Alouettes 2016

Hufnagel is the delegating type. I think him marking that plastic sheet on the sidelines during games is just for show. All kidding aside, what he as done as a GM to constantly bring in fresh talent is something Popp should solely concentrate on. Hufnagel obviously believes in the philosophy that it is better to get rid of an aging playing one year too soon rather than one year too late. I actually don't mind having a veteran presence on a team. There should be only one or two though, not a full team of them.

As far as Brady goes, I blame their crazy schedule for much of the internal bickering. Guys are probably sick of being around each other and thus have short tempers. Like Hufnagel, Brady seems more like a figure head as an OC. I know the plan was him to take over those duties. However, I am going to guess that Milanovich still calls almost all of the plays for the Argos.

Als are going to have to: get an offensive minded head coach, hire a "hot" offensive coordinator, or sign an established QB. I doubt they will do all three. At the very minimum, they need to do at least one.

I hate bringing this guys name up but Michael Sam was a distraction for the entire team and coaching staff. It's distractions like this that can throw players off in the dressing room,and the field, not because of his lifestyle but because of the special treatment he received by the media and marketing people. It was just one more piece of a jumbled team puzzle that didn't help anyone. A failed PR experiment.

Sam made himself a distraction. The team maybe went overboard in trying to help him through his demons. As for his salary that was nobody's business but his and the team. These contracts aren't guaranteed so sometimes you have to put a number on paper to convince a player to come and try his luck in the CFL.

That being said, the Als US recruiting has been below par since Jones left and its something the team has to take a very close look at. Now we have a Jerry Rice Jr. on the PR which is highly questionable...

Je vois bien cette distinction entre les styles d'entraîneur-chef, mais justement, voilà où il manque un morceau : lorsque Popp a été entraîneur-chef, je ne me souviens pas qu'il se soit bien entouré sur le plan offensif. Que Popp soit un entraîneur-chef qui délègue, pourquoi pas, mais il faut que ça fonctionne.

Les blessures aux quarts-arrières n'ont certainement pas aidé, mais il demeure que les Alouettes sont entrés dans cette saison sans un quart-arrière établi, sans quart-arrière bien préparé, sans attaque cohérente. À titre de comparaison, lorsque je regarde ce qu'Austin fait avec Matthews et ce que Cortez fait avec Jennings, il est clair que les Alouettes ne se sont pas approchés de ce niveau depuis plusieurs saisons. Depuis le départ de Trestman, l'attaque des Alouettes a été une farce monumentale. De Miller, à Berry, à Worman, à Dinwiddie, à Schonert puis à Calviddie, l'attaque n'a jamais été une unité rodée. Popp s'est déjà engagé sur la voie de donner à Calvillo le poste de coordonnateur offensif, et c'est une démonstration de plus qu'il manque d'aptitude à évaluer ce volet de ses entraîneurs.

Si Hufnagel est un entraîneur-chef qui délègue, il demeure un excellent tacticien et un entraîneur-chef qui sait rendre ses joueurs et ses entraîneurs imputables des résultats. Il a le bagage qu'il faut pour confronter ses coordonnateurs et les amener plus loin dans leur métier. Popp n'a rien de ça. Il est peut-être capable de confronter ses coordonnateurs, mais que pourra-t-il leur fournir pour qu'ils aillent plus loin?

J'ai beaucoup d'égards pour tes réflexions, Richard. Mais celle-ci ne m'a pas convaincu.

That's why Perret wants stability. Your not going to develop a cohesive offense by swapping out parts every game for 3 seasons in a row. Reality is the Als have to build their own staff. Calvillo should be able to become a very good OC/QB coach if he puts in the effort and everything about him says he will.

Als have a good staff. It does not get much better than Thorpe/Reed/Sweet/Calvillo. I think the Als need a better receiver coach and the Als need to find a way to convince Ben Cahoon to take the job IMO. If I was Calvillo I would call Trestman and ask if I can come and do a free internship with him and have the Als pay the expenses. Will Calvillo leave home for 3 months to improve his skills ? I have doubts.

This team needs leadership, not the meddling type (Wetenhall) not the Papa Gateau type (Weightman) and make everyone accountable. I don't see who will do that. A proper evaluation of the GM, Coaching staff and recruiting staff needs to be done and measureables to evaluate improvements need to be put in place.

Example: Your a Scout. your paid X, your expenses were X. What is the contribution to player x, y, z to the roster from that investment ? We don't have that. We have an owner who chats with his adoptive son and a President who's trying to sell tickets and manage the books. Its not professional, its not conducive to long term success and if it does not change, that franchise is heading for a massive failure.

The options also stink. If you pull Jim from his Coaching duties, you destabilize the coaching staff again and if you let him keep the job, recruiting won't improve...

