For those of you wondering who deserves the blame for that pass on first-and-goal from Toronto’s three-yard line on Friday, you won’t be able to pin it on just one person.
Head coach Paul LaPolice and quarterback Alex Brink get to share the goat horns after the glorious touchdown opportunity resulted in just three points early in the third quarter. A touchdown would’ve gone a long way in Winnipeg’s comeback attempt.
The play call was an inside zone read, where the quarterback puts the ball in the running back’s mid-section while checking to see if the defensive end is crashing down towards the middle of the line.
If the defensive end crashes, the quarterback keeps the ball and strolls into the end zone. If the defensive end doesn’t bite, the ball is handed off and the tailback goes up the middle.
Brink didn’t even put the ball in Chris Garrett’s mid-section, held on to it and had to throw up a prayer when the defensive lineman put on the pressure.
“He didn’t read it long enough. He made a mistake reading it,” LaPolice said. “But it’s certainly my responsibility to get him to read it right, or I can call a play where it’s an automatic handoff.”
LaPolice said Brink executed the play perfectly earlier in the game, resulting in a 20-yard run for Garrett.
The coach didn’t have constructive criticism only for Brink. He said starter Buck Pierce needed to be smarter on the play where Byron Parker intercepted him and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown. It was also the play on which Pierce got hurt.
“We throw the ball late to the wide side of the field under duress, which you can’t do, and that’s a pick six,” LaPolice said.
LATE HITS: Chris Garrett’s 159 rushing yards were the most in the CFL this season … Cornerback Deon Beasley (shoulder) and receiver Greg Carr (leg) were also injured injured in Friday’s game, but their status is unknown. “A lot of guys were limping,” LaPolice said … Winnipeg’s final regular-season record at Canad Inns Stadium is 310-184-4.