July 2016 – The 3 Minute Offense


Question: Has ANYONE seen this Alouettes team run a “no huddle” offence? No? The question came up last week when the Ticats were running the “no huddle”. The TSN announcer suddenly asked “do the Alouettes even HAVE a no huddle offence?” when the Alouettes were taking a lot of time getting plays off. The question died on the vine. Must have been hushed up.

Oh it’s a GREAT story all right. Football’s ALL TIME leading passer making the transition to coach. Woot woot!

Question: Have the Alouettes employed a 3-minute offence so far this year? Here’s an interesting article I found on the subject.

There seem to be ENORMOUS holes in the Calvillo playbook. NOT having the ability to go without a huddle is handicap enough. But the last 3 minutes of that Argos game was the MOST EGREGIOUS EXAMPLE OF CLOCK MIS-MANAGEMENT I’VE SEEN IN YEARS.

It was almost as if the Alouettes had conceded defeat…weren’t EVEN going to go through the motions of scoring a touchdown, an onside kick, then eventual VICTORY. What 3 minute drill!?! Ho hum.

“We have it down to a science,” Lions quarterback Dave Dickenson said. “We have it written down and given to us in training camp how much time can you burn if [the opposing defence] has no timeouts.”

So in MOST systems, the 3 minute offence is given HUGE priority. Marc Trestman certainly thought so:

Finally, you are never out of a game in the CFL. In the final three minutes of each half the clock stops after every play. With three-down football, you can have five or six exchanges of possession in the final three minutes. There is no protecting the lead in the CFL, believe me. I can give you a great example of that.

As a flimsy excuse for NEVER playing your backup…THIS is obviously hokum. But it’s TRUE enough that under NORMAL circumstances, with a minute and a half to go, a team SHOULD have plenty of time to score a touchdown, boot an onside kick and with luck…score again.

This is NOT what happened yesterday in Toronto. The Alouettes were disorganized and fractured. They took WAY too much time in the huddle, when MOST teams have 3 minute drills planned weeks in advance. And the image of Brandon Rutley being stood up at the 5 yard line…burning through the rest of the playclock…is indelibly BURNT into my mind. It was a HOT mess and the Alouettes went down to defeat without so much as a whimper.

Montreal’s Anthony Calvillo, perhaps the best clock manager in the league, took his offence 85 yards in the final 46 seconds and threw a touchdown pass on the final play for a 46-44 win. “For me, it’s about when you get to 1:30 left when it becomes ‘what’s the scenario’,” Calvillo said.

THIS is the scenario AC: It’s becoming INCREASINGLY clear this “leap of faith” FANTASY of Anthony Calvillo magically morphing into a coaching “megatron” is coming to an inglorious end.

Giving credence to the expression: THINK before you leap.

9 days…




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