Puisqu'il semble que Popp sera de retour l'an prochain, nous aurons l'occasion d'en constater les résultats (ou les dégâts). Je ne doute pas de la capacité de travail et d'apprentissage de Calvillo. Je crois seulement que les Alouettes vont souffrir sérieusement de cette évolution atypique. Contrairement à Dickenson, Milanovitch, Maas ou Brady, Calvillo n'a pas de mentor pour le faire grandir dans son nouveau poste. Certes, il en a vu de nombreux travailler avec lui, mais la façon dont il est introduit dans le métier est la pire qu'il puisse avoir.

Relativement au contrôle de la qualité du dépistage, c'est exactement ce sur quoi j'insistais dans ma lettre ouverte à M. Wettenhall. La rigueur commande d'évaluer les résultats obtenus par les différentes entités et de poser les gestes appropriés pour les améliorer avec le temps. On peut identifier des positions où le système de dépistage des Alouettes connaît des ratés qu'il serait à propos de corriger : quarts-arrières, ligne défensive, receveurs (quoique les mises sous contrat de Carter, Hoffman et Cunningham tendent à tempérer cette affirmation), demis défensifs (la présence de White et Ellis peuvent également tempérer cette affirmation), retourneurs de bottés. Ça fait plusieurs positions dont l'efficacité du recrutement est à améliorer. On peut donc légitimement se demander si les Alouettes questionnent réellement la qualité de leur réseau de contacts. Il ne semble pas y avoir suffisamment d'efforts stratégiques de ce côté.

Don`t forget to give the Als scouting staff credit for finding Chris Rainey, lighting up returns for BC. :smiley:

Agreed, but the quality of the parts is still important. Stability + quality = success. If you have a $hitty part, consistency isn't worth much.

Reality is the Als have to build their own staff. Calvillo should be able to become a very good OC/QB coach if he puts in the effort and everything about him says he will.
Well, he did about as well as I could expect in no-win situation he was in. With Glenn in the fold, we can potentially afford to have him learn on the job while the veteran QB bails him out.
Als have a good staff. It does not get much better than Thorpe/Reed/Sweet/Calvillo.
This I don't get. IMO it gets a LOT better than that! Reed has been great, no question, he's a keeper. Thorpe? Up and down as a DC this year and some of his personnel decisions (scratching Bowman, etc.) were flat-out baffling. Sweet did not do particularly impressive work with the O-line this season; we gave up sacks in bunches and had protection issues all season long. And Calvillo is a raw coaching rookie. Hardly a quartet to write home about.

And of course, it gets much, much better than Popp at HC...

I think the Als need a better receiver coach and the Als need to find a way to convince Ben Cahoon to take the job IMO.
Agreed. Bolduc isn't the answer. Receiver preparedness dropped off markedly when he took over that position.
This team needs leadership, not the meddling type (Wetenhall) not the Papa Gateau type (Weightman) and make everyone accountable. I don't see who will do that. A proper evaluation of the GM, Coaching staff and recruiting staff needs to be done and measureables to evaluate improvements need to be put in place.

Example: Your a Scout. your paid X, your expenses were X. What is the contribution to player x, y, z to the roster from that investment ? We don't have that. We have an owner who chats with his adoptive son and a President who's trying to sell tickets and manage the books. Its not professional, its not conducive to long term success and if it does not change, that franchise is heading for a massive failure.


Agreed 100%.
The options also stink. If you pull Jim from his Coaching duties, you destabilize the coaching staff again and if you let him keep the job, recruiting won't improve...
To me, it's better to take the short-term hit now and pull Popp from coaching duties, let the staff be reassembled again by a qualified, bright new candidate and get W's assurance that he won't meddle and that Popp will not be parachuted in midseason whenever W sees something he doesn't like. Otherwise, scouting is going to suffer and eventually kneecap the on-field product even more severely than it's done already...

Lalonde tried to do make everyone accountable and equal and he was tossed by Wetenhall. I still think the best thing would be to sell and let new relationships grow "organically"...

Wetenhall has created a situation similar to that of Steinbrener's Yankees where he's an unavoidable part of any discussion when it comes to running this team on and off the field. Problem is the Als economics aren't that of the Yankees and you can't buy your way out of trouble in the SMS CFL era. It hampers Popp's ability to find people. I know Richard and some like him believe he's the greatest thing since sliced bread and can do whatever because he owns it. But the reality on the ground is far different. It would be far easier to convince people to work for the Canadiens/Molson than it would be for Wetenhall and you know damn well a corporate owner would make sure the team isn't taking a school bus to practice in a municipal park.

And I also do not agree with your thinking for Popp as HC. He has been in this position before and led the team to what exactly?!
I would rather see Thorpe promoted to HC. And I would also speak with Brady and Maas to see if there was any interest from either one of them.
They certainly can do no worse than Popp!

