Agent claims locker room problems emerging

Here's a transcript of what Darren Gill told the Team 990 in Montreal this morning:

“It's an amazing situation. Hamilton is experiencing some early struggles. In the off-season there was a lot of talk about the head coaching moves that happened around the league. Obviously, so far in Saskatchewan it's worked out. In Hamilton thus far it hasn't.

"I'm not going to tell you that there's major problems in that locker room but they are certainly starting. And they started before Henry Burris got a little tour on the bench. They started basically in week one. George Cortez is not known as a player's coach and that's been known from day one. He's not brought the veterans on his side and it's made it very difficult for him to try and get that team on the right page.

"In fact, there's been some pretty well known confrontations in that team's locker room between George Cortez and defensive coordinator Casey Creehan. They're not on the same page. The quarterback and the coach aren't on the same page. I'm not telling you this team is in trouble but there's certainly some early signs that they are in trouble.?

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Anyone else think it’s burris’ agent? Or giguare’s?
Those are my suspects.

This is laughable. He probably represents at least one of Cobourne, Stala and Knowlton. Avon obviously isn't getting any play time and Stala and Knowlton weren't starting before last week and therefore were likely venting their displeasure to their agent. I'm sure on just about every team, there will be at least one player who isn't happy with their situation and blames the coach. The only way to get rid of this now is to win. Winning, in my opinion, can fix just about anything.

...the news that renowned CFL player agent Darren Gill went on The Team 990 in Montreal Wednesday and discussed locker-room issues in Hamilton in very specific terms is both notable and startling. For one thing, Gill should have a clearer picture of what's going on there than most people outside of the Tiger-Cats' dressing room, as he represents a lot of players, and you can bet they're probably more forthcoming with him than they are with the media. For another, it's remarkably unusual to see an agent be so specifically and devastatingly negative about a particular team, as someone with Gill's stable of clients is obviously going to have to work with the management of every team in this league on at least some issues. This is a bizarre situation, and as such, it's far more notable (and concerning for Hamilton fans) than a garden-variety report of locker-room issues.
It's hard to imagine Gill making these kinds of claims up; the most likely scenario is that he heard from some of his players and decided to take their concerns public. Cortez may be maintaining that everything's fine, and players (including Burris) may have backed him up publicly thus far, but if things are bad enough that players are grumbling to their agent and their agent's then relaying those concerns on-air, that's certainly problematic for Hamilton.

It's the last part of that equation that's perhaps most troubling. Players having complaints about coaches is nothing new, especially when a team isn't winning, and the Tiger-Cats are 0-2. However, those issues are typically resolved within the locker room. Even in the cases where the issues aren't going away and the player's agent enters the fray, it's particularly unusual to see the agent take team-wide concerns public; sure, agents will occasionally complain that one of their clients is being underutilized or not given a chance to shine, but blasting a team's management like this and alluding to general "locker-room issues" is something else.

most agents don't blast specific teams' management this precisely without clearly advocating for a particular player of theirs, as this strategy would seem to carry a lot of risk and minimal upside. Regardless of what Gill's end goal is here, having a prominent agent make these kinds of comments publicly certainly isn't a sign all's well in Hamilton.
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Well, if winning will fix the problem, the problem will last atleast another week. Argos are gonna kill it Saturday.

Not surprised at all. Anyone who adamantly insists otherwise is a blatant homer. This team has so much talent and something is holding them back. I was never a fan of Cortez throwing everyone under the bus after a game, never taking any responsibility on himself.

I see you got jokes. The Cats are going to crush the Argos on Saturday. A three-point win at home against a team that was forced to play their backup QB (even if that QB is a good one) does not a juggernaut make. The Argos didn't beat Edmonton, and regardless of their one win, the Eskimos might be the worst team in the league. You overrate the Argos; they're an average team at best. The Cats are better than Toronto and we'll find that out on Saturday night.

As for what Gill said, it's much ado about nothing. Once the wins starting piling up -- and they will start piling up very soon, starting on Saturday -- all of these problems will magically disappear.

Just win baby.

ABIII? :wink:

Gill said VETERAN so its not Giguere.

Hahaha Darrin Gill will grow out of it....

Who admantly insists what? That there isn't a problem? There is only a problem because the team is 0-2. If Cortez was the same guy he is now and the team was 2-0, there would be no problem. Once the team gets a couple wins, all of these alleged "locker-room issues" will disappear.

