July 2018 – So Here’s the Thing…

Everybody knows we’re going to have to have a lot of patience, basically because, as Didier Ormejuste said, Kavis Reed left his homework until the last minute, and now everyone’s going to have to cram for the mid-terms.

So how long do we wait until we can reasonably expect things to start clicking?

“The Montreal Alouettes announced on Friday that their 2018 training camp will take place from May 20 to June 9 at Olympic Stadium.” 

By my count, that’s 21 days. So we’ll assume that of everything that’s come in the first few games this season, and we’re talking mainly about the offense here, some but not all will be scrapped. And that’s something like the state you’d be in, returning for another season, with the same Head Coach, OC and offense. So we’ll say that’s about where we’re at at this point. For argument’s sake.

It’s not unreasonable to expect a hard-fought (hopefully) loss tomorrow night. Adams is barely at the stage where he’s absorbed the playbook. He hasn’t seen any starting QB action since his last stint with the Alouettes. He’s rusty, pissed off and a little unsure of what’s going on.

After all…he’s been sitting behind Drew Willy, Jeff Mathews and Sgt. Schiltz. Basically, nobody wants to even play catch with the 4th string quarterback, lest that bad luck mojo rub off from the football.

And now, after Reed made it crystal clear that Sherman hasn’t wanted to deal with 2 diametrically opposed styles of quarterback, even while Willy was #1, it’s obvious why Adams was odd-man-out.

Then, almost insanely, with the arrival of Manziel as undisputed “franchise” quarterback, Adams, through his advanced knowledge of the playbook, and similar skill set, is a starting “place-holder” for Manziel. Get used to it kid.  You may have more talent than Johnny CFL Football, who knows…but he’s got WAY more Twitter followers.

So…Twenty-One days from now, eh? That means we definitely lose tomorrow against the Eskimos. Reilly at his peak beats Manziel, hands down, at LEAST for a couple seasons. Adams just hasn’t had the reps to compete. So it looks pretty doubtful.

Next week against Hamilton, Manziel gets the start. I’m thinking that’s also pretty insane. But maybe the Alouettes have a 30% chance of beating the Ticats at Molson Stadium. THAT’ll be the game to go to: Manziel’s first start. To see him play. Not to expect him to win. So Manziel got here on Monday?

So twenty one days of training camp makes us ready for the Ottawa game, August 11th. While there’s doubtless much less practice time in the regular season, the game experience counts for so much, as does falling into the habit of weekly preparation for opponents.

So all I’m saying here is, with our left tackle and quarterback, arguably the two most important positions on the field, arriving with little knowledge of the team, the coaches or the playbook, the situation would seem to mirror what players go through in spring training. And so, it’s reasonable to assume the integration of these elements into an offence that has to adjust as much to them, as they have to adjust to a new system, will require some time. 21 days, to be imprecise.

We’ll probably be 1-6 by the time we have an even chance of beating Ottawa. Our corners are going to have to learn to challenge their receivers a lot more. Backing off and giving Sinopoli and Ellingson the amount of room they gave Calgary isn’t going to help Adams and/or Manziel much, as they try to figure things out on the fly.

And without Jamal Westerman to pressure the opposing quarterback, everything in the secondary’s going to need to tighten up.

I know that’s not very optimistic…1-6 before we even have a reasonable chance of winning. But what the heck. This is the CFL. Maybe Reilly will have one of those “off” games. Maybe Masoli will continue his bad play from last week? We might steal a game or two. Heck, we could be 3-4 by the time we start getting something good out of our offensive unit.

Anything can happen (except beating the Stampeders, apparently). That’s why we love this game.

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