As for your list of players you would let go. I also do not agree with you on Bowman.
He is tied for most sacks in the league. Without him, the Als D line are almost nothing, even at the age of 33.

If anything, maybe he tells Popp to stick it after the way he was treated with Higgins and heads to a contending team !
I would not blame him one bit.

Thorpe attempted a 48 yard field goal in cold conditions with a rookie kicker instead of pinning them inside their 20.
Thorpe approved dumping John Bowman who now leads the league in sacks !

I am ok with Thorpe as a coordinator but I don’t see anything that makes him a great HC candidate. Too hot blooded and knows absolutely nothing about offense which is the main area of priority right now.

I agree that offence is where we need more help which is why I lean to a Brady or a Maas.

That said, I'm not really sold on Thorpe as a coordinator either. We've got an aging, leaky secondary; given that, we need consistent pressure on opposing QBs because our secondary guys, especially with the new contact rules, can not maintain cover adequately. And Thorpe is too in love with 3 man fronts for my liking. It's okay when we have 4 LBs and he regularly sends one of the MLBs, be it Muamba, Shortill, Elsworth, Hebert, Boulay, whoever are the 2 MLBs, on a blitz so we still maintain 4 man pressure, but he doesn't do it consistently enough and far too many times it's only a 3 man rush. That's simply inadequate. It exposes the weakness in our secondary. . . and dropping Cox back into pass coverage isn't the cure. Witness how many times we don't get a stop on second and long because he only rushed three. . .

I don't see Maas leaving Ottawa anytime soon.

Well, quite frankly, neither do I.

But it would be a pretty bad search for a head coach if the powers that be think "he won't come here" and therefore don't even make the phone call.

It is the CFL and you just never know. I'm not so sure that Desjardins would let Maas go to Montreal without a fight. I do also think that Maas is destined to be a head coach in this league, likely in a couple of years.

I simply don't understand the thinking that our current coaching staff is the best option out there. What are you basing that opinion on? Is it our wins? Our red-hot offense? Our porous defense that failed at the worst possible time in the second half of the season? The fact that we missed the playoffs for the first time since returning to the league 19 years ago? Is it the super-credible personnel decisions, including the Sam fiasco, benching Bowman, and playing Crompton for more games than necessary? I mean, WHAT is this opinion based on? Fuzzy feelings for Jim Popp and Anthony Calvillo? Feng shui? Tibetan numerology?

There is not one shred of tangible evidence to suggest that our current coaches are our best options going forward. They aren't the best by a long shot. They're simply what we have right now. And incidentally, this exact kind of thinking -- that what we have in-house is good enough -- is what got us into trouble last year. Instead of canning Higgins then and there and orchestrating a credible HC search early in the season, we kept him and Schonert, both of whom we eventually had to fire because they weren't good enough. Putting us back at square one.

It strikes me that some fans have contracted the disease that the organization has, which is the inability to detach feelings about the team and the past accomplishments of certain people (such as W and Popp) from an objective assessment of what we need to get better in the long term. There is a deep, deep level of dysfunction in this organization, starting from the owner on down, and it is not normal for any healthy franchise. Look at the ruinous results of the past three years, look at the way we do business, and compare it to successful franchises elsewhere in the CFL, and then tell me that going with the status quo is the right choice.

We have not conducted a proper search for a head coach, using the right set of extensive criteria, since the 2008 offseason, when we hired Marc Trestman but made damn sure to surround him with CFL-ready coaches on both sides of the ball to compensate for his lack of experience with the Canadian game. That is seven years ago now. Every HC hiring decision since has been an unmitigated clusterflork -- dithering endlessly until hiring season is over, hiring unprofessionally based on resemblances and feelings, which have then led to midseason firings and the owner's "Billy Martin" dropping in to right the ship. Band-aids, cop-outs, complacence, myopia -- that's what we've had for three years now. And some of you want that to continue? :o

I just don't understand.

Montreal has always managed to bounce back, find the right personnel, and put a good team back on the field, there is no reason why that isn't going to happen for the 2016 season. You can use Ottawa as an example, terrible team last year, and this year, not many people would have said it was possible. Me included.

I expect nothing from JRJ but I recall it being questioned whether Duron Carter was another "name signing" because of who his daddy was until he got in games and showed what he had.

From Weightman in Le Journal:

-Quelle sera la priorité de l’équipe dans les prochains mois?
«Il sera primordial de ramener de la stabilité au sein de l’organisation. Les changements ont été trop nombreux au cours des dernières années et cela a eu des répercussions négatives sur le rendement de l’équipe. Il faudra notamment régler rapidement le dossier de l’entraîneur-chef. On va se réunir la semaine prochaine, Bob et Andrew Wetenhall, Jim Popp et moi, pour faire le bilan et établir le plan d’action pour 2016.»

Nice of Weightman to say the right things but this is Wetenhall's show and most likely he'll bring Popp back as head coach to save money.