Labour Day Report Card
QUARTERBACK - B+
An up and down first half but a great second half from QB1. McLeod struck early with a terrific deep ball to silence the crowd (the largest in Tim Horton stadium history apparently). The first touchdown was a great read on the safety coming down. The two interceptions were tough, the first was a high ball that nevertheless should have been caught and the second was just a breakdown in communication with KGJ. A dominant 4th quarter locked in the win. A good effort at a block on the Banks double reverse and a beautiful throw to iso’d Banks.
WIDE RECEIVERS - A-
A massive day for Banks in his old stomping grounds, with two touchdowns and 80 yards. Was he looking for MBT on the double reverse option? Maybe, but he got the ball in. Ambles and Coxie were all over the map, again. Ambles had the key opening TD but was fighting or rather juggling the ball all game. Coxie tipped the first interception and had a tough holding penalty but also a superb 3rd quarter catch to keep the drive alive. KGJ was also heard from again, it had been a little while. I wasn’t crazy about his going to ground on a second down catch at the sticks but he had a terrific yards after catch burst in the 4th to set up a TD.
RUNNING BACKS - B+
This unit is down to almost no one but Oullette put on a helluva show today. He is really showing vision and focus with his catches out of the backfield. Those may get shut down from time to time by gameplans but not today. He runs so damn hard, that 2nd quarter run was a perfect example of how especially after contact, he is trucking defenders and showing he can be a key part of the offense. Shouts to Adeboboye for a great run in the 4th, his time is coming in this beaten-up unit.
OFFENSIVE LINE - B-
A good day for the unit on the whole. Yes, there were 2 false start calls in the first half, and two sacks given up. There is not a lot of time or protection for most of the game, but it is not always a turnstile situation, and plays can happen. The running game is still not a strength, as lanes are not being created but the line held a formidable Hamilton crew, at home, in check. One more addition to the rotation would really help solidify things as they Argos wait for players to get healthy.
DEFENSIVE BACKS - A
JP, the INT king, did it again with two more savvy interceptions and he is definitely going to miss playing Hamilton. Yes, it was against a rookie quarterback but keeping him under 200 yards passing, no touchdowns and terrific tackling in space. The unit continues to develop its toolbox, with a comfort with zone; having the same unit together for a few games is really helping. Carnell needs to make those picks though!
LINEBACKERS - A
Hamilton was not able to get any running game going and Henoc Muamba set the tone early with his punishing presence in the middle of the field, helping out with a sack. I loved his ability to drop into zones as well. McManis tipped passes and had a few shots at the QB. Keep those blitzes coming.
DEFENSIVE LINE - A
These grades may seem elevated or too soft, but the defense shut out the Ti-Cats on the road so what can I say. The new addition Brandon Barlow looks the part and is a nice addition to the rotation. The third down stop in the 4th quarter was absolutely on the line, caving in Hamilton’s offensive line. Ray flashed with a late game sack again as well. His closing sacks are a good new tradition.
SPECIAL TEAMS - B+
Bede was 2 for 3 but made all his extra points. New returner Jeremiah Haydel did not flash much, felt a bit tentative. I cannot say there was much twitch or explosion there today but maybe he will be better in the Ottawa game. Cassar and Josh Hagerty continue to be special team missiles, wrapping up kick and punt returns. John Haggerty had a big day with his leg, flipping the field on most punts, the 83 yard one being the most impressive.
COACHING - B
Terrific defensive coaching game plan from Coach Mace, shut Hamilton down and out. The late challenge was pretty inconsequential, but I can’t imagine who thought that was a reviewable play. While the first half offensive game plan seemed all over the place save the one bang bang touchdown drive, once again this team seems to be able to adapt and overcome and a team being better in the second half is the sign of a well-coached team.