Insider Talk: B.C.’s scheme, Saskatchewan’s pass-rush, ‘defensive guru’

Photo courtesy: Bob Butrym

Insider Talk is a weekly feature on 3DownNation that includes anonymous quotes from people around the CFL — players, coaches, personnel people, executives, agents, etc. — regarding the latest news around the league. It’s a combination of insight, analysis, rumours, and friendly gossip.

This week’s Insider Talk is full of discussion regarding Edmonton’s disastrous season-opener, B.C.’s impressive offence, the Riders making life miserable for Ticats’ quarterback Dane Evans, the new-look Redblacks, and the breakout performance of running back James Butler.

Enjoy this week’s quotes and come back next week for another edition of Insider Talk.

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I don’t think you can still be considered a ‘defensive guru’ after your team gives up 59 points in a game. Especially when you got to practice earlier than almost every other team in the league. Seriously.

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Nathan Rourke looked good but (B.C. Lions’ offensive coordinator) Jordan Maksymic was the biggest reason for that team’s success on offence. Without (Michael) Reilly, they’re not forced to throw the ball downfield all the time. They ran a ton of (run-pass option) and it worked. It’s made life so much easier for that offensive line.

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Saskatchewan dominated Hamilton along the line of scrimmage (for eight sacks) because of physicality and effort. Hamilton’s offensive line isn’t bad. They just got outworked.

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You have to be impressed with what B.C. did. They have a new starting quarterback and had some serious questions around their offensive line. Forget about who they played – this is pro football. When do you ever see 59 points?

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Montreal needs a strong running game to open things up for (quarterback) Vernon (Adams Jr.). Walter Fletcher is no William Stanback but he’s decent. Jeshrun Antwi had that nice (70-yard) run but Calgary was pretty clearly out of gap on that play. I’m not convinced he’s a long-term solution as the starter.

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I wasn’t surprised to see Ottawa play strong out of the gate because they’re actually a very veteran team. But I think they’re going to fall off over the course of a long season because they lack depth. I’ve got them finishing third in the division.

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I didn’t think (B.C. Lions’ running back) James Butler was that explosive. That was a hell of a performance. I’m curious to see if he can repeat it.

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I wouldn’t say having a Week 1 bye is an advantage or disadvantage from a competition standpoint. It just sucks because I’d rather have the time midseason to rest my body and spend time with my family back home.