And are you saying that Cortez is holding them back? I seem to recall a couple of years ago it was Mike Gibson's offense that was holding them back. Then it was Bellefeuille being too nice that was holding them back. Oh, and who can forget how quickly everyoe turned on Khari Jones and blamed him for holding them back? Now, if I am correctly inferring that you do mean Cortez with your "something is holding them back" line, it is Cortez that is holding them back. Seems like no matter who runs things around here, they are always holding the players back. Maybe, just maybe, we (and I am as guilty of this as anyone) overinflate just how good these players are. Maybe they aren't as good as we all think they are. I don't think that is the case, but I also didn't think that the coaches that people wanted tarred and feathered were the problem either. So who knows what the real problem is, but it seems as if it is always the coaches and never the players (unless your name happened to be Kevin Glenn). Since we've seen a lot of coaches come through the door the last four seasons and have the exact same success, maybe it's not them after all.

Winning cures a lot of things for sure. But what if they go 0-4, 0-5 ? Things might get a little crazy...

Since Cortez has yet to win a game as a headcoach, his best bet is to keep his head down and keep working. Any witch hunt or focus on that would be a grave error. Jim Popp mentionned something when he was asked about the mighty Ticats and Argos when camp opened. "On paper they are very talented and have very good quarterbacks but football is a TEAM game and its not played on paper. We will see".

I think your bound to have certain problems when all your talent is piled on top of each other at the same positions. This team is not well balanced at all IMO. Hamilton is the only place where a rookie jumps the Q like that and is treated like royalty. Brandon Whitaker practiced in the dark for 2 years behind Avon, Same with SJ Green. But here Giguere,Walker and others just jump ahead of guys like Stala and Cobourne ? I'm thinking the problems are real. Also confirms what Arland Bruce or Mann were saying that Hamilton is not vet friendly. Coincidence ?



:roll: :roll: :roll:

In the last two years, your precious Als have parted ways with numerous veterans (Cobourne, Stewart, Ferri and Boulay to name just four); would you say they're not "vet friendly"?

The idea that the Cats aren't vet friendly is a crock. You could say that no team is vet friendly because all teams are looking for younger and cheaper players. From what I've been told about Mann, he's far from an authority on things and has a rather large chip on his shoulder. I take whatever he has ever said with a HUGE grain of salt. Maybe if he played as well (or as often, seeing as he misses quite a few games) as he ran his mouth, he might actually be the all-star player he thinks he is.

Any team that loses has problems. You think everything was hunky-dory in Montreal when the team lost three straight heading into the playoffs last year? You think everyone was happy as clams in Winnipeg when the team lost seven of 10 to end the season last year? Remember all the turmoil in Saskatchewan all year last season? And remember how those problems went away, briefly, when they won the back-to-back games against the Bombers? Once the winning starts, the problems go away. It's as simple as that. Regardless of when the team wins (and it will be this week against Toronto), once they do their "problems" will be solved.

Why you getting personnal. I didn't blame anybody on your team. I am not saying anything. Gill mentionned the word Veteran and its been mentionned before regarding playing time. But if you think Gill outed himself over something silly. You really need to think about that.

First off, why get personal? We're just talking football here.

Second, we didn't 'part ways' with Avon. We offered him a contract and guaranteed him the starter's position before training camp. Hamilton came in with a better offer, that's all.

Third, the other veterans you mention were part of a house-cleaning on defense following a very difficult year for that unit. It made sense to release veterans. Was it the right decision across the board? I'm not sure. I still think we could use Anwar's services, definitely. But they weren't premature cuts made after a player had experienced a mini-slump. The problem with guys like Giguere, Walker, etc. stepping in is that they have proven nothing and they're replacing guys who have actually done well as Cats (Stala, Cobourne). As a veteran free agent, that's not a situation you're going to be thrilled at walking into, knowing the second you slip, a younger body will take your job.

Fourth, while I don't know whether to trust these rumours about Cortez and the locker room, I am at a loss to understand what Gill gains by outing the room in this way. What possible reason could he have for making this stuff up?

Fifth, winning cures everything. I'm sure disgruntled ex-Als are going to paint Montreal as a place that isn't friendly to veterans. That's their right, and you're right that this sort of talk happens any time a team struggles on the field. The best way to shut down these rumours is for the Cats to win. I'm just surprised at the specificity of the rumours, and how an agent of all people decided to enter this fray. Gill can't be stupid enough to toss this grenade into the room without a reason...

Remember all that you just wrote, cuz after the argos murder the tabbies, you will have to admit otherwise.
( Now, if Avon plays, I will predict a ticats win )

Don't see how mentioning the Als is getting personal, but ok.

If this is true (which it may very well be) does this hack think he is making the situation better by making it public? Great idea, Einstein.

I read that Gill is an Alouettes season ticket holder. Maybe he's still upset about last year's East-Semi and is holding a grudge just like Jock Climie. :wink: