Any of you see this LaPo column?

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When I was the head coach in Winnipeg, I struggled and always lost in arguments with the general manager's insistence to never sign players from other teams. He believed in signing rookies and rookies alone would be the way we would fix any roster issues and or injury problems. That is why we always had the youngest team in the CFL each year. Often times, he would say "why do we want a guy who was not good enough to play for them?" A couple of reasons: one, they understand the rules and systems of the CFL and two, they may be a better fit for our roster than the team that released him.
Some guys may be better than what we have on the roster, which is not what the GM wanted to hear but was sometimes true. What the general manager did not understand is that rookie receivers may be faster on the stopwatch when you are scouting them running down a line. A slower veteran will play faster most times in the game because he knows what to do and what he is doing so those guys can play faster than rookies and the QB's will trust the veterans because they are in the right spot at the right time. Many players are excelling in the league today with very average 40 times.
Another example during my time as head coach in Winnipeg involved signing a rookie International defensive lineman early in the 2012 season over several options that had CFL experience. This player not only had not played in the CFL, he never had played defensive lineman. He was a linebacker who we moved to defensive line. This player did not have a training camp to learn the fundamentals of the position of DL or to learn the rules of the CFL. He was thrown into a very difficult position to be successful, especially early on and also the position coach who had to try to groom a LB on how to play defensive line was also put in a position you normally don't do in professional football; that is teach a player a position he never has played before.
True to form, we had an injury at the defensive line and the player had to start the next week with only four days of practice. He struggled for two or three weeks with lining up offsides, having not had a lot of experience with the yard off the ball. He took three penalties in his first game just lining up offsides. The general manager was frustrated by the penalties and would try to say it was the coach's fault for not explaining that to him or my fault for not teaching him about it. We actually kept track of offsides daily and did extra work when we went offside in practice but these things will happen to young inexperienced players and the best way for them to learn is through game experiences alone. That is how the player will get better at the position, game reps alone.

Ouch. Brutal indictment of the Joe Mack era...

Man is it ever; wonder who the DL/LB is that he refers to?

Yeah, I'm very curious to know who this player was. Bomber fans might know or remember?

Pretty much what everyone expected, I think the player he is referring to was Youri Yenga.

Sour grapes, don't use your articles to slam someone Lapo that is bad taste! He could still get his point across without trying to drag someone in the mud.
I wonder if he blames Mack for his many terrible coaching calls, or losing the dressing room too.

Disagree. When you get this info direct from the horse's mouth, it really drives the point home that he is making. It's fine to talk abstractly, but examples like these, real-world examples that negatively affect a team, are part of how to paint a picture for your reader. He's not dragging Mack through the mud, BTW. There are no ad hominem attacks or slurs on Mack's character, just honest criticism of a GM's policy that is absolutely accurate.

As for your indictment of LaPo, he was the last coach to take your team to the Grey Cup game. Don't rewrite history. He was a first-time head coach who made mistakes, sure, but he also did some good things in spite of the idiocy of Joe "only sign rookies" Mack.

You can disagree all you want. It is obvious he is taking a shot at Mack. Any former player/coach who calls out their co-workers in a negative way in a public article needs to re-evaluate their professionalism. And how on Earth would you know if it is absolutely accurate?

I'm fully aware of what a former HC of my team did while he was here, but thanks for pointing that out to me. He didn't just make mistakes - he made major blunders which cost us games. And again, lost the respect of his players and the dressing room.

How many years has he been out of a job now?

I really don't get this obsession Al's fans had/have with Lapo & Mack, it's quite puzzling......

I agree with dap here.
I wish that we would get way more disclosures around the league. I imagine that confidentiality agreements and career protection after a firing preclude this. Without a light shining on things behaviors just keep on occurring.

The disclosures from Lysko were enlightening. I’d love to hear from others like Tom Wright, Dan Hawkins, and the past president of the Bombers. But of course I understand why silence is golden.

LaPolice’s job now really gives him a freedom. I hope he exploits it. I wish Dunigan would do the same.

Mack’s belief in not taking on other team’s cuts was public knowledge. In fact many applauded it. LaPolice was offering the other side of the coin.

And boy oh boy...Lapolice could sure use an editor in his writing.

It would be pretty difficult to write a column on experience v rookies without drawing on examples to make your argument. I think that is all Lapo was doing here.

Oh I think he's doing much more than that imo.
And why are some being so sensitive here about whether he's throwing Mack under the bus? Mack was on record as having this belief and Lapolice clearly didn't like it, it hampered him. And Mack fired him. Why shouldn't LaPolice be critical? It also happens to be after his contract has been paid out.

I think it was Rodney Fritz who played some backup DE. The rest of our Dline was mostly Hall, Turner,Collier/JT Gilmore, Mainor, and Hall. I don't believe the 2 rookie DTs in Collier and Gilmore were LBs in college.

I don't see anything to argue with in the article as it seems a somewhat accurate picture of what most of the public perceived was going on. It's not entirely accurate though as Mack did bring in players from other teams like Buck, and a few guys who had tryouts or were lower roster/PR type guys like Kenny Mainor, Fernand Kashama, Ryan Lucas, Shannon Boatman, Justin Sorensen, Clint Kent - most just weren't A or B level guys. Mack was always on the sidelines come FA period except when it came to signing our own FAs. It would've been nice to keep Labatte obviously but I don't know how much of losing him was on Mack and how much was Labattes desire to be in Sask.

Still, it doesn't excuse the coaching deficiencies. Under him the offense almost never got anything going early and struggled year after year. And while he uses the defensive player as an example, he had good tools to work with on offense and never made it work very well and offense is his domain. He had a better Oline to work with than what we have now. And while the QB excuse has some legitimacy to it, there should have been more growth in the QBs but I don't think he worked enough with them in practice, especially when you have a glass QB listed as your starter. We never had a 2 mintue drill installed, or if we did no one knew how to execute it. There were a few times at the end of quarters or games when the team was trying to move the ball to get a late score and no one knew what the playcalls were or where to line up or what was going on while the clock was ticking down. He gets a small pass because the coaching staff was limited by budgetary constraints, but still I think he could've done more with the offense.

I agree with you Wolverine with your points on LaPolices performance and also the point about the facts not necessarily being totally accurate.

Re: LaPolice's coaching. He really went down in my estimation on handling players when he stated on TSN that he only talks to the back-up QB once or twice during the season. I found that shocking. I remember when he panicked with Jyles and threw in Brink. Then back to Jyles again to overcome a 17 point deficit. There is no way, in hindsight, that Brink had a hope given LaPolice's admission.

You know what's worse than "taking a shot" ? Firing a HC for your own failings.