EDMONTON - While it may well be true, not just trite, that the best offence is a good, or near-great defence, it suggests a certain incompleteness, doesn't it?
And in more ways than one, especially in the pass-happy Canadian Football League.
And so, while it is encouraging that the Edmonton Eskimos' fast, aggressive defence has bolted from the gate like a pack of deliciously agitated wolves, it is mildly concerning that the offence - how to put this - participated in a season-opening victory without fully taking the wraps off its multi-faceted brilliance.
"The biggest thing is that we left a lot of plays out on the field last week," Head Coach Kavis Reed said of Edmonton's 19-15 victory over Ricky Ray and the Toronto Argonauts last week. "As a coaching staff, it's our responsibility to make certain that we point those things out and find a way of actually allowing those plays to come to fruition.
"The main thing is also for our execution level to be there. We did not execute as precisely as we wanted to."
To be fair, it was the debut as Edmonton's starting quarterback for Steven Jyles, and it came against Toronto's Ricky Ray, a phrase that still sounds odd to the ears after Ray's sublime nine-year, two Grey Cup championships tenure as the Eskimo star QB.
"It couldn't have been a worse stage for him - at home versus the guy he's replacing," Reed said. "He's the new quarterback, everybody's analyzing his game against Ricky.
"I think it will be a lot easier game for him this week."
Now, mind you, the 29-year-old Jyles played two years in Regina, where he competed for the starting job with Darian Durant, his counterpart in Sunday's game against the Roughriders at Mosaic Stadium (5 p.m. 630 CHED radio; TSN).
In 2008, Jyles and Durant were part of a quarterback-by-committee crowd scene that included Marcus Crandell, now Edmonton's offensive co-ordinator, Michael Bishop and, way down the depth chart, Drew Tate, now the starter in Calgary.
"It was crazy that year," Jyles said. "That year was interesting.
"We started the season with Marcus Crandell at quarterback, he was our guy. Then Durant wound up coming off the bench when Crandell was injured.
"Then Durant got injured and then I wound up playing. Then they brought in Michael Bishop."
An intermittent starter at the time, Jyles only attempted 101 passes, total, in his two years in Saskatchewan.
After spending 2010 in Winnipeg and '11 in Toronto, where a shoulder injury kept him out of all but eight games, Jyles is the clear starter in Edmonton, not the first among equals, not part of a rotation.
He's the starting quarterback, going against his former teammate and good friend, Durant. Which may add context to the encounter, but it sure isn't baggage.
No, Jyles enters his second game for the Eskimos with a wealth of receiving talent, including running backs Hugh Charles and Calvin McCarty, and Reed believes, in a more relaxed frame of mind than he did last week.
In the Toronto game, Jyles hooked up with Adarius Bowman five times for 110 yards, but no other Eskimo receiver gained more than 39 yards. The receiving yards totals for two of them were in single digits - McCarty with two balls for nine yards, Cary Koch with one catch for six yards.
"Last game, we were basically trying to control the ball game," Jyles said. "This game, we're looking to open it up a little bit.
"I have to find my targets, I have to hit my receivers. I missed two or three (touchdown) shots the last ball game.
"That was huge for us. This week, I'm trying to be 100 per cent, as far as my shots and continue to move the ball."
Part of that continuity is spreading the ball around among his various receivers, each of whom present different coverage problems to a defence.
"We have to make certain that he doesn't become myopic in terms of trying to get the ball to one guy too much, but distribute the ball fairly and equally," Reed said.
Exactly. Offensive myopia may have been a sound tactic back in the '60s when Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers pounded teams into submission by running that power sweep, over and over again.
But it's 2012, it's a different rodeo now. Predictability is death.
With the weapons at his disposal, Jyles should be able to mix things up at will. But it will take time for Jyles to master those options, which Reed and the Eskimo receivers all understand.
They also believe it will come together sooner than later, but we shall see.
Check out my blog, Sweatsox, at edmontonjournal.com/blogs