He's still VERY young and still finding his way. While its no where near the same, his situation really reminds of a young Garcia coming into his own and being the starter after experiencing so much success in '95. We had some growing pains with him until he found his way in '98.

    DL: Are Mace and Johnson ever coming back? Can we be consistent with our pressure on the QB?

    Secondary: Stubler's the mad scientist and the man, but I felt the D played way too much vanilla zone and allowed them to pick us apart.

    Now the sky is not falling at all. Sun is up and shining, which is good. The Stampeders just have far too much talent in that locker room to even be remotely happy with this type of play. We're running into dire straights with injuries and we are in the "relaxed" part of our schedule in which many thought we'd run roughshod until labour day at least. This is going to be a VERY interesting next few weeks. IN HUFF WE TRUST.
    Tundra Mustang likes this.

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