Saturday, 10 July 2010

Calgary 23, Hamilton 22

I'll get to my normal review in a second, but I have to get this off my chest.

The officiating in that game was atrocious. Andre Proulx's crew, year after year, continues to be the worst officiating crew in the entire CFL. The missed calls that were blatant were numerous. I can think of at least two instances where holding should have been called, and two other instances where pass interference should have been called. Arland Bruce got mugged twice, and nothing was called. This crew constantly makes errors, and I cannot believe how any of them are still employed as officials. Andre Proulx is the Koman Coulibaly of the CFL. Get Proulx out, and get him out NOW!

With that rant over, let's get to the game review, shall we?

Words do not do justice to Marcus Thigpen. This guy is instant offense. Another two TDs today, which gives him four for the season. This kid is a star, and the team needs to find more ways to get the ball into his hands. Once he's been here long enough, watch out. Thigpen is special.

After the way he was tarred and feathered following last week's poor performance against Winnipeg, Simeon Rottier deserves some plaudits for his performance this afternoon. In fact, the entire Offensive Line does. Glenn wasn't pressured at all today, and the Stamps had only one sack.

I'll even give a little love to Kevin Glenn. It wasn't his best day ever, but his stats were fairly good. If the WRs had caught a few more passes, Glenn would have had a phenomenal afternoon.

I am always impressed with Dave Stala. The guy catches everything thrown within a 45-mile radius of him. He's the most sure-handed player on the team, and he's Glenn's most reliable target.

Garrett McIntyre seemed to be in the Stamps backfield all game, especially in the first half. If he keeps progressing, he could be the next great Hamilton defensive player.

I love the way the team has decided to deploy Quinton Porter. The kid has speed to spare, so putting him in during zone-read plays is perfect. That could be a great niche role for him until he's ready to replace Glenn in a couple of seasons.

I already talked about the refs, so I won't bother going there again.

I have to question the play calling on offense. Why does the team never try to establish the run? Cobb hasn't looked good so far this season, but the team barely even attempts to run the football. The Cats need to try and get the running game going early so the passing game can open up.

As much as I liked the way the O-line played in regards to the passing game, I equally disliked their play in the running game. It seemed that Cobb had no holes to run though for most of the game. That needs to be fixed in a hurry for this team to start getting some wins.

Arland Bruce drops too many balls for an elite WR. I've seen him not haul in catches that should be routine for him. Of course, then he goes out and makes some nice ones, which he did this afternoon. But that 3rd-and-goal pass that Glenn threw from the one-yard line should have been caught. The DB was all over him, but it hit Bruce right in the hands. He's got to bring those ones in. They're the difference between a win and a loss.

Who taught these players how to tackle? The tackling is atrocious, and that needs to be corrected soon. Too many players either don't wrap up or try to make the highlight tackle, which results in giving up more yards than they should have.

Those Linebackers that I said were the best in the CFL look very slow all of a sudden. I don't know if it's the heat or if it's something else, but they do not look like the fierce unit they were in 2009.

We signed Sandro DeAngelis to big money because in close games he was supposed to be the difference. I won't blame him for the block on the 59-yarder, but he cannot miss two field goals, especially ones from 45 yards and under. If he hits one of them, the Cats win today's game.

Final Thoughts
This is a tough one to lose. When a team loses by 20 like the Cats did last week, it's sometimes easier than losing by a single point. Listening to CHML's "The 5th Quarter" on the way home, I heard Kevin Glenn say this one was a tough one to lose.

There are both positives and negatives to take away from this game. Thigpen continues to shine, and the O-line stepped it up and gave Glenn time to make plays. In the end, the Cats just didn't make enough of them.

Being 0-2 means next week's game in Hamilton against the Blue Bombers is almost a must-win. The Cats travel to Montreal and then Saskatchewan, which means a loss to the Bombers and the Cats could very easily be looking at an 0-5 start to the 2010 season.

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