Riders head coach Chris Jones has a theory on what Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson is doing with his pass concepts.
“They’ve got a lot of double moves built into their offence and with the rules setup like they are, their receivers are looking for contact coming out of the double move, so that they can go and get the review,” Jones says.
“I’ve been looking at what they do and you see how quickly they go to the challenge flag, so they know that there’s contact going to be created. If that’s the way that we’re going to officiate the games and the fact that if a defensive player has position, and there’s contact made, then we’re going to have to do the same thing. We’re going to build it into our offence. And unfortunately our game will change into a challenge fest.”
The success rate among coaches challenges is up 16 per cent (57 to 41) compared to last season. There have been 2.33 challenges per game compared to 2.22 per contest in 2016. And as CJME’s Jamie Nye pointed out, both years the tablets on the sidelines were available.
“It’s kind of inexplicable. Other than the fact that people are building in the double moves so that they know that the contact will be created. At that point you don’t have to look at five receivers, you know where you build in your double move and your eyes go right to there. You either had contact or non-contact. It’s either going to be contacting a receiver past five yards or it’s going to be a defensive pass interference call.”
Regina Leader-Post columnist, Rob Vanstone asked: Does it lead you to question whether all of the challenges necessary?
“It’s not really my place to say if whether I agree because all the stuff that we have has been voted on. That’s the league’s place to decide what they want to do. With us, I can only speak for this football team, if that’s the way that it’s going to be officiated then we’re going to have to do the same thing. We’re going to have to put a double move on Naaman [Roosevelt] and then it’s a high profile guy getting contacted, then we know when to pull our flag out also. That’s just the way the game’s headed.”
Vanstone followed up, is it an unintended consequence of the mechanism that’s in place?
“I didn’t even really think about it until after the Calgary game and I went back and I looked at how many times in the past over the last four weeks – they’re so successful with their challenges. Dickie’s calling his plays so he knows exactly where he’s built in his double move. And if they’re in man, then he has a certain percentage of knowing that there’s going to be contact. Especially with Marquay because the DBs will come down because he’s such an out route runner or hitch runner that all he has to do is then move and look for contact. And so if that DB is sitting there waiting – basically like taking a charge in basketball – he has position. But if they’re going to call that that’s either PI or contacting a receiver past five yards, they’re able to extend the dive that way. Especially with the DPI because that’s a spot foul. So any play over 15 yards you got a 75-80 per cent chance that that’s going to result in some kind of points.”
Are you grateful, Vanstone continues, that there is a defensive pass interference rule looking back to November 2015?
“It won us the Grey Cup. Had we not had the challenge you don’t know if we win that game or not. Just looking at it moving forward, if that is their thought, have a double move built in to gain contact, that’s really pretty ingenious. We’re going to try to incorporate on that and copy it. I don’t have to look at five receivers, I can look at one guy where the double move is and if its contact after five it’s a pretty easy call.”