A different take....

As many of my fellow Southsiders rose to give Joe Paopao a standiving ovation and a fond farewell as last Saturday's game and victory over the Argos came to a close,I was one of the few who did not rise to do that...though I respect Joe tremendously as a human being and fine example of how to conduct oneself in life--the bottom line --he was a lterrible head coach --and as a paying customer who has been in the same seats going back to the 70's with the Riders,I have seen lots of lousey football in Ottawa since the days of Clements and Holloway were having success here,but
I do blame Paopao for lots of the problems this team had in the 4 years under his helm---true he had lots of adversity to go through with the ownership issues and an expansion roster--but it was he himself that insisted that this year he had the talent (a wrong assessment) --but if that were true, his failure to get that talent to execute as a team proves he is not a good head coach--his loyalty to players --who let him down with their play in games they should have won--led to his refusal to bring in players to challenge them for their jobs...it was not the Gliebermen who denied him the chance to improve by bringing in an airlift when the season started to go off the rails--it was Paopao's STUBBORN refusal to see the obvious --that a talent upgrade was needed at several key spots...then after Jerome Heywood struggled most of the year at being an ineffective defensive tackle--he finally realized with 2 games to go that Heywood was only effective if he played at noestackle directly over the centre--why did it take him 16 games to realize this? His loyalty to Gerald Vaughan who was over the hill and contributed little when he was in there.....his loyalty to the "vets"
liike Quincy Coleman (did not make plays at free safety all year) and De Shaun Austin (too slow to cover well) cost us the chance to seek improvements in those spots....his satisfaction with Kai Ellis and Jason Kralt as a rotating crew of middle linebackers when they are not all-star candidates at that vital position--again cost us te chance to bring in an upgrade to that key spot on the defense...and on and on about talent evalutaion...His loyalty to his crony friend Mr. Kahui --who could not seem to coach the offensive line into a CFL competant crew --our sacks given up was disgusting--and thieir bumbling experiment with 2 incompetant American tackles in the portion of the season that went downhill for too many games after the 5-3 start,was a big reason we lost so many crucial games in that big losing streak...his failure to bring in one more impact reciever who could take the coverage pressure off Armstead and Murphy...
worst of all--Paopao's insistence that Kerry Jospeh was "our man" despite repeated evidence he was not an efficient passer,could never play well for a full game as opposed to one or two quarters,thre way too many interceptions to kill drives and even hurt the team imensely by throwing them at crucial times --even a Pop Warner football dad knows you do not throw 40 yard hitch passes accross the field attempting to hit your reciever just 4 yards further downfield with just two minutes remaining in the half and your team leading--yet Joseph did this several times this season to deflate his team and they go on to lose--what kind of idiot coach lets this happen?
In games where Joseph wasnot playing well--why did he stick with him for the whole game and never put in his back-up to change the pace?

Clearly--Paopao is guilty of lots of things from bad talent evaluation to bad
play calling to blinders in not recognizing when to pull the hook --and a stubbornness based on both his loyalty faults to players and his belief that
they can execute his plays....and in game situations,too many times he was out-coached as he failed to make any good half-time adustments...

The question will be asked--if he had better talent could he be more successful as a coach? If that is true he should have requesdted a talent upgrade after the NFL cuts--but he did not,so I rather think that a talent upgrade would maybe have helped us win a few more games--but with Paopao at the helm we never would exceute properly as a dominant team that rise to the top...

In any other organization,after 4 terrible losing years,such a coach would be fired and should be fired-- a change had to be made...so,much as I love Joe as a person,I could not rise to salute him --I just do not think he did the job as a head coach...

Now--as to Jenkins--the media is all over the Gliebermen for making that deal with him--I too am skeptical because I would have preferred them hiring a good football GM first and then letting that guy choose a head coach after an evaluation process..if I were GM--I'd have chosen Laval head coach Glen Constantin for the job if he wanted it--then you would see a team
that can really execute both the fundamentals of blocking and tackling ---which is a pre-reqiuisite for all the rest that follows--and also a well designed game plan--especially with a defense that won't give you an inch...
However--that is not the case--we have Jenkins now and allgedly will shift to a run and shoot offense...Joseph is not the QB for that as his release is as slow as molasses--he should be let go..whether Banks can execute that offense,I do not know-but he shoud be given a chance---but I expect to see some QB's wwho have run it successfully---I do not know if Tommy Chang or Cliff Kingsbury are available or even on our neg lists--but you know if Jenkins puts it in,he'll proably bring in QB's that have run it in college...

