November 2016 – Great Minds Think Alike Pt I – The Read Option

Thanks to somebody’s HARD work, I’m able to post and download Youtube videos of most of the Alouettes games this season. As a consequence I’ll be making some post-game, and post season analysis I SIMPLY couldn’t do without the vid. Thanks guy.

Great minds think alike. It’s not that complicated really. Mediocre minds believe REALITY can be bargained with, that TRUTH is a matter of opinion, something to which they have an absolute right, REGARDLESS of whether they are capable of defending that opinion. GREAT minds know there is an objective reality out there somewhere, and with a little mental effort, we should be capable of rooting it out.

The “objective reality” when it comes to Alouettes playcalling this season, WAS best described by former Alouettes receiver Duron Carter, when he compared our offensive “game of checkers” to their defensive “game of chess”. Objectively speaking, Anthony Calvillo’s “vision” and playbook were a steaming pile of…paper. And not worth EVEN that much.

It all came to a head September 17th against Saskatchewan, when at halftime I posted that Calvillo had sent Cato back into the pocket, EVERY SINGLE passing down that half.

Days later Head Coach Jim Popp was replaced by Jacques Chapdelaine, and offensive coordinator Anthony Calvillo was effectively demoted and stripped of his playcalling duties.

So Jacques Chapdelaine has re-worked the offence. As a consequence…the Alouettes are 3-2 under Chappers. IF that success rate had been extant all season, we’d be threatening to crossover into the West playoff structure. Imagine THAT.

I’ve been SCREAMING for more creative play calling. And it seems that our new Head Coach concurs:

The most popular running play employed in the spread is the read option. This play is also known as the zone read, QB choice, or QB wrap. A type of double option, the read option is a relatively simple play during which the offensive line zone blocks in one direction, ignoring defensive personnel, while the quarterback makes a single read (usually of the backside defensive end or linebacker) and decides whether to keep the ball (if the backside defender crashes down) or to hand off to the back (if the defender indicates that he will cover the quarterback). -Wikipedia

Here we have two very different read-option plays. In the first, Sam Giguere is threatening to run an end-around to the right. Watch in slow motion as Adams reads #39 and #49 crashing down on Giguere, keeps the ball and takes it straight up the gut for a GREAT gain…getting us out of DANGEROUS field position on the 15 yd line.

NOT a great game for #39 Carlston Hughes, as he vacates his Left End position, crashes down on Rutley, leaving Cato a lane to run the ball 73yards! See Cato Run. Run Cato Run. The GREATEST pass rusher, on the BEST team in the CFL, schooled by 2 rookie quarterbacks. The SHAME of it.

Properly executed, the read-option is a deadly weapon…assuming your pivot has the skillset to get ‘er done. The defensive end is put in a no win situation: if he chooses to cover the quarterback, the running back is left open. And vice versa. The perfect play.

I’m glad we agree.



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