The biggest concern I have is --whether we lose free agents--I believe we have 15 ---Ranek will lleave because the run and shoot does not feature a lot of running ,and any back they do have out to catch balls better have all the way speed...whether Ka-ron Coleman can do that job--who knows?
They probably will bring in some backs to compete for that role --but American backs who can catch and run are plentiful--so I'm not thatworried...Our offensive line was not great--losing one or both of Hudsona and Cheron to free agency signing elsewhere would hurt our Canadian ratio --but perhaps this time a whole bunch of better Americans will really improve the over-all line,and we'll try to fix the ratio elsewhere--
losing Banks to the NFL or to free agency with another CFL team and Hebert to the NFL would be big blows to the defense,but they are Americans and good receruiting can offset the losess...

We are going to need a ratio starter as a Canadian from this draft--Iwith the 3rd pick overall we cannot afford a mistake--whether bit target recievers
Fantuz and Deslauriers are both off the board at #3--I do not know--but if nobody else looks like a starter with the #3 pick --maybe we could trade it for someone who can ..

As for the "sinking ship" talk--how can a lousey 7-11 team that basically couldn't beat 2 rookie QB's (Eakin and Wimprine),loses to lousey Winnipeg,
and probably would be 6-11 had not Toronto not rested 8 starters in the last game--how could such a" team" ALREADY not be considered "sunk"?

The ship had already sprung leaks--their is only one way to fix the problem--not re-patch it--but start over with a brand new ship...that is what they are doing with Jenkins coming in...so if losing players want o jump ship--so what? I don't want anyone who doesn't really want to be here TO WIN..

Just remember-we lost guys last year (Gauthier,Wiltshire) and that hurt us badly with our Canadian depth---Americans we can replace--but if our Canadians want to jump ship--good-bye--but now it is the Gliebermen's turn to flash the cash and STEAL some good Canadians off other teams...everyone has a price--but beyond that Forrest Gregg knows that getting BETTER Canadians is crucial for success in the CFL-...

Calgary cleaned house last year and it revitalized their team--we NEEDed to clean house in a lot of spots --so I for one am not lamenting the changes or buying into the press' or unknowledgeable fans' (especially those who never paid to support the team by going to games) fears of a "mess" and a "sinking ship"--rather I see RENEWAL and IMPROVEMENT opportunities...

Let us all not roast management till the results are in next year..Calgary proved you can go from the basement to the penthouse in a year...With money,recruiting,and a hopefully better coaching staff (which is not expecting too much given the failures of Paopao and his staff) I expect a brighter seasonr next year.

I'f I'm wrong--well--how much worse can it be from the bumbling mess it hasbeen for 4 years...nowhere to go but UP!

nice post, very interesting read.

Man... you said it... excellent post... and I agree.

I hope that they open the wallet and get that Canadian talent. And one of the first things they need to do is cut a fat check the Eric Tillman and get him in for consulting services... cause if they are going with Gregg, they need some CFL expertise he doesn't appear to have.

Eric is on the team right now... called in himself, airing the laundry on the Kent Austin promotion... and some of the trades...

Excellent posts… great read from a long time supporter… I must say that I didn’t give him an ovation. I was way too drunk too stand up at the end of the game. As a side note guys, Korey Banks threw me a football and I got him to sign it after the game. Made my year, since I spent 150 bucks on a sign supporting him. The Un-official Korey Banks Fan Club aka the Ballhawks. I gave him my sign after and he was real appreciative of it. It’s too bad he won’t be back next year.

Back in 1985 the Saskatchewan Roughriders hired Bill Quinter (currently in the NFL) as their General Manager after they had hired Jack Gotta as their head coach. Gotta would never have been Quinter's pick and the result was that the Roughies recorded their 14th & 15th consecutive seasons out of the playoffs.
My point is that you must always hire a good GM first and let him pick his coaching staff. If you don't you are doomed to failure.

There is only one way to find out whether Gregg is a good GM or not, and critisizing him and Jenkins before they even take the field is not the way to do it.

Man that was a great post. Very good stuff in there and I agree with most of your hopes and concerns...

The only comment I have with regards to your discussion of cleaning house and how Calgary managed well with the changes they made....

Well Calgary cleaned house .... But we picked up one of the guys who was shoooched from that clean up.... Our new HC...

Although many people will say that Paopao did a poor job here, and rightfully so, the ovation was purely for the way he got fired and the way Joe handled it. I think we can all agree on getting rid of him though.